Totara Reserve

Totara Reserve Regional Park is a 340 ha bush area nestled in the Pohangina Valley, about 50 minutes drive north from Palmerston North. It is one of the best and most accessible remaining examples of the ancient forest that once covered much of the Horizons Region.

There is a rich history present at Totara Reserve, one that you can feel as you walk through the forest and are enveloped in its lush serenity.

The Reserve offers a wide range of attractions to the visitor. There is camping on site, many swimming holes, a range of walking tracks, plentiful wildlife, and giant trees. Totara Reserve is well worth a visit whether it is for a day or longer. There are toilet and shower facilities with wheelchair access at both camp sites. The larger and easier to use of these is at the newer ablution block at the southern and larger camp area. Both setups have been used by campers with wheel chairs and are considered satisfactory.

Earlier this year we asked you for your feedback on our Draft Asset Management Plan for Totara Reserve. You can read the submissions here.

Photo: The Bush Chapel in Totara Reserve

 Camp Rangi Woods:

Bookings can be made through Jude Mitchell on (06) 329 4753.


 Over the next 5 years we will be working to

  1. Protect and enhance the forest and its wildlife

  2. Improve camping facilities, tracks and signage

  3. Promote the Reserve, and its many attractions and features, to increase visitor numbers 

Photo: Pohangina River at Totara Reserve


The public are advised that Horizons Regional Council will be applying various toxic agents to control possums within the 607 Hectares of Totara Reserve Regional Park operational area over the next 12 months.  

Baits containing the pesticides cyanide (trade name Feratox®), brodifacoum (Pestoff®) and diphacinone (Ratabate®) will be placed in bait stations and biodegradable bait bags throughout the operational area. Poison warning signs will be positioned on main entry points where toxins have been laid.

A map of the area where the VTA will be applied is available for viewing here or at the Horizons Regional Council office, 11-15 Victoria Avenue, Palmerston North, office hours are 8.00 am to 5.00 pm.

All toxic baits will be dyed blue.

The public are warned that baits are toxic to humans and domestic animals.

For more details regarding the operational work please contact the operator responsible:

Darrell Haworth

Environmental Management Officer- Animals

Regional Response Unit

Horizons Regional Council

Woodville Service Centre

Free phone 0508 800 800