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Auckland Council

Horse riding trails

Kake hōiho

Enjoy the open space of our regional parks from horseback on one of our designated horse trails.

You can ride horses at these parks

Several of our regional parks have bridle trails:

Apply for your horse riding pass

A horse riding pass is required to use the tracks. The pass is valid for 12 months and is free of charge.

How to apply

You need to complete an application form the first time you apply for a pass:

Send the completed form to:

Auckland Regional Parks

Auckland Council

Private Bag 92300

Auckland 1142

We will contact you to process your horse riding pass when we have received your application.

Renew your horse riding pass

To renew your horse riding pass, contact us our regional parks team on 09 366 2000. An application form is not required.

Horse riding pass terms and conditions

General Horse Riding Pass Codes and Conditions

Overview of riding opportunities on regional parks:

The recreational riding of horses in natural areas is part of the cultural and historic heritage of Auckland, and a source of enjoyment and physical activity.

Recreational horse riding is currently allowed on nine regional parks (see list on this page). To be able to ride on these parks, all riders must have a network horse riding pass. Riding at Ambury Regional Park may be arranged separately through the Mangere Pony Club who holds a licence with Council, and therefore is not subject to this pass.

The purpose of this pass is to ensure that there is good two way communication between council staff and horse riders. This will enable registered riders to be provided with updates on changes to park combination codes which will be needed to access some of the parks, any temporary track or park closures, and to promote any new riding opportunities. It will also enable the council to know rider details in case of an emergency and to monitor demand for horse riding across the region.

Riders will be expected to carry their pass on them while riding. The pass is free; however, there is a $10 charge for the key which is required to access the internal farm gates at Atiu Creek.

Please note there are horse riding group limits for each park (see park specific rules below for these group limits).

The attached information sheet provides details on the riding opportunities on each park. For more details, please call the Auckland Council on 09 301 0101 or go to Find a park or beach.

Outlined below are:

  • the horse riding conditions which apply at all of the eight parks and any additional park specific rules; and

  • the horse riding code of conduct which has been developed in conjunction with the horse riding sector to provide guidelines to minimise the impacts of horses on park environments and other park visitors.

Permission to ride horses in the park will be withdrawn from riders found disregarding these conditions, rules and the Horse Riding Code of Conduct.

Conditions that apply at all parks:

  • Each rider riding in a regional park must have their own network pass and carry it while riding on regional parks.

  • This pass applies to people riding on an informal basis in a riding group of less than the park’s horse riding group limit (see park specific rules below for group limits). If you are wanting to ride in a group above the horse riding park limit, organise a horse riding event or if your horse riding could be defined as commercial activity, then you need to apply for either a consent or concession as these activities are classified as discretionary activities. Please call the Auckland Council on 09 301 0101.

  • Horse riding is only allowed during the park opening hours displayed at the entrance to the park.

  • Horse floats/trucks must remain at the designated unloading/parking areas. Please ensure there are no hay seeds in your truck or float and remove all horse manure from unloading/parking areas to prevent the spread of any weed species.

  • Please help us stop the spread of kauri dieback by reading the information on Protect our kauri trees before you ride.

    • If you come across kauri dieback cleaning stations, please follow the instructions and spray both your footwear and your horse’s hooves.

    • Special attention needs to be taken if riding in the Hūnua Ranges and you have previously ridden in areas with kauri.

    • Vehicles, floats, footwear and horses need to be clean of mud or other debris that may harbour the kauri dieback pathogen.

  • Riders are responsible for their mounts at all times.

  • Leading of horses without riders is not permitted; with the exception of the Hūnua Ranges, Muriwai and Whakanewha Regional Parks (see park specific rules below for details).

  • Riders are to ensure horses do not browse or graze native vegetation.

  • Horses must not be tied up to trees or branches. Hitching rails may be provided but please remove strings used to tie horses to the hitching rail after use.

  • Riders must wear an approved helmet whilst mounted.

  • Riders under the age of 18 years must be supervised by an adult rider (18 years and older) at all times.

  • Riders must stay on bridle path/routes/designated areas that are shown on the park maps. Realignment of these paths may occur from time to time for management reasons. For example access may be limited during extreme wet conditions to avoid pasture damage and access to some areas may be limited during peak lambing and calving to avoid miss-mothering.

  • Riders should avoid paths that have become pugged because of heavy rain.

  • Riders must not canter or gallop horses unless this is authorised as part of an approved permit or event, or is in accordance with the rules at Whakanewha.

  • Riders must give way to pedestrians and should avoid areas where groups of people are picnicking, camping or undertaking other activities in the park.

  • From time to time, e.g. during organised events and pest control programmes, horses may be excluded from using certain areas of the park. Riders will be made aware of these restrictions via an email. This information will also be on the Auckland Council website.

  • Though all efforts will be made to inform horse riders via email, certain closures may be at short notice, for example due to weather related events, if you wish to determine the latest up to date information please call the Auckland Council on 09 301 0101.

  • In most cases these riding opportunities are provided on working farms. Care must be taken to leave gates as they are found and not to disturb farm animals unduly.

  • Dogs are prohibited on some parks and only allowed on a lead in others, and due to safety issues of riding with a leashed dog, dogs cannot accompany horse riders on these parks. Refer to specific park rules for details.

  • Report lost horses to park staff immediately.

  • Contact park staff if a horse is injured in areas where tracks are closed to vehicles and access for a float is required.

  • While every precaution is made for safety neither the Auckland Council nor its staff are responsible for any injury to your person or horse, or damage or loss of personal property resulting from your activity in the park.

  • Council may make changes to the Conditions at its discretion from time to time.

Rules that are specific to individual parks:

Ātiu Creek Regional Park:

  • Open for horse riding during day light saving.

  • There is a combination code required to access the unloading/parking area. A key is required for the internal gates in the park.

  • Group limit 20 riders.

  • Dogs are prohibited at all times.

Āwhitu Regional Park:

  • Open for horse riding year round, though maybe restricted in winter due to ground conditions.

  • Group limit ten riders.

  • Access to the beach is not permitted through the campground, wetlands or main arrival zone.

  • Dogs are prohibited at all times.

Duder Regional Park:

  • Open for horse riding year round, however closed between July 1 – September 30 during lambing season.

  • Group limit ten riders.

  • Horses are not permitted on the beaches or the shell bank.

  • Dogs are prohibited at all times.

Hūnua Ranges Regional Park:

  • Open for horse riding year round.

  • Group limit ten riders.

  • Riders may lead one other horse.

  • Mangatangi Hill Road is a Watercare operational road and care needs to be taken at all times. Any vehicles found past Graeme White Road may have their permit revoked without review.

  • Entry is through a locked Watercare gate. The combination lock is changed from time to time. If you require access, please contact the sector office on 09 292 4267 at least 24 hours before you intend to ride, to obtain the combination code. Please ensure that this gate is relocked when entering or leaving the park, without allowing any unpermitted user access.

  • Although dogs are permitted on a lead in this area, due to safety issues of riding with a leashed dog, dogs cannot accompany horse riders in this park.

  • Permit cannot be used in conjunction with a recreational hunting (feral pigs) permit.

  • All vehicles and floats must park in the unloading area.

Muriwai Regional Park:

  • Open for horse riding year round.

  • Group limit 20 riders.

  • Riders may lead two horses.

Pae O Te Rangi Farm (Waitākere Ranges Regional Park):

  • Open for horse riding year round, though maybe restricted in winter due to ground conditions.

  • Group limit ten riders.

Te Rau Pūriri Regional Park:

  • Open for horse riding year round, though maybe restricted in winter due to ground conditions.

  • Group limit ten riders.

  • Horses are not permitted on the beach.

Whakanewha Regional Park:

  • Open for horse riding year round.

  • Group limit ten riders.

  • Please keep below the shell bank when riding on the beach.

  • From 1 October to 28 February, during high tide, riders must steer clear of the beach area to avoid the possibility of horses stepping on shorebird nesting sites.

  • Cantering is permitted on the beach only from 1 March to 31 July when clear of other users. At all other times, cantering and galloping is prohibited.

  • Please use the hitching rail by the Pohutukawa tree and on the Central Track.

  • Riders may lead one other horse.

Horse riding code of conduct:

  • This is your park – please enjoy it, respect it and care for it.

  • Always inform a friend or family member of your plans, including location, route, number in your group, and your intended time of return.

  • Share with care. Some tracks and trails may be shared with walkers and mountain bike riders. Remember that some people are frightened of horses so avoid startling people. If you suspect that this will happen, call out a greeting as you approach. Use this opportunity to improve the public profile of horse riding. Be calm, friendly and polite if you need to provide instructions for their or your safety.

  • Be courteous to other park users and always give way to others. Even if it seems inconvenient, being considerate will foster a positive attitude towards horse riders.

  • Acknowledge consideration from others.

  • Leave farm gates as you find them (unless there are specific instructions).

  • Ride slowly through any farm paddocks so that farm animals are not disturbed. Give animals a chance to get out of your way.

  • Stick to marked trails or tracks unless you are sure paddock riding is permitted.

  • If paddocks are muddy, keep to a walk to ensure that the ground isn't torn up.

  • Respect areas set aside for other users.

  • Care for the environment. Protect plants and animals. Remove your rubbish. Be aware of weed spread and clean our horses hooves and ensure hay seeds are not carried onboard your truck or float. Avoid sensitive natural, historical and archaeological areas. Adhere to the conditions and rules that relate to riding in regional parks and any temporary restrictions that the Auckland Council advise you of. Report any damage, graffiti or inappropriate behavior to a ranger. In an emergency, call 111 or call from the park contact number at the main noticeboard.