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Auckland Council

Horse riding

Many of Auckland’s open spaces can be enjoyed from horseback and have designated horse trails.

Where you can ride horses

Recreational horse riding is currently allowed in the nine regional parks and several Auckland beaches.

You will need a pass to ride in a regional park.

Ātiu Creek Regional Park

  • Open from 6am to 7pm (9pm during daylight saving).
  • Group limit 20 riders.
  • Dogs prohibited at all times.
  • Horse riding pass required.
  • Combination code required to access the unloading/parking area.
  • A key – costing $10 – is required to unlock the park's internal gates.

For more information see Ātiu Creek Regional Park.

Āwhitu Regional Park

  • Group limit 10 riders.
  • Access to the beach is not permitted through the campground, wetlands or main arrival zone.
  • Dogs prohibited at all times.

For more information see Āwhitu Regional Park.

Duder Regional Park

  • Closed for lambing season between July 1 and September 30.
  • Group limit 10 riders.
  • Horses not permitted on beaches or the shell bank.
  • Dogs prohibited at all times.

For more information see Duder Regional Park.

Hūnua Ranges Regional Park

  • Designated trails through the Lower Mangatawhiri Valley along a gravel road, through grass paddocks and bush, and along the Mangatawhiri River. 
  • A main loop down to the Lower Mangatawhiri campground has extra linking tracks across it.
  • Group limit 10 riders.
  • Riders may lead one other horse.
  • Entry is through a locked Watercare gate. The combination often changes, so if you need access, contact the sector office on 09 292 4267 at least 24 hours before you intend to ride. Ensure the gate is relocked when entering or leaving the park.
  • Due to safety issues, dogs cannot accompany horse riders in this park.
  • A horse riding permit cannot be used in conjunction with a recreational hunting (feral pigs) permit.
  • All vehicles and floats must park in the unloading area.
  • 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.

For more information see Hūnua Ranges Regional Park.

Muriwai Regional Park

  • Riding area includes Okiritoto Stream.
  • Group limit 20 riders.
  • Riders may lead two horses.

For more information see Muriwai Regional Park.

Pae O Te Rangi Farm (located in the Waitākere Ranges Regional Park)

  • Riding may be restricted in winter due to ground conditions.
  • Group limit 10 riders.
  • Horses may require shoes due to the metal roads at Pae O Te Rangi Farm.

For more information see Pae O Te Rangi Farm .

Te Rau Pūriri Regional Park

  • Horses are not permitted on the beach.
  • Riding may be restricted in winter due to ground conditions.
  • Group limit 10 riders.

For more information see Te Rau Pūriri Regional Park.

Whakanewha Regional Park

  • Keep below the shell bank when riding on the beach.
  • From 1 October to 28 February, riders must steer clear of the beach area during high tide to avoid horses possibly 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.
  • Use the hitching rail by the pohutukawa and on the central track.
  • Riders may lead one other horse.
  • Group limit 10 riders.

For more information see Whakanewha Regional Park.

Waitawa Regional Park

  • Horses are allowed on the beach near the parking area.
  • Horse riding permitted in most areas, except the downhill mountain bike trails.
  • Group limit 20 riders.

For more information see Waitawa Regional Park.

Apply for a horse riding pass

You need a pass to ride horses in the regional parks. The pass is valid for 12 months and is free of charge.

Registered riders get updates on:

  • the park combination codes needed to open some of the gates
  • information on track or park closures
  • details on new riding opportunities.

Registration also gives us riders' details in case of an emergency, and helps us monitor the demand for horse riding across the region.

All riders need to have their pass on them while riding.

If you want to ride in a group larger than the park limit, organise a horse riding event or if your horse riding could be defined as commercial activity, call us on 09 301 0101.

You can arrange riding at Ambury Regional Park separately through the Mangere Pony Club, which holds a licence and is therefore not subject to this pass.

How to apply

Complete an application form the first time you apply for a pass:

Email the completed form to or post it to:

Auckland Regional Parks

Auckland Council

Private Bag 92300

Auckland 1142

We will contact you when we receive your application.

Renew your horse riding pass

To renew your horse riding pass, contact our regional parks team on 09 366 2000.

You do not need to complete an application form.

Regional park horse riding terms and conditions

We will withdraw permission to ride horses in any regional park from riders who disregard the following conditions:

  • Each horse rider in a regional park must have a valid pass and carry it while riding.
  • Wear an approved helmet when you ride.
  • Riders under 18 years old must be supervised by an adult rider at all times.
  • Horse riding is only allowed during the opening hours displayed at the park's entrance.
  • Riders must not canter or gallop horses unless it is part of an approved permit or event.
  • Riders must stay on tracks or designated areas shown on park maps. Realignment of these tracks may occur to avoid very wet areas or to avoid pasture damage. Riders should avoid tracks that have become boggy due to heavy rain.
  • Riders are responsible for their mounts at all times.
  • Leading horses without riders is not permitted – except at the Hūnua Ranges, Muriwai and Whakanewha.
  • Ensure horses do not browse or graze native vegetation.
  • Horses must not be tied to trees or branches. Hitching rails may be provided but remove any hitching rail ropes after use.
  • Report lost horses to park staff immediately.
  • Let park staff know if you need access to a horse float to move an injured animal.

Horse riding guidelines for specified beaches

You can ride horses at Algies Beach, Hatfields Beach, Martins Bay Beach, Omaha Beach, Orewa Beach and Snells Beach if you meet thr following conditions:

  • If riding between 1 December and 15 February (including weekends) horses are only allowed on the beach before 10am and after 7pm.
  • Horses are prohibited at Easter weekend (Friday to Monday inclusive) and Labour weekend (Saturday to Monday inclusive).

Karioitahi Beach

Horses can also be ridden at Karioitahi Beach – a black sand beach located on the south western coast of Auckland.

You must meet the following conditions:

  • Unload horses only in the signed area near the beach entrance. Remove all manure from the unloading area.
  • There is a "walking only" zone for 500m either side of the entrance. Between 10am and 6pm from Labour Weekend to the end of March, horses are restricted to walking within this 1km zone.
  • Horses must remain within 10m of the water's edge within the 1km zone when possible, and horse manure must also be removed from this area.

Noticeboards at the beach entrance include all the rules relating to horse riding.

Horse riding on beaches and other public places

In a public place, horse owners must:

  • remove or safely dispose of horse manure
  • show consideration for other users at all times
  • ride or lead their horse in a manner that does not intimidate, cause a danger or nuisance to other people
  • ensure horses are not ridden or led through bird breeding areas
  • not ride or lead their horse on coastal dunes except when accessing the beach, an adjoining property or road - use a direct route
  • ensure horses are ridden below the high tide mark if on a beach, so manure can be washed away
  • not ride at high tide to avoid potential conflict with other beach users.

Kauri dieback

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

Pay special attention if riding in the Hūnua Ranges or you have previously ridden in areas with kauri.

Horse floats and trucks

Horse floats and trucks must remain at the designated unloading and parking areas.

Be careful there are no hay seeds in your truck or float and remove all horse manure from the unloading and parking areas. This is to prevent the spread of weed species.

Consider the environment and other people

Some tracks and trails are shared with walkers and mountain bike riders.

Many people are frightened of horses so avoid startling others. Make way for others if you can.

Consider the following guidelines:

  • Protect plants and other animals.
  • Remove your rubbish.
  • Avoid sensitive natural, historical and archaeological areas.
  • Leave farm gates as you find them (unless there are specific instructions).
  • Stick to marked trails or tracks unless you are sure paddock riding is permitted.
  • Ride slowly through any farm paddocks so farm animals are not disturbed.
  • Report any damage, graffiti or inappropriate behaviour to a ranger.
  • Respect areas set aside for other users.

Additional guidelines

You can find more information on responsible horse riding at New Zealand Horse Network and the New Zealand Bridleways Code.