Eketahuna activities you can’t miss!
It doesn’t get more “rural New Zealand” than the small town of Eketahuna. Eketahuna is located in the Tararua district on the southern end of the Manawatu-Whanganui region. In other words, it’s in the middle of nowhere, but you’re likely to drive through if you are road tripping between the Wairarapa and Hawke’s Bay! Nevertheless, there are plenty of attractions and things to do in Eketahuna which makes it an awesome destination in itself, such as the native wildlife park with the world’s only white kiwi bird and access to the stunning Tararua Forest Park!For more things to do around Eketahuna, check out the nearby towns:
1. Hike in the Tararua Forest Park
A lesser-known entrance to the popular Tararua Forest Park is via Putara Road near Eketahuna. Here, there are a number of hiking trails, such as the 2-hour walk to the Herepai Hut or the 4-hour walk to the Roaring Stag Hut. A multi-day hiking option is by hiking to the Herepai Hut, then an extra 5 hours to the Dundas Hut.
Location: 10km west of Eketahuna. Putara Road.
2. Do the Eketahuna Cliff Walk
This short walk is a must-do in Eketahuna! The 30-minute walk winds along a cliff alongside the Makakahi River offering amazing views. At the end of the trail is a campsite.
Location: Bridge Street.
3. Check out Anzac Bridge & the Miller Reserve Walk
This ANZAC Memorial Bridge was built in 1922 to honour the local people who died in service in the World Wars. The bridge is also part of an easy 20-minute loop track to explore more of the area.
Location: 8km south of Eketahuna. Kaiparoro, State Highway 2. (You will see a tourist sign for the bridge opposite the Miller Reserve.
4. Try some cheese
Pop into Cwmglyn Farmhouse Cheeses to try some traditional farmhouse English cheeses… handmade! The award-winning cheese-makers use organic principles. Plus, you might be lucky enough to watch them milking the cows in summer.
Location: Morgans Road.
5. Marvel at the Middleton Model Railway
Check out one of the largest model railway layouts in New Zealand with more than 300m of track. There are interactive displays for both children and big kids. The Model Railway is open weekends 11am-4.30pm.
Location: 36 Morgans Road.
6. See native wildlife at the Pukaha Mount Bruch Wildlife Centre
A huge highlight of Eketahuna is the Pukaha Mount Bruce Native Wildlife Centre. See the world’s only white kiwi bird, as well as other rare wildlife like the takahe, hihi, kaka and kokako. The centre is a good place to learn about how captive breeding helps wildlife conservation. Plus, access to the park means you can access the Mt Bruce Lookout Walk, taking 1 hour to get to an amazing viewpoint.
Location: State Highway 2. Just south of Eketahuna.
7. Check out the REV Gallery
The REV Gallery is a specially designed 3D art gallery! The art is inspired by local kiwi habitat. Pick up a pair of 3D glasses from the local information centre for the full experience! The REV Gallery is open Saturdays 10am-6pm and most Sundays.
Location: Haswell Street.
8. Get a photo with the giant kiwi
New Zealand towns love flaunting their town icons in the form of giant statues and Eketahuna is no different! There is a giant statue of a kiwi bird found on Haswell Street (a different location to where the statue used to be as shown in the image below). Get a photo with it and add it to your bucket list of 22 BIG Things in New Zealand.
Location: Haswell Street, next to the REV Gallery.