What to do at Peel Forest Park
What to do at Peel Forest
Peel Forest is a scenic forest park about 45 minutes’ drive north of Timaru City, offering plenty of things to do. It's in the Geraldine area, a short 15 minute drive away and a favourite playground for local people.
Big Tree Walk is a great option if you want an easy, short walk that leads you to an ancient totara.
Starting at the Te Wanahu picnic shelter, the half-hour walk takes you to Mills Bush and a totara thought to be 1,000 years old.
If you like walking among ferns, then try Fern Walk.
It is a three-hour walk that follows the forest edge near Te Wanahu Flat along the southern boundary of the reserve to Blandswood.
A highlight on this walk is the park’s 68 fern species.
Take Acland Falls Walking Track if waterfalls are your thing. It’s a one-hour return walk that climbs steeply, levels off a little and then drops to a small stream.
The 14-metre high falls are a short walk up the streambed.
A more challenging four-to-six-hour hike takes you to a small alpine lake and an ideal picnic spot.
The walk leaves from Blandswood lookout and climbs 1,000 metres to the summit of Little Mount Peel.
The track is steep but well-formed and has great views to Mount Somers, Mount Hutt and across the plains to the coast. Expect to find the small alpine lake near the summit.
Peel Forest Park is home to a commercial camping ground at Clarke Flat, which offers tent and motor home sites – it’s the only area camping is allowed in the reserve.
Peel Forest Horse Trekking, a family-run business, offer horse trekking in and around Peel Forest.
The two-hour river and forest trek takes you through the ancient podocarp forest of Peel Forest, while the half day trek takes riders into Mt Peel for views across the Canterbury Plains.
The hub of the village is Green Man Cafe, a licensed cafe and bar, known for hosting awesome music. Great food, craft beer and beautiful wines - we recommend planning your Peel Forest trip around a stop here.