Mt Grey

Mt Grey / Maungatere Forest covers 1,700 hectares, the forest has two picturesque picnic areas - one at Lake Janet and the other at the Grey River, both have picnic tables and toilets. There is a wide variety of both native and introduced birdlife. Mt Grey is named after Sir George Grey, Governor and Premier of New Zealand between 1845 and 1879. Maori named the mountain “Maukatere” (floating mountain) because of the spirits of the dead were believed to leave from the summit on the long journey to Cape Reinga. There are superb panoramic views of the Canterbury Plains.

Mt Grey Forest is 15kms west of Amberley. At Amberley take Douglas Road. This road branches off the main road to Broomfield becoming Cramptons Bush Road after the Brodies Road intersection. Access is not available through Ashley Forest from Rangiora. Vehicle access is limited to forest roads between Lake Janet and the Grey River Picnic Area. Watch for heavy vehicles and logging trucks through these privately owned forests. During periods of high fire risk, the gate on Cramptons Bush Road will be locked. Check with Rayonier NZ on 03 310 7612 or 0274 809 279.

Mountain biking is only permitted on formed gravel roads in the area. Dogs (excluding hunting dogs by valid permit only) are permitted at the Grey River picnic area only, and must be on a leash. They are not allowed on the track itself.

Grey River Nature Trail

Duration: 1 hour return
Description of Walk: Starting at the northern end of the Grey River picnic area, this is a fine example of the diversity of native bush on the Canterbury Plains, passing through mixed tawhai/podocarp forest, including black beech/tawhai, rimu, kahikatea and matai. A highlight of the trail is oyster shells embedded in a bank 700 metres above sea level. These are thought to be 10-20 million years old, indicating where the coastline was at that time. Please leave for all to enjoy. Close by is a cave which was created by water erosion.
Intensity: Suitable for people with low fitness and abilities
Important Information: Insect repellent is recommended due to the high numbers of sandflies. Dogs (excluding hunting dogs by valid permit only) are permitted at the Grey River picnic area only, and must be on a leash. They are not allowed on the track itself.

Mt Grey (Maungatere) Track

Duration: 2–3 hours one way
Description of Walk: From the north end of the Grey River Picnic area, the track climbs steadily through native bush and areas of pine, opening to tussock and the summit of Mt Grey/Maukatere (934m). Ten minutes after leaving the picnic area a short track on the left (not signposted) leads to the gorge pools.
Intensity: Suitable for people with moderate to high fitness and abilities. Dogs (excluding hunting dogs by valid permit only) are permitted at the Grey River picnic area only, and must be on a leash. They are not allowed on the track itself.

Red Beech Route

Duration: 3–5 hours one way
Description of Walk: This route descends from the summit of Mt Grey/Maungatere through tussock grasslands, tall red beech/tawhai and mountain beech/tawhai, and Hall’s totara to the Grey River Picnic Area.
Intensity: Suitable for people with moderate to high fitness and abilities
Important Information: Beware of wasps on this track in summer. Dogs (excluding hunting dogs by valid permit only) are permitted at the Grey River picnic area only, and must be on a leash. They are not allowed on the track itself.