Welcome to Kowhai Forge

Do you want to experience the art of blacksmithing? You have come to the right place!


Rob is one of the few time-served blacksmiths in New Zealand. He loves sharing his passion for blacksmithing and has a deep understanding of forging. Rob has a strong cultural background and teaches with lots of enthusiasm and kiwi humour. The forge is set in a beautiful rural environment.


We run a variety of courses to suit you. The calendar and below options are a guideline of availability, please don’t hesitate to contact us and customise your experience in the forge.


No previous experience is required for any of the classes and there is no minimum age. However, we do require an adult to be present and book in with anyone under 16 either as a class participant or a as spectator.

Our courses

Knife making class

A full day is great for knife making. Several styles are possible such as a hunting/camping or a chef’s knife. You will hand forge your knife from scratch (with a little help of course!) and will fit it with a wooden handle.

Find out more here

Large knife, cleaver or tomahawk making class

This class is for bigger knives and small tools. No previous experience is needed. All classes run simultaneously – the difference in the price is to reflect the amount of assistance, time and materials needed for the different options. Please note that larger knives and meat cleavers also require more hammering so you’ll get a good workout!

Find out more here

Axe or hammer making class

The pinnacle of blacksmithing, make the tools to make the tools! This course offers a more in-depth experience in the forge. We make a tool of your choice. For example a full-sized axe (with a wooden handle) or a forging hammer. No previous experience is required.  All classes run simultaneously – the difference in the price is to reflect the amount of assistance, time and materials needed for the different options. Please note that axes and hammers require more of Rob’s expertise and you’ll be doing more of the assisting on the sledgehammer (compared to making a knife where you get to be more hands-on yourself).

Find out more here


Do I need any prior experience to attend your courses?

You do not need any previous experience or skills, courses are tailored to your ability.

What should I bring to class?

Food and drinks are provided, but your own water bottle might be handy in the workshop! Please wear long trousers (preferably non-flammable materials) and closed shoes. We provide leather aprons, but still be prepared that you may get a bit dirty. We also provide personal safety equipment such as earplugs and safety glasses. Don’t forget to bring your camera, so you can take some pictures of your forging experience!

Can kids attend your courses?

Yes! We are kid-friendly! However, due to the nature of the activity, your child(ren) should be under adult supervision. That’s why we ask for an adult to book in with any person under the age of 16 – either as a class participant or as a spectator.

What payment options do you have?

You can pay trough our booking system using your PayPal account or credit/debit card (for card payments click the PayPal button, this will launch a new window, where you can scroll down and use the card option).

If you prefer a bank account transfer, you can choose this option in our booking system. However, your spot in the course is not guaranteed until we obtain the payment. Our bank account number is 03 0442 0224466 000.

How should I take care of my creation?

Taking care of a knife: do not forget to give it a good rinse before you start using it. You should always immediately dry it after washing and never put it in the dishwasher. They are the biggest enemies of your newly made knife 🙂

Carbon steel is particularly reactive to high acid products. Therefore, it is imperative that you rinse your blade and wipe it dry after cutting anything acidic, such as citrus, tomatoes, and onions. If not rinsed, the acid will begin to corrode the steel and damage your blade.

After washing and drying your knife, we recommend oiling it with a food safe, neutral oil to protect your blade and encourage a slow and even patina. The oil will act as a barrier to help protect against future exposure to moisture and acids.

Taking care of an axe: Protect your axe from rust damage by lightly oiling it after each use. Take a clean, dry rag or paper towel and wipe down the axe head and handle. Now apply linseed oil to the rag and rub down the entire axe. If you do not have linseed oil, just about any non-petroleum oil will work. An axe should never be put away wet.

Do you offer gift vouchers?

We offer vouchers with a gift now – book & pay later system.

Click here to download your voucher.

How does the gift now – book & pay later system work?

To gift this voucher, simply download and print or send it digitally. When the recipient is ready to book, they’ll let you know.

If you prefer, email us at info@kowhaiforge.co.nz to ask for a voucher, and we’ll send it to you by email.

Can I pay for the voucher in advance?

We used to offer this option but found that things can get in the way of booking an experience. We don’t want you to pay for a voucher that might not be redeemed!

Tip: sit down with the recipient soon after you have gifted the voucher and book a date straight away!

What is your cancellation policy?

Refund or change of date is possible when booking is more than 3 weeks away. PayPal transaction fees may apply on payments made by PayPal.

If the booking is within 3 weeks, change of date only is available. Change of date is subject to availability and valid for 100 days after the initial booking date.

Is it possible to bring my own wood?

Yes, you may certainly bring your own wood! If you could cut it to 40mm wide and 10mm thick that would be ideal.