The Mohaka, Makino and Ngaruroro Rivers are popular fishing rivers for rainbow and brown trout. The areas are remote, unspoiled and scenic, yet access is not difficult. There is a variety of fishing water available including rapids and bouldery runs of clear water to deep, calm pools. There is scope for both the novice and experienced; using wet flys, nymphs or spinners.
Trout here breed naturally in the rivers as opposed to being introduced from hatcheries and they are known for their size and fighting ability.
Visit these heritage sites in the park and experience history right where it happened:
- Iron Whare Hut - a small hut constructed from vertical slab totara.
- Manson Hut - built in the 1940's as a musterer's hut.
The Mohaka and Ngaruroro Rivers are two remaining ‘wild and scenic’ rivers in the North Island offering multi-day trips and are not affected by hydro development.
Commercial rafting companies operate trips on the upper Mohaka, starting from the boundary of Kaimanawa Forest Park and Poronui Station, or from the confluence of the Mohaka and Taharua Rivers. These trips pass through the Te Puia and Mangatutu areas and end where the Mohaka is crossed by the Napier-Taupo highway.
Because of difficulty of access through private land, however, few individual groups raft the upper Mohaka.
A feasible option is the 22 km stretch from Pakaututu Road to the Napier - Taupo highway. This section contains mainly grade 2 rapids (based on the N.Z. Canoeing association’s grading scale of 1 to 6) and takes 3 - 4 hours to complete. Entry point is by the bridge over the Mohaka River, about 5 km along Pakaututu Road from the Makahu Road turnoff. A track leads to the left from the Puketitiri side of the bridge down to an entry point to the river.
A second option for a short rafting trip is from the end of Makahu Road to the bridge on Pakaututu road. This section has Grade 2 rapids and takes 2 - 3 hours to complete. Access to the river from the Mangatutu Hot springs is difficult but feasible.
With the wealth of tramping, fishing, swimming and rafting opportunities that are within the vicinity, Robson's lodge is ideally located for groups who wish to partake in a range of outdoor activities.
Rafting the Ngaruroro River is a popular wilderness experience. Commercial and private groups use Kuripapango as an exit or entrance point to the river, which is usually rafted in two sections.
The upper river, from Boyd Hut in the Kaimanawa Forest Park to Kuripapango, is a 3 - 4 day trip through the remote country of the Kaimanawa and Kaweka Forest Parks. The rapids are not technically difficult (generally Grade 2 on the NZ Canoeing Association’s grading scale of 1 to 6).
A popular short rafting excursion at Kuripapango itself is to travel the Ngaruroro River’s “Oxbow”, putting in at the Cameron Carpark and pulling out at Kuripapango. There are Grade 2 rapids along this scenic stretch of the river.
From Kuripapango downriver is a 1 - 2 day trip, initially through remote gorge country (Grade 2 and 3 rapids), then through farmland (Grade 1 and 2 rapids) to Whanawhana Road.
There are lots of opportunities to enjoy a swim in glorious surroundings throughouot the park. The popular swimming areas are Kuripapango campsite and along Mohaka, Makino, and Ngaruroro Rivers. This is back country swimming at its best, but be aware of river flows and currents.