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Travel Pack Information

Closed railway track Ohura district Closed railway track Ohura district
Mt Taranaki at dusk Mt Taranaki at dusk
  • Taringamotu brief history of totara sawmilling, bush tramways and the forestry industry in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. “Tringamoot”: the story of Taringamotu Totara Sawmills Ltd in the Taringamotu Valley. HD9768.N45 AND  Ken Anderson and Rod Cooke
  • Taringamotu Maori cemetery Cemetery
  • Ohura Waterfalls, the river Ohura is a tributary of the Wanganui River. Photograph of the Middle Falls (waterfall) on the Ohura River, a tributary of the Whanganui River. Taken by the studio of William James Harding, Whanganui. Source of descriptive information – Negative register and inscriptions on negative. Waterfall identified by Library client. Middle falls on Ohura River, a tributary of the Whanganui River Quantity: 1 b&w original negative(s). OHURA and MATIERE history in photographs
  • Itinerary can be reversed with completion in Taumarunui. Stratford to Taupo is 3 hours 35 minutes. Stratford to Wellington is 4 hours.
  • History of The Cream Track – Aotuhia to Whanganui River. There has often been interest expressed in being able to access the Whanganui river and all the tracks, jet boating & other activities available in the Whanganui National Park and so it came to be with the Tahuroa Road ( cream track) – a surveyed road. This was the access track that was formed for the early settlers to settle Aotuhia & surrounding area in the early 1900 s – they bought their provisions up river from Wanganui to the landing at the junction of the Tangarakau & Whanganui rivers in the ( Hattricks) river boats of the time.

It was probably a significant track to Maori in pre European times as there are several, well defined in history, trails used to enable the people to move from Nth Taranaki/Waikato thru to Wanganui/Manawatu etc – the track passes nearby to Mataiwhetu village which was a significant settlement in the area – along with many smaller Kainga up and down the Tangarakau & Whanganui rivers. Rev Richard Taylor passed through here in the 1860,s on several occasions and this is well documented in historical writings. So there is a long history of pre European settlement.

  • Taranaki Daily News: 2018-01-24 – The pioneering spirit of the back country Aotuhia Station and the Murphy family
  • Stuff July 10, 2015, Michelle Duff journalist reported on Ohura and the journey a photographer took to capture the lives of the people continuing to call Ohura home… “As a kindness, you could say Ohura is off the beaten track. Put more bluntly,  it’s in the middle of nowhere.  A town once known for its coal mining, Ohura can be found about 40km off State Highway 4, heading towards Taumarunui in the heart of the King Country. Its inhabitants number 150, down from around 650 during its mining heyday. But the last mine closed in the 1970s and Ohura now is marked by empty streets and shops, with just a few people choosing to make the town their home.  Taranaki photographer Tony Carter stumbled upon the township one foggy morning, and something about the near-abandoned village in the valley of the Waitewhena Stream made him want to know more.  Who were the people who chose to make Ohura their home? To live  such solitary lives, away from the trappings of the modern world?”  To continue reading join the Stuff community of readers.
  • Walks Te Maire Track. Te Maire Loop Track: Whanganui National Park, Whanganui region. Te Maire track is a 2 hour walk (rated: easy) that starts with a suspension bridge, and loops around a mosaic of native trees including rimu, miro, totara, kahikatea, matai, rewarewa, hinau and tawa. The Department of Conservation have closed the track due to damage to the swing bridge.  Check the website for up to date information.

As with all quoted articles remember to continue reading online, buy a subscription to support the service provided by the online publications.  Without them we would all be poorer.

Adventure journeys within New Zealand.  Highly recommended is a digital subscription to Wilderness magazine Wilderness New Zealand’s Tramping, Hiking, Camping & Outdoors.

 

Kayaking the Ohura River

A multi-day river journey that penetrates a wilderness of gorges, waterfalls, rapids and unbroken tracts of lowland forest – all of it steeped in culture and history.

Paddlers usually start from Taumarunui at Ngahuinga (Cherry Grove Domain), at the Whanganui/Ongarue confluence. Ohinepane offers an alternative launch spot 22 km downstream from Taumarunui, accessed from River Road (SH43).

The river passes Poukaria campsite, and then on to Maharanui campsite. A short paddle up the Ohura River, not long before Maharanui, is rewarded with views of Ohura Falls.

The journey continues downstream to Whakahoro, a former riverboat landing. There’s a great campsite on a big grassy area, also the Blue Duck Café nearby. Conservation project, Kia Whārite, focuses on protecting kiwi and whio habitats in the forests and streams around here. As the last road access before Pipiriki, 88kmdown river, Whakahoro is also a popular entry point for the Whanganui Journey.

The river continues past a number of riverside campsites to John Coull Hut. The 24-bunk hut sits on a terrace, backed by tall rata, rimu and rewarewa trees in the river’s stunning middle reaches. Allow time to chill on the huge deck, especially at dusk when kiwi might call and long-tailed bats could flit by. There’s also a campsite here.

Further on is an excellent side trip to the Bridge to Nowhere – a 40 minutes walk from the old Mangapurua riverboat landing. The massive concrete bridge is literally in the middle of nowhere. It was built for the long-abandoned Mangapurua farming settlement, which soldiers/settlers tried but failed to establish in this isolated, steep, slip-prone country, following WW1. The old road is now a popular part of the Mountains to Sea Cycle Trail.

Further on, the Tieke Kainga marae is reached. A giant carved pou whenua here tells of the special marae/DOC partnership at the 20-bunk Tieke, where visitors are hosted by local hapu, descendants of Tamahaki. A traditional welcome is sometimes accorded to arrivals, and a stay here can be an opportunity to learn about the history of Tieke and marae tikanga (protocol).

From the marae, the journey continues before hitting the Ngaporo Rapid – a notorious rapid, which in 1940 claimed the riverboat Ohura, losing its load of livestock and three crewmen.

The river then leads to Pipiriki, a small, quiet village and the end of the journey.

 

The journey is worth it.

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