Things to do in Ohakune
CATCH THE BIG ONE
The Ruapehu region’s alpine waterways boast world-class wilderness fishing, with secluded locations and trophy potential luring even the most seasoned fishermen. The crystal clear waters that flow through the remote native bush, coupled with the promise of up to 3kg brown and rainbow trout, has anglers returning year after year. With secluded and sparsely trafficked locations, Ruapehu has a multitude of tranquil waterways to fish. The most well-known for good fishing include the Whanganui River, Whakapapa River, Manganui o te Ao River, Mangawhero River, Retaruke River, Ongarue River, and the Tokiharu and Waitaiki Streams.
The fishing season runs from 1st October through to May, though selected public areas such as the Ruatiti Domain (Manganui o te Ao river) and parts of the Mangawhero River are open year round. Visitors who want to go freshwater fishing will need a licence from Fish and Game New Zealand. Local guides are readily available to not only show visitors their favourite spots, but will also assist with licences and obtaining permission to cross private land where required. Sometimes a familiar face is all it takes!
The Manganui-o-tea-o River
A common spot on the Manganui-o-tea-o is the Ruatiti Domain, located 22kms west from Ohakune. This area is open year round for fishing.
The Whanganui River
In a remote backcountry setting, the Whanganui River and its tributaries provide top quality Brown and Rainbow trout fishing for intermediate to advanced anglers.
The upper and middle reaches of the Ongarue River provide excellent fly fishing waters. It’s clear waters run over a gravel and stone bed, with bankside vegetation providing great trout habitation.
The Whakapapa River, with its extremely clear waters and turbulent rapids, begin on the slopes of Mt Ruapehu before eventually joining on to the Whanganui River near Kakahi. The lower areas of the river are easier to navigate and most popular for fishing enthusiast with the fish count a lot higher than the upper sections of the river.
The Mangawhero River
The Mangawhero River begins on the western banks of Mt Ruapehu and runs through the township of Ohakune before eventually connecting with the Whangaehu River. The upper Mangawhero contains mostly Brown Trout from 1.5 kgs and access can be found from public land within Ohakune itself and off Burns Street.
Tokiahuru and Waitaiki Streams
Found in the Karioi State Forest, a short drive from Ohakune township on Mt Ruapehu’s southern slopes. These streams are characterized by clear, cold, fast water over graveled bottom with springs in the headwaters and vegetation to hold back the rainfall.
At the southern end of Lake Taupo is a short drive from most towns and villages in the Ruapehu region and is considered one of the best trout fishing rivers in the world.