Taranaki Rivers

All the Taranaki White Water River runs require recent rainfall, in the case of the steeper runs, Kiri and Mangorei this is very recent or continuing rainfall. Due to its larger catchment area the Waitara stays up for longer (a few days) after rainfall.

Access points for Google maps : https://goo.gl/maps/kMesLUUxsLS2


Normal Waitara run was from Hole in the Hedge to either Spargo Road (9.5kms) or Bertrand Road Bridge (12kms). Spargo Road is longer carry out (300m uphill) but the river is flat for 2.5kms between these two points.

Lower Waitara from Spargo Road down past Bertrand Road to Mamaku Road is grade II run.

Waitara guage is at : Waitara at Bertrand Road Look for 50+ cumecs

UPDATE: Hole in the Hedge - Access to the Manganui River. Access to the Manganui from the "Hole in the Hedge" is open again.

Access is also possible off Manganui Road,


The Lower Waiwhakaiho is a good grade II run with one grade III rapid near the start.

Rive Gauge : Waiwhakaiho Vickers Road

Good flow is more than 20 cumecs but can scrape down with less.

Run from Meeting of the Waters, take out options are Audrey Gale reserve, Just below the SH3 road bridge in the Valley, or continue to the Te Rewa Rewa bridge or the sea.

Mid and Upper Waiwhakaiho and Kai Auahi

The Mid Waiwhakaiho is an excellent Grade III run, the continuous nature of the rapids might make it grade IV when the level is up. Mid section is usually run from the Alfred Road bridge on the Kai Auhai Stream to the Meeting of the Waters, 8.7 kms with a drop of 120m.

River gauge: Waiwhakaiho Egmont Village

Good flows are from 18cumecs to 150+

The Upper sections require a bit more water (25+ on the gauge), the Kai Auahi Stream and Waiwhakaiho River are both good runs, the Waiwhakaiho has a section through a gorge with more bends so is slightly longer.

The drop is about 150m for both and length about 7kms to the confluence just upstream of the road bridge.

Kai Auahi / Kaiauai Report

When the upper Waiwhakaiho is too high for you to enjoy, check out the Kaiauai stream from the top of Hill Road. Awesome 3-3+ read and run river.

Access: Just before the end of Hill road is a 90 degree bend. Before the bend is a left turn track following a tailrace down to the river. short 200m through the gate, from the road.

River level: If it looks bony at the put in, it probably is.

If the river left take out rapid at Alfred road bridge has a kayak-able line down it, the river is good to go.

(the Mid was at 50 cm3 and dropping on the gauge when we chose to put on for the Kaiauai)

Description: As of July 2019, the river is clean of hazards. Every rapid we were able to read and run, and at every island / river split, we went left.

There is one large tree encroaching the main line of one drop but if the flow is high enough its easily avoidable to go around.

Take out rapid has a tree encroaching the rapid, but upon inspection the line is easily navigable.

Summary: A great 3+ read and run technical river, lasts 1-2 hours. Perfect for learning to lead on class 3 or training for the upper Waiwhakaiho or other grade 4 rivers in Taranaki.

Many chances to stop and wave play or use features for scouting, coaching and skill development.

Jonny Kennedy July 16th 2019


Run form Bristol Road to Hole in the Hedge (7.4kms) is a good class II - III run. Gauge is at : Manganui at Everett Park Look for 25+ cumecs. Note that access has been reopened at Hole in the Hedge. The new exit point off Manganui Road is also OK (same sharemilker).

The upper sections has been run from the Park boundary to SH3 but has a lot of overhanging vegetation and is not of the quality of the upper Waiwhakaiho, more just an exploration run.

Manganui Video

Hangatahua (Stony River)

Gauge at Mangatete Road Look for 1.8 -2.2

Continuous Grade IV

River bed changes often so the ideal level varies.

Make a visual judgement.


Mangorei Stream is great gorge run. Require a level of 10 to 20 cumecs.. Gauge on TRC website

Normal run is to put in at the Morgan Road bridge and take out at Scout Road, the river can be run to the confluence with Waiwhakaiho at Burgess Park but the last part from Scout Road is less interesting and grade II.

Length is about 8kms with a drop of 160m. (Morgan to Scout)

Grade IV with the possibility of fallen trees.

Kiri Stream

From Carrington Road to Kirihau Road.

5.8 Kms, Drop 230m, Continuous Grade IV.

Requires steady rain at 5mm/hour for 2 or more hours on the Pouakai Range.

This is a narrow gorge with over hanging trees and usually a couple of fallen trees to negotiate.

Lower section joins Oakura River less gradient, grade III.

Guage on Oakura is river level only and new, we need to get some feedback on what is a good level. My estimate is that 1.5 should mean a good run but the guage is an hour downstream of the Carrington Rd put in so it needs to be still raining.

Te Henui Stream

Grade 2 Run with a tunnel and double weir feature on the edge of town

At high flows check the weir before running the tunnel !!

Baker Road to Junction Road - 8.1 kms

Junction Road to Sea - 4.3 kms

The Waiongana Stream

Description from Tim Hunter.

-Put in at SH3a bridge, inbetween Lepperton and Inglewood. Park at the rest stop, cross bridge and get in on river right under bridge.

-Takeout is on river right at bridge in Lepperton

-Have run at 1.6mtrs, and now 2.1mtrs. 2.1 is the sweet spot, don't think you'd want more water as it'd wash out. So anywhere between 1.6 and 2.1mtrs is good.

-There is a few hazards such as downed trees, over hanging trees and alot of foliage on river banks. Everything is passable.

-Stream is read and run, no nasty holes, but at 2.1 mtrs there is one small cave on river right that gets half submerged. Not a major hazard but just something to be mindful of. The clip in the vid where I roll, the cave is just on river right.

-There is a weir, it can be run or there is a fish ladder down river right as a bypass to pushing through the weir wave.

Run can take anywhere between 1 to 2 hours. Shuttle is only 10 min drive.

Edit: I reckon this run would be a class 2 at the lower to mid range and a class 2+ at full flow.

Get out there an enjoy. Video of stream'

Waiongana at SH3a


Normanby Weir

Site of the power station, the Waingongoro River has a large weir to provide the head for the hydro station. This is used for dam dropping and there is a loop of river that returns to the power station outflow. Waingongaro Guage