Fishing and Hunting in the Ruapehu
Ruapehu rivers provide very productive fly fishing, perhaps because the runoff from the snow and glaciers of Mt Ruapehu creates fast-running rivers with such crystal clear waters.
The Manganui O Te Ao. Commonly considered to be the best in the region, the Manganui O Te Ao draws anglers from far and wide. It is rated as 1 of 9 nationally important North Island fisheries, being of outstanding scenic and recreational value. Rising on the western slopes of Mt Ruapehu, it meets the Whanganui River 13 km above Pipiriki.
The river’s pure water, abundant insect life, good boulder cover, deep pools and overhanging bush all contribute to producing both brown and rainbow trout of impressive sizes, from 1.5 kg to over 3.5kg. The river also supports rare blue duck (Whio) which attract birders from around the world.
The Department of Conservation maintains a selection of hunting grounds around the Ruapehu and Tongariro regions including Tongariro National Park, Whanganui National Park, Kaimanawa Forest Park, Erua Forest and Lake Taupo Lakeshore Reserve. Many of these are less than an hour’s drive from Ohakune and the high number of logging tracks in the area make this one of the most accessible regions for landing large trophy animals in the North Island.
Herds of wild deer, pigs and goats can be found across the region and the Kaimanawa Forest Park is home to the only wild herd of sika deer in the southern hemisphere. Ducks and geese can be found concentrated around the Waimarino area and pheasant and quail can be found in the coastal areas around Whanganui, around an hour and a half from Ohakune.
A permit is required by anyone using a rifle or bow to hunt on land managed by the Department of Conservation. Permits are free and can be obtained online or from the Department of Conservation's Taupo-nui-a-Tia or Ruapehu area offices. For the restricted areas of Opepe Scenic and Historic Reserves, Pukepoto Ecological Area and Waituhi/Kuratau Scenic Reserve permits must be obtained from the area offices as these are not available online. Hunters are allowed to take hunting dogs (under permit) into selected reserves but must observe DOC rules. Details of permits and regulations as well as more information on hunting in the Ohakune region can be found on the DOC website.