Tongariro River

The Tongariro River is a river in the North Island of New Zealand. It originates in the Central Plateau of the North Island where it is fed by numerous Tributaries (such as the Whitikau, Poutu, and Mangamawhitiwhiti streams) that flow off the surrounding hill ranges and mountains such as Mount Ruapehu .

It then winds its way north, through the township of Turangi before entering Lake Taupo via a number of river mouths. The minimum volume of water flowing down the lower Tongariro River ranges from approximately 16 m3/s (recorded at the upper rivers Poutu Intake) to 21 m3/s (recorded at the lower rivers Major Jones Pool). This volume can substantially increase due to catchment of rainfall by the surrounding mountains and hill ranges.

The Tongariro is classed as one of the best trout fishing rivers in the world, and part of its charm lies in its accessibility. New Zealand’s State Highway 1 follows the river for a number of kilometres providing anglers with easy access to the numerous pools and rapids. As many waterways in New Zealand are owned by the Crown, no one person has ownership of any stretch of water. For the cost of a Taupo Fishing Licence (NZ$75.50 for a 2006-2007 seasonal licence) anyone can fish the river. It is therefore not unusual to see locals fishing alongside overseas anglers or celebrities (who are usually out with a guide).

Pools on the Tongariro River are usually named after historical people who have fished the river (Major Jones Pool, Duchess Pool), or their geographic location (Birch Pool, Fence Pool, Redhut Pool). Floods have significantly altered the size and shape of many of these pools (such as in 2004 when the Breakaway Pool was completely lost due a change in the rivers direction), while others such as the Major Jones Pool have remained relatively unchanged in the last 50 years.

Source: Poutu Intake, Tongariro River at Turangi, Genesis Energy.