River areas in Hawke's Bay are great places for water sports, picnics, horse-riding, trail biking, mountain biking, whitebaiting and fishing. In a hot Hawke's Bay summer, locals seek out the shady places under the flood protection willows alongside the rivers.
Since 1996 HBRC has enhanced the accessible areas by improving entrances, providing picnic facilities and establishing areas and trails for activities such as trail biking and horse riding. Vehicle access is through a single point for security and ease of management but you can walk right through the river systems and there are a number of marked stiles over fences. Horse jumps are located in popular riding areas. HB Cycle Trails make use of many of these areas on the Heretaunga Plains providing excellent views from the top of stopbanks.
Environmental Care Code
Enjoy your time at the river and leave it as you found it for others to enjoy.
We work hard to keep facilities tidy, but the cost of clearing dumped rubbish, car bodies and damaged facilities falls on the whole community. People found causing any damage will be prosecuted and if you see any illegal activity please notify the Police or HBRC.
- Do not dump rubbish - increasingly we are removing bins to reduce pest and nuisance problems. It's easy to take your waste home with you to recycle or put in the domestic waste collection.
- Only light fires in the barbecues provided and take great care when it's very dry.
- Don't damage trees, gates or fences, tables or barbecues.
- Camping is not permitted on HBRC owned river side reserves, including ALL river public access points, because of the risks of flooding - rivers can rise quickly and unexpectedly.
- Keep vehicles to designated tracks when on stopbanks.
- Please report any damage, dumping or burning of car bodies to Police.
- Some areas are leased for grazing, please keep clear of stock.
Access points: Guppy Road, Omaranui Road, Springfield Road, Hakowhai, Dartmoor, Mangaone, HB Cycle Trails.
The Tutaekuri starts deep in the Kaweka Ranges. Before the earthquake in 1931, it used to flow out through Ahuriri Estuary behind Napier Hill but now has a common opening with the Ngaruroro.
Access points: Waitangi, Pakowhai, Gilbertson Road, Ormond Road, Carrick Road, Omahu, Maraekakaho, Ohiti, HB Cycle Trails. The river flows from the Kaweka Ranges and supplies water to the Heretaunga Plains underground aquifer through its gravel beds between Maraekakaho and Fernhill. The aquifer supplies water for both Napier and Hastings cities, and many farmers and growers use this water to irrigate crops.
Clive (Ngaruroro) River
Access points: Clive Bridge, entry between the 2 bridges, HB Cycle Trails (connecting to Hastings i-Way). Horse trail to East Clive.
The Clive River is a remnant of the original course of the Ngaruroro River before the flood control diversion works were completed in 1969. The Clive connects with the Raupare and Karamu Streams and has a huge tributary area across the Heretaunga Plains, including draining rainwater from all of Hastings and Havelock North.
The Tutaekuri, Ngaruroro and Clive Rivers share a common estuarine river mouth which provides good feeding and nesting areas for migratory birds - ideal for birdwatching! Just watch where you put your feet when walking on the gravel beach.
Pakowhai Country Park
Access Points: Pakowhai Road, HB Cycle Trails.
Alongside the Raupare Stream on the southern side of the Chesterhope Bridge on Pakowhai Road between Napier and Hastings is the Pakowhai Country Park. This popular recreation area is situated on the former bed of the Ngaruroro River which was diverted in 1969 to its new course 500 metres north.
Access Points: Esk Domain, SH5. No camping permitted in Domain.
The Esk River (20 minutes north of Napier alongside SH5 to Taupo) is an attractive river, popular for swimming, fishing and whitebaiting. The Domain is a popular picnic site. HBRC maintains stopbanks alongside the river. The Domain is managed by Hastings District Council.
Access points: Walker Rd, Ford Rd, Lindsay Rd, Waipukurau Township, Pukeora, Ongaonga Rd, Burnside Rd (Lower Tukituki access points are located on the Heretaunga Plains).
The Tukituki is one of the two major rivers flowing across the Ruataniwha Plains in Central Hawke's Bay. The river flows 110km north and east from the Ruahine Ranges where the headwaters start in the same hills as the Manawatu River. The river provides water for farms and orchards from Central Hawke's Bay through to the eastern corner of the Heretaunga Plains. During the 1880's when farming was developing, barges used to travel down the river carrying wool from Waipawa to deliver to lighters off the coast of Haumoana.
Access points: Walker Rd, Waipawa Township, Stockade Rd, Plantation Rd, SH50.
The Waipawa River is the largest river crossing the Ruataniwha Plains. Its source is in the Ruahine Ranges and it runs north of and parallel to the Tukituki River before joining it downstream of Waipukurau. The vast gravel braided river system supplies much of the water for surrounding rural needs.
|1. Waitangi at Ngaruroro River Mouth||9. Carrick Road, off Nichol Rd|
|2. End of Guppy Road||10. Omahu/Fernhill|
|3. Omarunui Road||11. Ohiti|
|4. Hakowhai||12. Maraekakaho|
|5. Kaipapa||13. Clive estuary|
|6. Dartmoor||14. Tukituki River Mouth|
|7. Chesterhope Bridge, Pakowhai Road||15. Tennant Road|
|8. Ormond Road, Twyford||16. River Road|
Ruataniwha Plains Access Points
|1. Walker Road||9. Waipukurau Township|
|2. End of Tapairu Road||10. Lindsay Road|
|3. Waipawa Township||11. Pukeora|
|4. Stockade Road||12. Ashcott Road|
|5. Tikokino Road||13. Ashcott Road|
|6. Plantation Road||14. OngaOnga Road|
|7. State Highway 50||15. Burnside Road|
|8. Ford Road, Waipukurau||16. Burnside Bridge|