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Public Access to RiversTe tomonga tūmatanui ki ngā awa

People are able to enjoy a wide range of activities on our rivers and this page has a guide to access gates and how to care for the environment.

River Access

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.

Our river access points are open sunrise to sunset, and locked at night to reduce vandalism and accidents.

Access Points

Listed below are rivers and their public access points. The maps also show access points.

Since 1996 the Regional Council 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 the Regional Council.

  • 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 the Regional Council 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.

Tutaekuri River

Access points:  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. 

Ngaruroro River

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.

Esk River

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. the Regional Council maintains stopbanks alongside the river. The Domain is managed by Hastings District Council.

Tukituki River

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.

The Tuki Tuki Trail is a network of trails for walkers and bikers, situated in Central Hawkes Bay between the townships of Waipukurau & Waipawa. It offers a wide variety of trails and tracks along the beautiful Tuki Tuki river. Find out more on the Tukituki Trails website.

Waipawa River

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. 

Heretaunga Plains Access Points

PubAcc RiversAccessHP

1. Waitangi at Ngaruroro River Mouth 9.   Carrick Road, off Nichol Rd
 2 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

PubAcc RiversAccessRP

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



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