Makatote River

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Makatote River
Country New Zealand
Main source Mount Ruapehu
River mouth Manganui o te Ao River
Physical characteristics
Length 30 kilometres (19 mi)

The Makatote River is a river of the centre of New Zealand's North Island.[1] It flows west from the slopes of Mount Ruapehu, and from the Hauhungatahi Wilderness Area,[2] before entering rough hill country, veering southwest and entering a gorge cut almost 100 m (330 ft) into the volcanic rocks.[2] It joins with the waters of several smaller streams to become the Manganui o te Ao River, part of the Whanganui River system.[3]

The river is part of a water conservation order catchment to protect indigenous fish including lamprey, longfinned eel, short-finned eel, common smelt, banded kokopu, short-jawed kokopu, koaro, torrentfish, redfinned bully, common bully, and Cran’s bully.[2] Trees in the gorge include rimu, matai and maire.[4] The main trees logged were rimu, matai, kahikatea, totara and miro.[5] The lowest 3 km (1.9 mi) of the river is monitored for its whio population.[6] A proposal to create a track to Te Kohatu waterfall was rejected as being inappropriate for a wilderness area.[7]

The river is spanned by the third largest railway viaduct in the country,[8] which is 79 m (259 ft) high.[9] SH4 (originally built by the railway for access to its construction sites)[4] crosses on a much lower bridge near the viaduct.[10]

Just to the north of the viaduct, the Makatote Tramway has a Category 2 listing by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust, with remnants of rails, skid sites, a log hauler, water pits and bogie wheels. In the 1930s Western Red Cedar and Lawson's Cypress were planted near the tramway by the State Forests Service as part of a wider experimental high-altitude planting programme.[5] Japanese Cedar, Douglas Fir, Ponderous Pine, Weymouth Pine and Sugar Pine were also considered for the experiment.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Place Name Detail: Makatote River". New Zealand Geographic Placenames Database. Land Information New Zealand. Retrieved 2010-04-21. 
  2. ^ a b c "Tongariro National Park Management Plan Te Kaupapa Whakahaere mo Te Papa Rēhia o Tongariro 2006 – 2016" (PDF). Department of Conservation. 2006. p. 67. 
  3. ^ "Makatote Viaduct, Manawatu-Wanganui". 1:50,000 NZ Topo Map. Retrieved 2016-06-23. 
  4. ^ a b "Makatote Viaduct | Heritage New Zealand Register no.7778". Retrieved 2016-06-23. 
  5. ^ a b "Makatote Tramway | Heritage New Zealand". Retrieved 2016-06-25. 
  6. ^ "Blue Duck (Whio), Hymenolaimus malacorhynchos Recovery Plan Threatened Species Recovery Plan Series No. 22" (PDF). Department of Conservation. 
  7. ^ "Tongariro/Taupo Conservancy recreation opportunities review Submissions analysis and decisions" (PDF). Department of Conservation. October 2004. p. 17. 
  8. ^ "Makatote Viaduct Tower Pier Underpinning" (PDF). Makatote Viaduct Information Sheet. Kiwirail. 2007. 
  9. ^ "A submission by ONTRACK for the New Zealand Engineering Excellence Awards 2007" (PDF). 
  10. ^ "Google Maps". Google Maps. Retrieved 2016-06-26. 
  11. ^ "Bush-shorn Lands.". Press. 1928-08-11. p. 16. Retrieved 2016-06-26. 

Coordinates: 39°16′10″S 175°21′41″E / 39.269351°S 175.361371°E / -39.269351; 175.361371External links[edit]