Opuiaki River

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Opuiaki River
Country New Zealand
Basin features
Main source Mamaku Plateau
River mouth Wairoa River
Physical characteristics
Length 24 km (15 mi)

The Opuiaki River is a river of the Bay of Plenty Region of New Zealand's North Island. It flows north from the Mamaku Plateau into Lake McLaren, to reach the Wairoa River 15 kilometres (9 mi) southwest of Tauranga.[1] The river contributes to the Kaimai Hydro power scheme built in the 1980s. A dam was built up hill from where the Ngatuhoa Lodge is now located. From the dam a tunnel was dug,which channels the water into the Ngatuhoa Stream, where it enters just above another dam built there. Provisions are made to maintain some flow in both streams. Digging the tunnel was a challenging operation due to the geology of the area, formed by volcanic activity from various volcanoes, with clay and other sediment in between. Artesian waters also flow between the layers of rock and contribute to the flow of the streams in the area.

The Opuiaki River includes one of the best hidden gems in the Kaimai Ranges, the Te Rere I Oturu Falls.

Te Rere I Oturu Falls

The Te Rere I Oturu Falls are located in the Opuiaki River[1], Kaimai Ranges, New Zealand with the following coordinates: 37° 55' 34.89" S 175° 59' 55.38" E. The name is based on a legend about a member of the Ngati Ranginui hapu.[2]. His name was Oturu and while being pursued by members of his tribe, he jumped from the falls. The falls are about 25 metres (82 ft) wide and 40 metres (130 ft) high. The Opuiaki river is mainly rain-fed and the flow can change rapidly during and immediately after a tropical downpour.[3]. The falls can be reached via hiking tracks starting at the Ngatuhoa Lodge. A gravel forestry road runs passed at some distance, from where a hiking track leads to the falls. The river runs through, and is part of, the Opuiaki Ecological Area, created for the protection of native flora and fauna. The Department of Conservation (DOC) carries out pest control and breeding programs, including the Kokako, a native bird listed as an endangered species.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Place Name Detail: Opuiaki River". New Zealand Geographic Placenames Database. Land Information New Zealand. Retrieved 2010-04-23. 

Coordinates: 37°49′14″S 176°02′21″E / 37.820580°S 176.039294°E / -37.820580; 176.039294