Rafting the Mohaka travelling via the Thermal Highway

State highway 5 the Gate way to Hawkes Bay takes you past Mohaka Rafting Base

At Mohaka Rating we like to think we give guests a great time on the water. But the rafting is only part of the journey that we need to look after.

The rest of the day or days – getting to our base and then getting home, or rejoining your journey is a big part of the experience. Once you are with us we will take you for a rafting journey down into the Mohaka valley so that you can get a look at the spectacular ranges and hills from a totally different perspective.

To come on a rafting trip you need to travel State Highway 5 connecting Taupo and Napier which is part of the Thermal Highway. This route will take you through some stunning scenic changes while you drive, and may even take you through a dramatic climate change as well - so be ready.

This route is the one that takes you right past our Base (no need to detour). It has great history – early Maori used it as a trail to reach the coast from Taupo collecting food on the way and Hawke's Bay Maori used it as a trail to come inland to gather food.

The trail was also used by warring groups when disputes broke out and it is this activity that, unfortunately, has created most of the stories and historical writings about the area.

Then Europeans used the route to access the inland areas taking days to reach Taupo from Napier. Early Settlers stopped at the lake at Te Pohue. The hot pools at the Tarawera, and at the Rangateiki tavern beside the Rangateiki river.

Travelers still travel along the valley of the Waipunga river that boasts a spectacular water fall that is well worth a visit. Visit the Tarawera Cafe on your way or if you are in a campervan or mobile home stay the night while you relax in this bush clad valley – or, stay at our base if you wish.

While you travel out to see us along State Highway 5 over the 2 ranges and through the cuttings, have a think what it would look like to view the scenery from the bottom of the gullies and valleys.

Take time to pause and imagine the forces that go into creating the valleys. Take time to stop in the pull-overs and lookouts to see the sights on offer. We will take you down there, and let you feel the power that created what you saw while traveling out to see us.

On the grade 3 we take you along 20 kilometers of river through gorges and canyons and across fault lines and into a goldmine that you will never see from the road. So, to enhance the occasion, take your time traveling and explore the areas along the road.

The road you will travel, either in your own vehicle, or by bus is not on the usual tourist trail and is not well documented or quite as well known as the main tourist routes. But it is spectacular and different.

You can be some of the first to view these trails and maybe report to the world what you have found. Generally this road has not been modernised or upgraded enough to loose or hide the fact that it follows the route taken by early Moari and early European Settlers.

So while you travel remember to put yourself in the feet of early travelers and think what it would have been like traveling these routes on foot, then on horse back, then by carriage, and then early motor car.

Where you now travel over flat ground and through massive cuttings and over bridges early peoples zigged and zagged their way back and forth for hours and days through dense bush.

Ask yourself why people wanted , or needed, to travel these roads. Even with todays developments the beauty remains – sometimes it is hard to find. Take your time, look around, and ask people like our guides what this country was like.

If you are in Camper-vans, or motor-homes, or like to camp out - search for DoC camp grounds on the Mohaka River.

If you feel the day is going too fast or you really need to relax stay the night at our neighbours “Timeout” and restart the journey next day – you can even do this if you are on a bus.

Just let us know. We can collect you from Te Pohue where the main buses stop on request.

Enjoy your Trip

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