History and culture
Flowing through the Okere Falls Scenic Reserve, which is rich in resources, the Kaituna River has been highly valued by the people of the area for centuries.
This reserve has significant Maori cultural and spiritual value.
The river name ‘Kaituna’ (kai = food, tuna = eels) reveals much about its significance as a food source. Below the four main waterfalls are numerous large eel holes. Further down the river, whitebait were caught in great numbers, koura (freshwater crayfish) were another local delicacy.
Innumerable battles have been fought on its shores to guard the important food sources.
The river was the site of New Zealand's first hydro-electic power station.
It is the traditional river of Ngati Pikiao, who have made their home here for many years. In 1984, the Waitangi Tribunal confirmed Ngati Pikiao as the traditional owners of the river.
Drive out of Rotorua on SH 30 towards Whakatane or the Airport. At turn off go straight ahead on SH 33 towards Tauranga. Trout Pool road is on the left after 8 km.
Know before you go
Stop the spread of Rotorua pest fish brochure. View larger (PDF, 1,110K)
Dangerously strong currents and waterfalls. Please keep to the track.
Stop the spread and keep Rotorua lakes free of pest fish
Report any sightings of koi carp (3-70 cm) or catfish (3-40 cm). Other fish of particular concern are rudd and gambusia.
You can help by photographing any specimens caught and forwarding to your local DOC office and by following Check Clean Dry protocols.
Invasive species are a problem because they reduce water quality and can compete with native species and trout.
For further information, or to report suspicious fish, contact your local DOC office or phone 0800 DOC HOT.