Pohangina River near Totara Reserve

Image: Philip Rickerby | Creative Commons


Pohangina Base is a former DOC field centre nestled in native bush above the western bank of the Pohangina River. It has bookable bunkrooms, a communal living space and picturesque surroundings.


Accommodation overview


  • Vehicle


  • Sole
  • Shared


  • Bookings

Bookings required


  • Heating - wood
  • Kitchen - fully equipped
  • Lighting
  • Shower - hot
  • Toilet - flush

About this lodge

Situated on the western bank of the Pohangina River, the lodge provides an ideal base for day trips into the Ruahine Forest Park via Takapari Road or to explore the Kahikatea Walk or Totara Reserve.

There are picnic tables on the grounds and access to the Pohangina River is a 15 minute drive away, via Piripiri bridge.

Note that the eastern boundary of the site is a high cliff; caution is required.


  • 5 bookable bunk rooms
  • Wood burner with firewood provided
  • Electric oven and refrigerator 
  • Hot showers
  • Flush toilets
  • Camping sites
  • Mattresses are provided but you will need to take your own linen

The open plan communal living area features kitchen (with refrigerator and stove), a dining area and a lounge area, all warmed by a wood burner.

Bunkrooms are available for sole occupancy. In total, there are 17 beds in five bunkrooms (three external, two internal).

Getting there

Pohangina Base is located on Pohangina Valley East Road, approximately 45 minutes drive from Palmerston North.

From Ashhurst, drive north along Pohangina Road, then turn right onto Pohangina Valley East Road. As you pass the Highland Youth Camp on your right, Pohangina Valley East Road veers off to the right. Stay on this road for approximately 12 km. Pohangina Base is located on the right approximately 1 km past Takapari Road.


Fees are paid per room (not per person), based on $20 per available bed-space, as follows:

  • 2-bed room: $40 per night 
  • 3-bed room: $60 per night 
  • 4-bed room: $80 per night 
  • 6-bed room: $120 per night 
  • whole complex: $270 per night (does not include campsite).


Kapiti Wellington Visitor Centre
Phone:   +64 4 384 7770
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Email:   wellingtonvc@doc.govt.nz
Address:   18 - 32 Manners Street
Postal Address:   PO Box 10420
The Terrace
Wellington 6143

Know before you go

The facilities are locked, using combination padlocks that can be tricky to operate. You must contact DOC to obtain current codes for locks before your stay, so you will need to allow time for this when planning and booking your visit.

There is no cell phone reception on site.

If you will be arriving after dark, take a flashlight so you can see the locks and turn on the power.

Contact the Wellington Visitor Centre for information or help with bookings.


Te Papaioea / Palmerston North Office
Phone:   +64 6 350 9700
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Email:   manawatu@doc.govt.nz
Address:   28 North Street
Palmerston North 4410
Postal Address:   Private Bag 11010
Manawatu Mail Centre
Palmerston North 4442
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