Please note that changes to the river this year has resulted in some strong currents and drops off and caution is recommended.

Swimming is prohibited at the Kahikatea camping ground due to unstable cliffs.

A refreshing dip in the Pohangina River at Tōtara Reserve’s Kererū camping ground is a favourite summer activity for locals and visitors alike. Stretching along the floor of the Pohangina Valley, this swimming or water play spot offers roomy expanses of riverside beach and a mixture of pools and tumbling riffles.

Please remember that while our rivers are great natural playgrounds, they can be unpredictable. Be mindful of potential risks like strong currents, sudden drop-offs or underwater objects before jumping in.

Other factors to keep in mind include the impact of rainfall and low flows. Rainfall can result in run-off upstream that may cause short-term drops in water quality at the Reserve. As such, it is recommended people avoid contact recreation during and immediately after rainfall until the water is visibly clear again. Also if musty smelling, black slimy mat-like growths are observed on river bed stones during low river flows, it is safest to avoid using the river.

Every summer, Horizons Regional Council monitors water quality for recreational purposes at this site. Check this page between 1 November and 30 April for weekly results that can help inform your decision on whether to swim here.