Auckland/Waikato Reel Life August 2019

Awakino gorge will close the tunnel and open angler access

The initial consultation about safety improvements to the Awakino Gorge Highway with the NZ Transport Agency did not go well.

Staff were shocked to see one of the initial options included “realigning the river” and follow up questions included “what mitigation would you like to see if we remove bends and pools”.   

Staff did agree something needed to be done to improve the very dangerous section of the Awakino Gorge that includes the iconic but scary tunnel.

Above Right: The proposed upgrade of the Awakino Gorge Highway.

If you have ever fished this section of the river you know it is beautiful, but you often risk your life trying to pull on or off the highway to get to the river. 

Fortunately, the preferred option now includes two bridges and will not impact the river. 

The finished project will retain the old road as a walking trail and have a parking area for angler access.  

The only negative part of the project will be the closure of the tunnel but that’s a minor price to pay for improved access.  

If you see diggers working alongside the Awakino over the next year rest assured this is a project Fish & Game approves of. 

Stone Jug road will reopen for angler access

AWRL02Aug20

Map of new access (red dashed line).

Fish & Game staff are excited to announce the reopening of the Stone Jug Road access to the lower Whakapapa River. 

After a decade of closure Stone Jug Road will reopen for the 2019-20 season. 

The river was closed over a decade ago when the property at the end of Stone Jug Road was sold and the title included the riverbed.

The new walking access will allow anglers to park at the end of Stone Jug Road and follow the track down the hill and across the paddock (downriver) that was previously closed. 

Anglers can also continue fishing upstream from Te Rena Road (Kakahi Landing). 

The new access opens the lower 3 km of the Whakapapa River to anglers.

Adam Daniels, Auckland/Waikato Fish & Game Officer.