The Pohangina Valley, named after the river that flows through it, is about 50 Kilometers (30 Miles) long, and has been for a long time a beef and sheep area. In later years, deer have become more prominent, with several major farm blocks given over to it. Dairying has always been here, although not as prominent now as sheep and beef. There are very few areas of land that are cropped until you are south of near Raumai. There is now a small area of wine growing.
There is a picturesque round trip from Palmerston North, easily achievable in half a day. The route heads out to Ashhurst 15km East of Palmerston North. Ashhurst is a small country town of about 3500 people. The people of Ashhurst enjoy a quiet and peaceful lifestyle, friendly neighbours, and beautiful scenery of the Ruahine Ranges and surrounding countryside. Ashhurst is the gateway to the Pohangina Valley, and also the East Coast being situated very close to the Manawatu Gorge.
Leave Ashhurst and head east 10km and you have the option of taking the Pohangina Valley East Road or continuing straight ahead on the Pohangina Valley West Rd. The Pohangina Valley West Road goes through the historical settlement of Pohangina itself.
Both routes have great historical and natural attractions and lead you to the beautiful Totara Reserve. This reserve now has an area of some 348 hectares ranging from river flats to high hills of some 450 to 600 meters. There are two distinctive areas within the reserve, the river flats and the hills and valleys with their associated podocarp forests. The predominate forest trees include Totara, matai, rimu, kahikatea and black beech.
Along the journey there are opportunities to stop at cafes and bars, take short walks in both the Totara Reserve and the Pohangina Scenic Reserve, and absorb interesting historical points that are well signposted. There are many variations to explore, all are beautiful adventures through classic rural New Zealand.
Beehive Creek Walkway
A Pohangina Valley track passing through native bush, creekbed and farmland. The track is 3.5 kilometres long, and takes approximately 1.5 hours.
The native bush encountered on the trail is some of the last remaining beech forest in the Manawatu plains area and has been fenced off for protection. Tui, native pigeon, fantail and kingfisher can be seen and heard. Native lizards and insects are also found along the track.
The track is located about 10 minutes north of Pohangina on Pohangina Valley West Road.