Nohoanga provide all Ngāi Tahu with an opportunity to experience the landscape as their tīpuna did and to rekindle the traditional practices of gathering food and other natural resources.

The term nohoanga (literally meaning a place to sit) traditionally refers to the seasonal occupation sites which were an integral part of the mobile lifestyle of Ngāi Tahu whānui as they moved around Te Waipounamu in pursuit of food and other natural resources.

This traditional concept has been given contemporary effect as a result of the Ngāi Tahu Claim Settlement through the allocation of specific ‘camping’ sites to support mahinga kai activities.

Under the Ngāi Tahu Claims Settlement Act 1998, nohoanga sites are specific areas of Crown owned land adjacent to lakeshores or riverbanks, which can be used to facilitate the gathering of food and other natural resources by Ngāi Tahu whānui. They are usually one hectare in size.

Ngāi Tahu whānui have temporary, but exclusive rights to occupy these sites between the middle of August and the end of April each year.

There are 72 allocated nohoanga sites within Te Waipounamu. Not all of these sites are available for use. Please contact: 0800 NOHOANGA (0800 664 62642), [email protected]; or visit our website: for more information.

2Procedure for use of nohoanga

Nohoanga are for the exclusive use of Ngāi Tahu whānui. For fairness and environmental reasons, the use of nohoanga sites is by authorisation only and administered by Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu. See below for procedure for authorisation:

  1. Contact Sophie McGregor on 0800 nohoanga (0800 664 62642) or [email protected] at least 10 working days before you wish to use a nohoanga site
  2. Provide basic details (name, address, contact numbers, vehicle registration number, and number of people you wish to take etc)
  3. NB: random checks will be done to ensure that those applying for the authorisation are entitled to do so and that any past use has been consistent with the conditions of the authorisation
  4. If the site is available you will be sent an authorisation (by post, fax or email) before you leave for the nohoanga site; then
  5. Return the authorisation back to us within 10 days (signed and with the relevant sections completed) following your departure from the nohoanga site.

New sites available for use – Waianakarua (Glencoe Reserve), Otago

Waianakarua (Glencoe Reserve) nohoanga is located just west of Herbert, approximately 30 minutes south of Ōamaru. From Herbert township on State Highway 1, take Cullen Street to Monk Street, then head south to the end of Monk Street and west onto Glencoe Road. Follow Glencoe Road, it will run onto Tulliemet Road. Turn left at Camp Iona and follow the gravel road to the nohoanga site, which is located on top of the Department of Conservation (DoC) camping site.

Physical description

  • The nohoanga site takes in half of an existing DoC camping area.
  • The nohoanga site is not large, but it is flat and well-sheltered. In general, the site is an excellent area for camping
  • The site has excellent two wheel drive vehicle access right onto the site and is suitable for caravan and campervan use. All vehicles should be parked on the nohoanga site.

Facilities and services
Nohoanga site users have permission to use the toilets and water located on the adjoining DoC reserve. As nohoanga site users will be sharing these facilities with the public, consideration should be shown at all times in accordance with the general information sheet.
Nohoanga site users must take all rubbish away with them.

Site restrictions

  • No fires permitted
  • Although dogs are permitted on this site, this is in accordance with general dog control by-laws set by the Waitaki District Council, which state:
  • Adequately confine and/or secure animal at night
  • At all other times keep animals confined or under adequate control and supervision
  • Bitches in season must be confined
  • Remove all faeces immediately.

Note that by using the Waianakarua (Glencoe Reserve) nohoanga site you are agreeing to these conditions.

Waianakarua (Glencoe Reserve).

Waianakarua (Glencoe Reserve).

New sites available for use – Ahuriri River, South Canterbury

The Ahuriri River nohoanga is located just off State Highway 8 (Twizel-Ōmārama Road), north of Ōmārama and on the north side of the Ahuriri River. The turnoff to the site is directly opposite Ben Omar Road.

Physical description
The Ahuriri River nohoanga is a flat and open space, suitable for both tenting and campervans. Some shade is provided by, tree cover. A public dirt road runs through the nohoanga site, therefore the site may be prone to dust in drier months. There are no markers or signage. The site has great vehicle access for all vehicle types. Users must keep the road clear.

Facilities and services
This nohoanga has a long drop toilet on site. There are no other facilities and no water, but there is good cell phone coverage. Nohoanga site users are required to provide their own water supplies and must take all rubbish away with them.

Site restrictions

  • No domestic animals
  • Open fires may or may not be permitted, depending on the season. Please contact the DoC area office in Twizel to check whether a permit is required
  • Gas fires are permitted all year around

Note that by using the Ahuriri nohoanga site you are agreeing to these conditions.

Ahuriri River site.

Ahuriri River site.

New sites available for use – Whakarukumoana (Lake McGregor), South Canterbury

From the Lake Tekapō township, travel towards Twizel on SH8 and turn off into the Godley Peaks Road. Follow the gravel road for eight or nine kilometres and take the second turn on the left. From the turnoff, the site is about a kilometre further at the south end of Lake McGregor. The site is on the opposite of the fence from the public camping site.

Physical description
The nohoanga site is situated adjacent to an existing camping area, on the edge of Whakarukumoana (Lake McGregor). The site is quite flat and is bordered by the lake, road and fence of the public camp site. The site is large, mostly flat and suitable for tenting and campervans/caravans. The site is not marked or signed. There is no shade on site. The site has excellent vehicle access and is suitable for campervans and caravans. There is plenty of room to park vehicles on the site.

Facilities and services
Some facilities exist at this site, including toilets, which are unlocked at the end of September and locked-up on 1 May. There is a designated area for solar showers (get water out of the creek). People must pay $5 daily per person to the camping committee for the use of these facilities. There is an honesty box onsite. There is no water onsite so users will need to bring their own. There is limited cell phone coverage. Nohoanga site users must take all rubbish away with them.

Site restrictions
Lake McGregor is a wildlife refuge. Because of this there are a number of restrictions to provide for the protection of the wildlife as follows:

  • No domestic animals are allowed at the site
  • No firearms
  • No windsurfing
  • No powerboats or sail boats.

Permits are required for open fires and can be obtained from the local DoC office, however, the lighting of open fires may often be completely banned.
Alternative means of cooking, such as gas, should be used. Northwest winds in the Mackenzie Basin can be strong. Open fires should not be lit during strong winds due to increased fire risk.

People should also abide by any other signage or directions given by DoC staff.

Note that by using the Whakarukumoana (Lake McGregor) nohoanga site you are agreeing to these conditions.

Please contact 0800 NOHOANGA (0800 664 62642), or visit our website for more information about nohoanga.

Whakarukumoana (Lake McGregor).

Whakarukumoana (Lake McGregor).

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