About Taumarunui

– in the Ruapehu District

St David’s provides bed and breakfast accommodation in Taumarunui in the heart of the Ruapehu Area offering stunning scenery and a host of activities to suit all tastes.

Taumarunui is on State Highway 4, in the the middle of the North Island at the junction of the Whanganui and Ongarue Rivers.


Origin of the Name Taumarunui

Taumaru: screen; nui: large. The story behind the name is that when the chief Pehi Turoa was dying he asked that a screen be erected to shade him from the sun. He died before the work was completed, with the words ‘taumaru nui’ on his lips.

Whanganui & Ongarue Rivers join
Taumarunui was originally a Maori settlement at the confluence (joining) of the Ongarue River with the Whanganui, important canoe routes linking the interior of the island with the lower Whanganui River settlements.

Taumarunui was something of a timber town with areas, such as the valley of the Pungapunga Stream, being celebrated for the size and quality of totara, and for the large canoes were built there for transport up and down the Whanganui River.

The area is a border area between a number of iwi (Maori tribes) including the Whanganui, Ngāti Maniapoto and Ngāti Tūwharetoa people who lived together in relative harmony.

For more on the history of Taumarunui see