The Waipawa River is very similar to the Tukituki river system, as it is a significant tributary to it. The Waipawa River is often lower during the summer months and the upper Waipawa especially, as it can be dewatered during the dryer months as it crosses the Ruataniwha Plains. This water however, is forced to the surface again as it hits the hard limestone of the Raukawa Range. This is why such streams as the Mangaonuku and Cochranes Creek are always flowing year round. So if you are heading above the Raukawa Range for a fish and its too low, try a spot below it and it will almost be guaranteed that the river will be much higher.