Formerly Owhango was a Mill Town, milling native timbers from around the local area. The mill burned to the ground in the 1970s. Many of the mill houses are now holiday homes owned by city dwellers keen on the skiing, fishing, hunting, canoeing and tramping opportunities that abound in the surrounding area. The village has a population of little more than 200 and has a primary school, a ski shop, dairy, garage (no fuel sold there, however), hotel, accommodation lodges, motel, cottages for hire and bed and breakfast/homestay places.
The village is one of the most picturesque in New Zealand with a backdrop of native forest and Mount Ruapehu. In the spring, the village trees and gardens are alive with native birds, most notably tui and Kererū. A delightful domain set amongst native forest features large open playing fields, children's play area and two tennis courts.