The Whanganui River winds its way from the mountains to the Tasman Sea through a landscape of many hills and valleys.
Lowland forest surrounds the river in its middle and lower reaches forming the heart of Whanganui National Park. You can journey through this otherwise remote area on a multi-day canoe or kayak trip on the Whanganui River, experiencing its scenic beauty, history and cultural significance.
On your river trip, do the short walk from the Mangapurua Landing to the iconic Bridge to Nowhere and stay at Tieke Kainga, the only marae that doubles as a Great Walk Hut and camping area. Learn about the intimate connection that Whanganui iwi have with their awa (river) and imagine the times when traditional waka (canoes) and steam-driven riverboats plied the river.
The 145km journey from Taumarunui to Pipiriki takes an average of 5 days to complete by canoe.
A shorter, 3 day journey from Whakahoro to Pipiriki (87km) is the more popular option, featuring the most scenic stretches of the river.
Hut and campsite bookings are essential during the Great Walk season (early October to late April).
The Whanganui Journey passes through Whanganui National Park, in the south-west of the North Island. Traditional entry or exit points for the Whanganui Journey are Taumarunui, Ohinepane, Whakahoro and Pipiriki, which can all be accessed off SH 4.
Most facilities and services that cater for river travellers are found in Taumarunui, Whanganui, Raetihi, Ohakune and National Park Village. Please note there are no shops at Whakahoro or Pipiriki.
You can hire canoes and other equipment from a number of local companies
or take a fully guided trip with a tour operator (see doc.govt.nz for details).
Book a Great Walk package through Air New Zealand