The Whanganui River winds its way from the mountains to the Tasman Sea through countless hills and valleys. Lowland forest surrounds the river in its middle and lower reaches - the heart of Whanganui National Park.
The 145 kilometre river journey from Taumarunui to Pipiriki takes an average 5 days to complete by canoe. A shorter 3 day journey from Whakahoro to Pipiriki is also possible. Although a river journey, the Whanganui is part of New Zealand's Great Walks network.
Once you are on the river below Whakahoro there is no turning back and no place to buy anything you may have forgotten.
Traditional entry or exit points for journeys on the river are Taumaruni, Ohinepane, Whakahoro and Pipiriki. Most facilities and services that cater for river travellers are found in Taumarunui and Wanganui, although some facilities are found at Raetihi and Ohakune. Accommodation is available in the local towns.
Both kayaks and open Canadian canoes can be used on the river, though most people find Canadians more convenient to carry bulky camping gear. Canoes can be hired from a number of local outlets.
There are a number of campsites and huts available for use. During the period 1 October to 30 April you must buy a Great Walks Hut and Campsite Pass for the Whanganui River before starting your journey.
Image sourced from Flickr, user Joshua Eckert (j0055) under Attribution 2.0 Generic licence.