A river adventure awaits
From its source on the central plateau, the Whanganui River, New Zealand’s third longest, winds its way from volcanic peaks through rolling hill country to the Tasman Sea. This river has always been an important part of the region’s history and continues to attract thousands of visitors each year.
The coastal city of Whanganui (also spelt Wanganui) is the main centre of the Whanganui region and the southern gateway to the Whanganui River and Whanganui National Park. This region is home to two epic adventures, the Whanganui Journey, a multi-day kayak and camping experience, and the Mountains to Sea Cycle Trail.
Top things to do in Whanganui
Looking for ideas to help you plan the ultimate New Zealand outdoor adventure? Here are some of the top things for active travellers to see and do in the Whanganui region.
Experience the Whanganui Journey
The Whanganui Journey is one of New Zealand’s officially designated Great Walks although in reality it’s actually a ‘Great Paddle’. This 145 km / 90 mile river journey follows the Whanganui River from Taumarunui in the north to Pipiriki in the south, a small settlement on the banks of the river. The journey takes 5 days with overnight stays in campsites and one night in a 24-bunk hut. There is also a shorter 3 day option with all of the relevant information available on the Department of Conservation website.
Ride the Mountains to Sea Cycle Trail
As the name suggests, this 3-5 day 217 km / 135 mile cycle route will take you from the flanks of the North Island’s highest mountain, Mt Ruapehu, to the mouth of the Whanganui River and the Tasman Sea. Offroad Grade 2 and Grade 3 trails are linked by quiet rural road sections. There’s also a 32 km river section with a jetboat transfer. You can ride the entire trail from end-to-end or explore individual sections. Visit the official Mountains to Sea website to find out more.