3 Day Whanganui National Park Canoe
- Duration: 3 Days (approx.)
- Location: Ohakune, Ruapehu
- Product code: PJCZG6
Sample itinerary - can vary with river and campsite conditions
Day One. We depart Ohakune between 7.30 and 8.00am for the river. At Whakahoro we unload canoes and barrels and show you how to pack your canoe. Guides then give a talk on river and campsite safety, and then instruction on how to paddle your canoe. On most trips we have 2 guides so if you are a little nervous you are welcome to paddle with a guide for at least the first day. Once the guides are satisfied that everyone can steer their canoe then the group sets off on the river. The gorge starts to narrow and we leave the last road access point behind at Whakahoro - the second and final mooring point for the Houseboat. We pass Laceys and Wades landings and several old maori Kaianga. Later in the morning we pass Mangapapa campsite, Man of War Bluff, Kirikiriroa where the river does a huge horseshoe turn, the Verandah, the Whirlpool and on down to Tamatea's Cave and a possible lunch stop at Ohauora campsite. There is plenty of time for stops along the way and there are many safe places to get out and swim. We camp at John Coull Hut and campsite.
Day Two. Breakfast and on the river at 9am. A morning paddle past the Tangarakau and Whangamomona rivers, Mangawaiiti campsite, and Otumangu landing - one of the post WW1 faming settlements. Shortly afterwards we see the first pine trees since Whakahoro (planted by the early settlers), and we stop at the Mangapurua for lunch and a walk to the Bridge to Nowhere (45 min each way). After the walk there is time for a swim before we paddle the last 1.5hrs down to Bridge to Nowhere Cabins and campsite. If the weather and time allows we also take a short walk at Tangahoe landing to the Tangahoe waterfall. Dinner and hot showers at the cabins depending on availability. (Please note - book early to ensure a bed)
Day Three. We pass Kahura landing and one of the locations for the filming of "River Queen". It is an hours paddle through the steep gorge until the river cascades through Ngaporo rapid and down to Ngaporo campsite for a break. We paddle past the Mangaio stream and Mangaio rock where several of the early eyebolts can still be seen that were winching points for the riverboats. Next it's the Pururoto caves and then Autapu rapid. If the river is low there is time to unload a couple of canoes and for the adventurous to take another run through the middle of the waves. A great spot for some action photos! It's also a great place for a swim with the guides through the rapid. From Autapu there are several small rapids before the Paparoa rapids swings the canoes past the old eel traps and down to the landing at Pipiriki. After unloading boats and loading the trailer we have a quick stop in Pipiriki and a short one hour drive back to Ohakune. (approx 4pm). Time for a cold drink with the guides, afternoon tea, and dinner with the guides if you decide to stay the last night at our lodge. It's a fantastic trip for all ages - perfect for families and the kids will always have something to do.