New Zealand

Whanganui Journey Great Walk

Quick Info

  • 5 day kayak or canoe trip along the Whanganui river through lowland forest
  • 3 huts plus numerous campsites
  • transport required to and from start and end
  • travel through podocarp forest of rimu, tawa, kowhai and rata
  • bird life includes kereru, tui, miromiro (tomtit), fantails and toutouwai (robins)
  • river life includes freshwater crayfish, eels and black flounder

Huts and Times

StartDistance (kms)EndBunksHut amenities
Cherry Grove57Whakahoro12Cooking, lighting
Whakahoro 37.5 John Coull Hut 24 Cooking, heating
John Coull Hut 29 Tieke Kainga 20 Cooking, heating
Tieke Kainga 20.5 Pipiriki    

Trip Description

Although not a tramp, the Whanganui Journey is considered a Great Walk and passes through scenery just as stunning as any other Great Walk in New Zealand. Canadian canoes or kayaks can be used to complete the 'walk', with the former having more room for storage of gear.

The walk starts at Cheery Grove near Taumarunui and ends near Piripiki and passes through podocarp forest and many native birds can be spotted along the way.

The Whanganui river is of historic significance to both Maori and European settlers as a source of food and a route inland from the coast.

A side trip of 40 minutes at Mangapuruai landing leads to the historic 'Bridge to Nowhere' (Morgan's Bridge). The local settlers had already abandoned the area before construction of the bridge was finished - hence the name.

More information on Whanganui National Park.

How to get there

The nearest centre to the start of the walk is Taumarunui on State Highway 4 some 280 kilometres south of Auckland and 365 north of the capital Wellington.

Pipiriki at the end of the walk is 103 kilometres by road from Taumarunui via SH 4.

Ohakune is the closest centre to the Pipiriki end of the walk.

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