The Whanganui River & The River Road

Discover the river

Whanganui river isn't just the crown of Whanganui - it is also an important piece in New Zealand's history. Explore for yourself the historical importance of Whanganui river and the unique stories it has to tell. The Whanganui River has deep spiritual, cultural and historical significance to Whanganui Iwi, who are the Tangata Whenua.  

The upper reaches of the river are cloaked in dense rainforest. The middle reaches have deeply incised gorges, where tree ferns and rare native plants cling to the steep riverbanks. This dramatic landscape opens out into the lower reaches of the river to follow rolling farmland and open valleys to the coastal dunes and cliffs which border the Tasman Sea to the west.

Experience a remote and adventurous journey of discovery and understanding offered by Whanganui River. It combines elements of both Māori and early European history with modern day recreational adventure along its diverse 290km journey to the sea and is a special attraction for canoeists and cyclists.

Unique Activities on Whanganui River

There are a variety of trips on or by the river which we will be happy to help you organise. The river offers limitless opportunities, whether you want to spend five days experiencing the solitude of the river, an isolated drive, a jetboat through rapids or a walk to the Bridge to Nowhere.

Jet to The Bridge to Nowhere

The Bridge to Nowhere Jet Boat Tour is one of the most exciting ways to experience the river. You get the thrills of a jet boat and the peace of the river. The trip is 4-5 hours long, departing from Pipiriki daily. Jet up the river into the middle reaches of the Whanganui River National Park.

Get a glimpse of natural, untampered New Zealand scenery where pristine native bush cloaks the banks. Reaching your destination of Mangapurua Landing, there is then a 40 minute walk to The Bridge to Nowhere with some share-worthy photo opportunities of the river. Your tour guide not only provides you with lots of history and fun facts about the area but also supplies tea and biscuits.

Kayak Along the River

Kayaking the Whanganui River gives you some unique views that you simply can't see from your car. Explore the river at your own pace, whether that involves following the stream in a relaxed state or pushing against the tide in a resistance workout.

To book a trip to the Bridge to Nowhere, hire a kayak or save yourself a slot on the next Waimarie Paddle Steamer trip, contact our reception. Our friendly receptionists will organise this for you and give you brochures to plan other exciting day trips in Whanganui. 

Book your stay on the Whanganui riverbank today!