0800 BLAZIN or +64 21 991 564

Canoeing

Experience the Whanganui River in timeless style, gliding along the surface of calm, deep gorges and running exhilarating rapids in your own canoe.  This unforgettable journey will leave you with an appreciation of our beautiful Te Awa Tupua, the first river in the world to be legally granted personhood, in 2017. 

You can canoe up to 225 km of the Whanganui, from Taumarunui, through the pristine Whanganui National Park to the estuary at Wanganui township.  Trips can range from one day up to eight days for a complete expedition from Taumarunui to Wanganui. 

The Whanganui River Journey is the only one of New Zealand’s ‘Great Walks’ where you’re not actually walking but paddling a canoe (or kayak) down river.  Our dedicated team at Blazing Adventures have many years of expertise in helping customers from around the world to experience this remote wilderness.  The Whanganui is a grade one river and is suitable for most ages and those with no prior canoe experience.  We will teach you how to keep yourself safe on the river and provide you with quality equipment for unforeseen eventualities.  As almost the entire length of the river is out of mobile coverage, all groups travel with a Personal Locator Beacon in case of emergency.  We’ve built a reputation of providing the best gear and transport, arriving early and getting you on the way home much quicker than other operators.  

The normal canoeing season is from 1st October to 1st May with the busiest time being over the Christmas holiday period.

Our service includes: Complimentary door-to-river transfer shuttle service, Free accomodation for multi-day trips the night before departure, Secure vehicle storage, Hot showers on return to base, Canoe/Kayak, Paddles, Life Jackets, Storage Drums, Dry Bags, Bailer, Rope, River Maps, Safety Video and Briefing, Emergency Kit and Personal Locator Beacon.

Our Canoeing Experiences

Splash'n Dash

Taumarunui to Ohinepane - 1 Day (4-5 hours) - $125pp +online booking fees

One day - 45 rapids, this exhilarating adventure is a great way to experience the upper Whanganui River in a limited time-frame. Leaving from Cherry Grove, Taumarunui you’ll paddle 21.5 km down to Ohinepane, with time for a muffin and a cuppa at Lauren’s Lavender Farm along the way.

Book Now

Overnighter

Taumarunui to Whakahoro - 2 Days, 1 night - $200pp +online booking fees

Paddle your way out of town, through farmland and into the wild! 100 rapids along the way will leave you ready for a good sleep at your choice of campsite. This two-day paddle will take you from Cherry Grove, Taumarunui along 57 kms of the Whanganui River, past the stunning Ohura Falls to bush clad Whakahoro and the iconic Blue Duck Station. Alternatively you could launch from Ohinepane and splash out by staying the night at Posh Pioneer’s gorgeous shepherd’s huts with a delicious home-cooked dinner. Includes 1 night’s accommodation at our River Rock Cottage for the night prior to your departure*.

Book Now

Park Highlights

Whakahoro to Pipiriki - 3 Days, 2 nights - $225pp +online booking fees

Starting at Whakahoro, you’ll skip the town and countryside and plunge straight into pure wilderness! Journeying 88 kms through the beautiful Whanganui River National Park, you’ll shoot the rapids and linger along mirror pools in deep green gorges. Enjoy a walk to the Bridge to Nowhere and learn how this arched concrete bridge ended up so far from any roads. Stay two nights at isolated campsites along the way. You’ll take your leave of the awa at the historic Maori settlement of Pipiriki. Includes 1 night’s accommodation at our River Rock Cottage for the night prior to your departure*.

Book Now

BLAZING HOT DEAL

10% off our most popular experience! Was $225 - now $200 for a limited time only.

Oarsome Ohinepane

Ohinepane to Pipiriki - 4 Days, 3 nights - $200pp +online booking fees

This four-day paddle takes you from Ohinepane through to the historic Māori settlement of Pipiriki. 123 kms of fun rapids and tranquil deep green gorges through the beautiful Whanganui River National Park. Enjoy a walk to the Bridge to Nowhere and learn how this arched concrete bridge ended up so far from any roads. Stay three nights at your choice of isolated campsites or splash out for the first night at Posh Pioneers gorgeous shepherd’s huts with a delicious home-cooked dinner. You’ll take your leave of the awa at the historic Maori settlement of Pipiriki. Includes 1 night’s accommodation at our River Rock Cottage for the night prior to your departure*.

Book Now

Ultimate Experience

Taumarunui to Pipiriki - 5 Days, 4 nights - $225pp +online booking fees

Get away from it all with the ultimate in wilderness immersion. 145 kms of discovery, running exhilarating rapids, gently floating along deep, mirrored gorges, enjoying the simplicity and starlight of true Kiwi camping, far from the modern world. Stay three nights at your choice of isolated campsites or splash out for the first night at Posh Pioneers gorgeous shepherd’s huts with a delicious home-cooked dinner. Enjoy a walk to the Bridge to Nowhere and learn how this arched concrete bridge ended up so far from any roads. You’ll take your leave of the awa at the historic Maori settlement of Pipiriki. Includes 1 night’s accommodation at our River Rock Cottage for the night prior to your departure*.

Book Now

The Whole Whanganui

Taumarunui to Wanganui - up to 8 Days - $300pp +online booking fees

Canoe the whole Whanganui River! 225 kms of discovery, running exhilarating rapids, gently floating along deep, mirrored gorges, enjoying the simplicity and starlight of true Kiwi camping, far from the modern world. Stay at your choice of isolated campsites or splash out for the first night at Posh Pioneer’s gorgeous shepherd’s huts with a delicious home-cooked dinner. Enjoy a walk to the Bridge to Nowhere and learn how this arched concrete bridge ended up so far from any roads. Continue through to the Top Ten Holiday Park at Wanganui township where you’ll need to time your exit with the tides. Includes 1 night’s accommodation at our River Rock Cottage for the night prior to your departure*.

Book Now

* Accomodation is subject to availability

What you need to know

Please note - we won't leave our paddlers stranded if you're late arriving at your destination and we won't charge you a late fee.

Prices are per person but for safety reasons there are a minimum of 2 paddlers required for each trip. Discounts available for larger group bookings.

Discounts available for larger group bookings.

Accommodation choices along your journey include many campsites, Department of Conservation huts, lodges and glamping sites. DOC campsite or hut fees are not included in our price. These must be booked and paid for separately with the Department of Conservation. Please click here to book.

What we provide for your journey: Canoe/Kayak, Paddles, Life Jackets, Storage Drums, Baler, Rope, River Maps, Safety Video and Briefing, Emergency Kit and Personal Locator Beacon, Transport To and From the River.
What we provide at our Base: WiFi, Tea, Coffee, Showers, Toilet Facilities and Vehicle Storage at our base.

Safety Video

Vehicle Relocation
We can transport your vehicle from our Piriaka base to your final destination saving you up to 5 hours of travel time if you are continuing your journey south.

From our Piriaka base to:

  • Ohinepane $150
  • Whakahoro $175
  • Pipiriki $200

Combinations packages available including Accommodation, Shuttle Services and Bicycles are available

Great Hikes App

We strongly recommend all canoeists download the Great Hikes App to their mobile phone.  This will allow you to see where you are in real time, using the GPS in your phone, even where there's no mobile coverage (that's most of the Whanganui River).  www.greathikesapp.com

Accommodation on the Whanganui River

Department of Conservation Huts and Campsites

There are only Department of Conservation campsites on the Taumarunui to Whakahoro section of the Whanganui River, with the John Coull Hut and Tieke Marae being supplemented by campsites. There is a hut at Whakahoro, but it is sleeping only, with separate cooking shelters outside. John Coull Hut has gas rings to cook on, but canoeists must take their own pots, plates and eating utensils. There is a campsite approximately every two hours after Ohinepane, each having a shelter that serves as a water catcher, and a toilet. Each campsite has storage for about 5000 litres of fresh water that does not need purifying. 

It is not possible to freedom camp beside the Whanganui River. DOC hut and campsite bookings must be made before going on the river. It is now possible to book a bed in the DOC huts and at the Tieke Marae. We request you make your own DOC bookings online.

Posh Pioneers

We highly recommend the accomodation and exclusive experience of Posh Pioneers, located right next to the Maharanui campsite just north of Whakahoro. Posh Pioneers is a unique off the grid boutique accomodation experience hosted by the lovely Heather and Fritz Bonk. A stay here will provide some unforgettable memories

Blue Duck Lodge

You can also book into the private Whio Lodge or Steele’s Shearing Quarters at Blue Duck Station in Whakahoro and they will help you transport your gear up from the river.

Private Campsites

The private Ramanui Campsite opposite Tieke Marae has a 6-bed hut, or campsites. The hut can be booked directly with the Bridge to Nowhere Lodge at 0800 480 308 or by email.

Further Downstream

From Pipiriki onwards you can organise your campsites as you go with a variety of options available, Whanganui River Adventures have Camping and cabins in Pipiriki, further down is Jerusalem, then a campsite at Ranana, The Flying Fox, Koriniti, Downes Hut, Atene, Parekino and finishing at the Top 10 Holiday Park in Whanganui.

Ohinepane Campsite

Ohinepane Campsite
Whakahoro Campsite

Whakahoro Campsite
Posh Pioneers

Posh Pioneers
Posh Pioneers

Posh Pioneers

River Conditions

Check the river levels at Te MairePipiriki, and Whanganui Town BridgeWhanganui tidal info available also.

The Whanganui River is considered unsafe for canoeing when the Levels are above 1.5m at Te Maire and above 3.5m at Pipiriki.  Extreme care should also be exercised when the river is high and the weather forecast is indicating rain in the Whanganui River headwaters.

The best idea is to call us on 0800 252 946 for an update on expected conditions before you leave home.

Your safety is important to us and we reserve the absolute right to not allow passengers to travel when we consider the river conditions or weather forecasts are unfavourable, or for any other reason, at our sole discretion. In the event that we consider the river to be unsafe for canoeing, we will offer an alternative date or fully refund any deposit or other payment made. If we consider the river to be safe for your trip and you choose not to go, we reserve the right to keep any deposit or payment made.