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Frequently Asked Questions

Or jump straight to Terms & Conditions or Cancellation Policy

What is included?

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

Do I need canoeing experience?

No, the Whanganui River Journey is suitable for novice canoeists as a grade 1 and 2 river and we give a full safety briefing and paddling instruction before you leave. Basic swimming ability is highly recommended.

Will I fall out or get wet?

Falling out is definitely a possibility – be prepared! Plan for bad weather and getting wet, bring plenty of warm clothing and wet weather gear. If you choose a kayak instead of a canoe be advised you will definitely get wet!

What facilities are available at campsites?

DOC provide huts or campsites along the awa these must be booked and paid for separately with the Department of Conservation at https://bookings.doc.govt.nz/Saturn/Facilities. Please keep your booking number as we need that for our records. DOC campsites provide limited supply rain water taps, an outside sink, a shelter with picnic table and mattresses in the huts. There are no rubbish bins provided, please carry out what you carry in, take all your waste with you.

Is better accomodation available?

Private accomodation is available at Posh Pioneers, Blue Duck Station, Ramanui Campsite, and Bridge to Nowhere Lodge. Please click on each to visit their website for further information.

Is there cell phone coverage?

There is no mobile service along most of the Whanganui River and in other areas we run activities in. All canoe groups will have a Personal Locator Beacon for emergencies. Our drivers and guides carry a Garmin In Reach device to allow for emergency communication.

Where are toilets available?

Toilets (long drops) are available at every Department of Conservation (DOC) campsite, take your own toilet paper and hand sanitiser. Do not toilet elsewhere unless completely unavoidable and in this case please dig a latrine hole at least 50m from running water.

Is the water safe to drink?

We recommend you take your drinking water with you. Excellent untreated sping water is available free of charge at the Piriaka water tanks, just down the road from our base. If using water from the campsites or river, we recommend you purify this water by boiling or other means.

Can I take my kids?

We recommend your group has a good ratio of adults to children and all participants have basic swimming ability. Children under six are considered too young under most circumstances. Please phone us to discuss.

How many people fit in a canoe?

Two people fit in a canadian canoe and one person in a sit-on-kayak. Sometimes people will have three per canoe so they can sit a child in between two adults.

What storage and gear is provided with my canoe?

Each canoe comes with 4x 55 litre drums, 1x dry bag, and 1x 20 litre drum for smaller essentials. Also a spare paddle, baler, tie down straps for the gear, and a rope to secure the canoe at night.

What if we have an emergency?

We provide a basic emergency kit for every group. Included is: Personal Locator Beacon, First Aid Kit (though you should also bring your own), emergency blanket, rope, knife etc. You will be given a full safety briefing before departure and laminated information sheets including maps and emergency procedures.

Can I bring my own Personal Floatation Device (life jacket), canoe or kayak?

Yes, you can bring your own Personal Floatation Device (life jacket) and we will check it is safe before you depart. If you have your own canoe or kayak we are happy to provide transport only.

Is there anywhere to buy supplies?

There are no shops down the river but basic supplies are available from Posh Pioneers, Blue Duck Station and Pipiriki.

Can we canoe the Whanganui River year round?

The river is open all year, however we recommend only experienced outdoor adventurers canoe in winter.

Can I hunt down the river?

Hunting is permitted in Whanganui River National Park from May to September, contact DOC for permits. Dogs are only permitted May to September and must have Kiwi Aversion Training. Before hiring canoes we need to sight your DOC permit and Avian Aversion Certificate, or permission from private land owners. Click here to get your DOC permit.

What if my trip has to be cancelled or postponed?

Please see our Cancellation Policy for full details. Rest assured that if your trip is cancelled due to Covid Level Restrictions you will receive a full refund.

Terms and Conditions

General Terms and Conditions

  1. Your safety is important to us and we reserve the absolute right to not allow activities when we consider the river conditions or weather forecasts are unfavourable, or the participants unsuitable due to age, size, ill health or poor fitness, or for any other reason, at our sole discretion.
  2. Blazing Paddles Ltd (trading as Blazing Adventures) are committed to maintaining a safe and healthy environment for our clients, employees, visitors and any other persons involved in our business operations. Adventure activities have a degree of risk. Participants should be aware that no operator can absolutely guarantee their safety.
  3. All participants are required to disclose to Blazing Paddles Ltd any medical condition which may affect their ability to participate in the activity booked.
  4. All participants are required to take part in a safety briefing and adhere to our recommendations for equipment and clothing.
  5. For Jet Boating, children (and all participants) are required to be over 1m tall or 1.2m if the river is high.
  6. You provide consent, should the need arise, for your Blazing Paddles Ltd guide to administer First Aid to yourself and any minors travelling with you. You fully release, indemnify and hold harmless Blazing Paddles Ltd and its employees from any and all actions, and any and all claims, for damages whatsoever which may hereafter arise as a result of any first aid, treatment in response to a set of signs or symptoms and/or the administration of any medication in response to a medical, implied consent or emergency situation that involves yourself or any minors travelling with you.
  7. Damage to canoes through normal use will incur no charge, however loss or damage of canoes or equipment due to flooding at night or deliberate damage will incur the cost of recovery and repair.
  8. Blazing Paddles Ltd and/or their employees are not liable for any property loss or damage, personal injury or suffering while participating in an activity.
  9. As a sign of respect for the Whanganui River and tangata whenua, we recommend no alcohol is taken on the river. Our staff have the right to refuse clients if they are intoxicated or under the influence of drugs. There will be no refund if a participant is excluded due to being under the influence or alcohol or drugs.
  10. No refunds or credits will be provided if you fail to advise any amendments to the booking or fail to report at the venue of the operator on the day and/or time booked.
  11. A non-refundable deposit of 20% for bookings over $500, or payment in full, is required at the time of booking to reserve your place. The balance of the booking price is payable on or before the day of departure, this can be arranged at the office. Prices are quoted in New Zealand dollars and include Goods and Services Tax. Payments can be made by Visa, Mastercard American Express or Bank Transfer. A booking fee may be payable on any payments made by credit card.
  12. These terms are subject to rights and remedies you have under the Consumer Guarantees Act 2003.

Cancellation Policy

  1. In the event that we consider the river to be unsafe we will offer the opportunity to change your booking date, or fully refund any deposit or other payment made.
  2. 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.
  3. If a cancellation is made by the participant within 48 hours of the departure date no refund will be given.
  4. All other cancellations will be refunded 80% of the total booking price.
  5. A full refund will be given for cancellations required by Covid Level Restrictions.
  6. There will be no refund given if a participant fails to turn up for a confirmed booking.
  7. Where you are entitled to a refund, the refund will be made to the same credit card that you used to confirm the booking.