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Whanganui River – Whanganui National Park

The Whanganui River winds its way from the Mountains to the Tasman Sea and is part of New Zealand’s ‘Great Walks’ network.

Today this remote river provides a wilderness haven for unique outdoor adventure. Very few places in the world can you take a canoe on a river for several days totally cut off from the pressures of civilisation. People of all fitness levels and ages can experience the Whanganui Journey.

Early Maori cultivated the sheltered terraces and built elaborate eel weirs along river channels where eels and lamprey were known to converge. Every bend of the river had kaitiaki (guardian), which controlled the mauri (life force) of that place. The mana (prestige) of a settlement depended upon the way in which food supplies and living areas were looked after for the benefit of the tribe and visitors. Te Atihaunui a Paparangi people settled the valley from 1100AD.

Tieke Marae

Tieke MaraeTieke Marae was one of many old pa on the Whanganui River. Today Tieke has been revived as a marae. Everyone is welcome on the marae, but they must observe protocol.

Visitors to the marae will participate in a Powhiri (Welcome). They will be met at the riverbank where the Powhiri will be explained. You will be called onto the marae and shown where to sit. The Tieke people will speak first, usually followed by a song. One of the visitors will be expected to reply in any language, which may be followed by a song. It is traditional for visitors to lay a gift (koha) on the ground after speaking. It may be food, money or anything else.

The marae asks that visitors do not smoke inside the sleeping house, or drink alcohol at Tieke.

Adventure Lodge is the natural destination from which to start and finish your 1,2,3, or 5 days Whanganui River Experience. You can leave your car and personal belonging here while you are on the river and it is a great place to come back to have a hot shower, great meal and a good nights sleep after your adventure. You are picked up and dropped off from Adventure Lodge. Both Kayaks and open Canadian canoes can be used on the river, through most people find Canadians more convenient to carry bulky camping gear.

Freedom hire

freedomhireWhat you need to bring

  • Food for the Trip (we recommend that you stay as near as possible to your normal diet)
  • Tent (there are huts if you want to share)
  • Sleeping bag
  • Personal clothing,
  • Cooking equipment (gas rings are in the hut if you want to share)
  • Rainwear
  • Toilet gear
  • Insect repellent
  • Footwear
  • Extra warm clothes

Storage is provided for clothing and food in waterproof barrels, lifejackets, paddles, ropes, info maps, camera containers and bailers

Guided Tours

Guided tours are available please contact us for further information.