Whanganui National Park

The Whanganui National Park is a wilderness park of 74,231ha, which includes the Whanganui River and historic Maori sites. The park is accessible from Taumarunui and Wanganui.

Although the journey to Whanganui National Park is on the Whanganui River, it is still classed as one of New Zealand's Great Walks. The 145 kilometres from Taumarunui to Pipiriki takes about five days by canoe. A shorter three-day trip runs from Whakahoro to Pipiriki.

Operators
  • Waka Tours
    Guided canoe journeys that enable visitors to experience the lifestyle, history and culture of the people of the Whanganui River.
  • Yeti Tours
    Four and six day guided canoe/kayak trips. Kayak, canoe and equipment hire.
Hiking
The park encompasses 74,231 hectares and offers a variety of hikes for all abilities. They include:
  • Atene Skyline Track
    The trail travels along the river before climbing Puketapu, offering fine views of the river, Mt Ruapehu and Taranaki, and the Tasman Sea. A 6-8 hour return journey.
  • Mangapurua-Kaiwhakauka Track
    A 40 kilometre trail.
  • Matemateaonga Track
    Uses old Maori trails and settlers' dray roads to access the park. The track crosses thick bush-clad country between Taranaki and the Whanganui River and takes 3-4 days one-way.
  • Pipiriki
    Known as the gateway to the park, Pipiriki is some 80 kilometres from Wanganui. The Information Centre and Museum operates out of the Colonial House, while short walks around the village offer both historical and scenic options.