Listed as one of New Zealand’s nine Great Walks the Whanganui River Journey isn’t a walk at all.
Instead of tramping a well-trodden trail, those who seek to disconnect from the outside world paddle a 157km stretch of water which meanders through some of the most remote parts of New Zealand’s North Island.
‘Ko au te awa, ko te awa ko au’ I am the river, the river is me
One of the country’s longest and most scenic waterways, the Whanganui stems from the north-west flank of Mt Tongariro on the island’s volcanic Central Plateau. Flowing gently towards the Tasman Sea, the river is navigable as far north as Tamranui where this unique route begins.
Two days into the recommended itinerary and the river reaches the tiny settlement of Whakahoro. It is here we begin, launching our canoes and easing into a rhythmic paddle as the water carries