With a length of 290 kilometres the mystical Whanganui River is one of the longest rivers in the country. This magnificent canoe or kayak adventure follows 145 kilometres as it ventures deep into the pristine forests of a vast national park. The journey has been named one of New Zealand’s 9 Great Walks, but this 5-day journey involves paddling down the river instead of hiking on land.
Drifting with the river through steep-sided canyons, this journey takes you beyond the clutches of modern civilisation. In its place you’ll find peace and quiet as well as abundant birdlife and native forests that cling to the cliff faces along the river edge.
At one point, you can leave your canoe and follow an easy hiking trail to discover a bridge in the middle of nowhere. Deep in the forest, completely isolated from any signs of civilisation, this substantial concrete road bridge spans a deep ravine. It was constructed in the 1936 to improve access to the Mangapurua Valley Soldiers Settlement. This area was abandoned in 1942; the bridge was in use for only six years. Today it provides a stunning views for curious visitors.