Whanganui offers many opportunities to engage with New Zealand's fascinating past, thriving artistic communities and mystical, untouched landscapes.
The Whanganui River is a place for adventurous expeditions of discovery and understanding. Elements of both Maori and early European history combine with modern day recreational adventure along the river's 260km journey to the sea.
The Whanganui River has deep spiritual, cultural and historical significance to Whanganui iwi (Maori tribes).
Enjoy the cultural perspective local Maori people bring to their unique guided river tours. Listen to their korero (stories) and learn about their local taonga (treasures). You can also choose to stay overnight at a river marae (traditional Maori village).
Visit the Whanganui Riverboat Centre which offers unique maritime heritage experiences through scheduled cruises and an informative museum.
Follow the Whanganui River Road for an insight into early Maori life, the influence of Christian missionaries and the fascinating history of the romantically-named settlements.
Canoe the river. There are self-guided and guided tours to suit everyone, ranging from one to six days. The five-day Whanganui River Journey, beginning in Taumarunui, is considered one of New Zealand's nine 'Great Walks' (even though it involves more paddling than walking!).
Ride a high-speed jet boat. It's an exhilarating way to visit the many natural wonders and historic sites, such as the Bridge to Nowhere, along the Whanganui River.