Top Ten New Zealand Off-the-Beaten-Path Adventures

Canoe the Whanganui River

One of New Zealand's best Canadian canoeing routes, the Whanganui River runs through an area rich in Maori and European history. Grade I and II rapids freckle the Whanganui, a large river that carves its way through the rugged hill country of Whanganui National Park, between the distant snow capped giants of Mts. Taranaki and Ruapehu.

It takes four days to canoe from Taumarunui (start at Whakahoro, to avoid the longest and most difficult day) to Pipiriki. As you roll down the river, consider landing occasionally to follow well-marked tracks to viewpoints, caves, and historical areas. Keep your energy level high: The four-day adventure includes a whopping 197 rapids. Experienced paddlers can hire equipment and go it alone; beginners might prefer instruction or guided trips.


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