Starting high up in the volcanic plateau of the central North Island at Mt Tongariro, the river travels north to Taumarunui before heading south for 260km to Wanganui passing through the native tree and fern clad hills of the Whanganui National Park.
Traditional entry or exit points for journeys on the river are Taumaruni, Ohinepane, Whakahoro and Pipiriki.
Most facilities and services that cater for river travellers are found in Taumarunui, Owhango, Whakahoro and Wanganui although some facilities are found at Raetihi and Ohakune.
Accommodation is available at Forest Lodge or in local towns.The 145 kilometre river journey from Taumarunui to Pipiriki takes an average 5 days to complete by canoe.
A shorter 3 day journey from Whakahoro to Pipiriki is also possible.
Although a river journey, the Whanganui is part of New Zealand’s ‘Great Walks’ network.