Whanganui River - the Longest Navigable River in New Zealand
The Whanganui River is a major river in the North Island of New Zealand. The Whanganui River begins at Mt Tongariro, travels through the Whanganui National Park and returns to sea at Wanganui City.
With a length of 290 kilometres, the Whanganui River is the third-longest river, and the longest navigable river, in New Zealand.
The upper reaches of the Whanganui River are cloaked in dense rainforest and lead to deeply incised gorges. Tree ferns and rare native plants cling to the steep riverbanks.
From dawn, morning mist clings to the surface of the water, rising slowly with the light of day.
Until recent times, the Whanganui River was the main route into the North Island interior. It has a fascinating and exciting history of wars, steamboats, water-driven flour mills and abandoned homes and farms.
The Whanganui River's Course
Along its path to the sea, the Whanganui River passes through the dramatic landscape of the Whanganui National Park. This beautiful, dramatic landscape opens out in the lower reaches of the Whanganui River as the river follows lush, rolling farmland and open valleys to the coastal dunes and cliffs which border the Tasman Sea.
Whanganui River Activities
Whanganui River activities include:
- Canoeing, kayaking
- Jet boating, jet skiing
- White water rafting
- Riverside walks
- Ride the Whanganui River Paddle Steamer
The Whanganui River passes through the stunning Whanganui River National Park, which offers its own set of activities:
- Visit Pipiriki Village
- Visit historical sites