Whanganui National Park

Guide image

Whanganui River. Photo: Travelix

Cloaked in dense rainforest, Whanganui National Park has one of the largest remaining tracts of intact native lowland forest in the North Island.

By day, it’s the domain of tui, kereru and piwakawaka; by night, the call of the brown kiwi echoes through its wet woods. From high on the Central Plateau, New Zealand’s longest navigable river descends through the park, flowing through deeply carved gorges where tree ferns and rare native plants cling to its steep banks before opening out to rolling farmland and continuing on to the coastal dunes fringing the Tasman Sea. The best way to make the most of the river is on an independent kayaking trip or with a guide. Look out for eels, native trout, koura and black flounder; you may even get a feed!

Where to stay

Whanganui District

What to do

  • Take time to paddle down the Whanganui River
  • Do the Bridge to Nowhere walk
  • Go hunting in Whanganui Forests

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Getting there

  • From Auckland by road: 457km
  • From Palmerston North by road: 74km
  • From Wellington by road: 195km
Piwa perched