5 Day Guided Whanganui River Safari

  • $ NZD Adult: 1345.00 | Child: 1095.00
  • DEPARTURE: Ohinepane Campsite
  • DIFFICULTY LEVEL: Bumpy and Fun
  • DATES: Depart Mondays & Wednesdays*, October to May (also December 18, 27, and January 3) *A guideline only - with groups we can start a trip to suit you!

This is our most popular Whanganui River trip. For a real holiday away from all devices this is the ideal adventure. If you have children look no further, as a guided canoe trip is great for families

There are 2 different starting points for the 5 day depending on river levels-Ohinepane or Whakahoro. We often meet clients at our base in Ohakune the night before the trip to check river gear and allow you to meet the guides. We have six Motel units at our base and plenty of safe off-street parking, so once you arrive it's very quick and easy to get packed for the guided canoe trip.

Below is a rough guide of what to bring. We organize all of the food and wine, tents, sleeping mats and cooking gear-you just bring a sleeping bag and personal items.

Most of our guests stay at our lodge accommodation in Ohakune the night before the trip and sometimes the night after the trip. This makes for an easy start and allows guests plenty of time to pack/stuff all their gear into their river barrels.

Trip Dates and Group Discounts: With a family of 2 adults and 3 children (14 and under) the third child pays 20% of the child rate. Group concessions are available too.

*Trip start dates are a guideline only - with groups we can start a trip to suit you. We also run extra trips between Christmas and New Year and in early January.


Day 01

Depart Ohakune between 6:30 and 7:00am for the river. At Ohinepane we unload canoes and barrels and show you how to pack your canoe. The first day includes lunch at Poukaria Campsite, we paddle past the old riverboat landing at Kirikau and take a short walk at MaraeKowhai. View the Ohura falls, and the War and Peace Poles that were erected by the Hau Hau warriors. It's then a short paddle to the first nights camp at Maharanui.

Day 02

The gorge starts to narrow, and we leave the last road access point behind at Whakahoro, the second and final historical mooring point for the Houseboat. We pass Laceys and Wades landings and several old maori Kaianga. Later in the morning we pass Mangapapa campsite possibly for lunch, Man of War Bluff, Kirikiriroa where the river does a huge horseshoe turn, the Verandah, the Whirlpool and on down to Tamatea's Cave and onto Ohauora campsite. There is plenty of time for stops and there are safe places to get out and swim. Camp at Ohauora campsite.

Day 03

Breakfast and on the river at 9am. A stunning morning paddle through the straightest part of the river and through another vertical gorge before stopping at John Coull campsite for morning tea. Afterwards, we go past the Tangarakau and Whangamomona rivers, Mangawaiiti campsite, and Otumangu landing - one of the post WW1 faming settlements. Shortly afterwards we see the first pine trees since Whakahoro (planted by the early settlers), and lastly we stop at the Mangapurua campsite for the evening.

Day 04

After breakfast we walk to the Bridge to Nowhere (45 min each way). After the walk there is time for a swim before we paddle the last 1.5hrs down to Ramanui campsite. If the weather and time allows we also take a short walk at Tangahoe landing to the Tangahoe waterfall. Dinner and hot showers at Ramanui Campground where you can upgrade to sleeping in a cabin if you like (pre bookings only).

Day 05

After breakfast, we start paddling again and pass Kahura landing and one of the locations for the filming of "River Queen". It is another hours paddle through the steep gorge until the river cascades through Ngaporo rapid and past the Mangaio stream and Mangaio rock where several of the early eyebolts can still be seen that were winching points for the riverboats. On down to Pururoto Caves and past to the legendary Autapu rapid for lunch. From Autapu there are several small rapids before the Paparoa rapids swing the canoes past the old eel traps and down to the landing at Pipiriki. It is a one hour drive on our bus back to our base in Ohakune. It's a fantastic trip for all ages perfect for families and the kids will always have something to do.



Consider your clothing in two parts. Firstly, what you will wear canoeing and secondly, what you will need in camp. Also work on the assumption that your canoeing clothes will get wet so you must have a dry change for campwear.

Camping Clothes

Comfortable shoes. Complete change of warm clothes. Spare lightweight top. Warm socks. Towel. Warm hat (depending on time of year)


We advise everyone to wear something on his or her feet at all times. There will be occasions when you will need to step out of your canoe into river shallows. In these slippery conditions sandshoes or sandals are better than jandals.

Canoeing Clothes

Swimwear. Sandshoes, sandals or wetsuit booties. Shorts. Sunhat. Woolen or polypropylene top. Waterproof lightweight jacket or parka. Windproof leggings (optional). Woolen socks. Tracksuit or polypro pants (not jeans or any cotton). Light gloves (for warmth or blisters)