Whanganui National Park

The Whanganui National Park was established in 1986. The park includes part of the upper and middle Whanganui river valley and surrounding native forests. Located south of Taumarunui and West of Ohakune and Raetihi the area is a large sedimentary basin with distinctive steep sandstone valleys covered in lowland native forest.


The Whanganui river was used by Maori as a transport route with many Pa located along the river. Early European settlers and traders also used the river for transport using shallow bottom steamers to navigate the narrow gorges.

Activities In Whanganui National Park

The main activities in Whanganui National park are hiking, cycling, kayaking or canoeing and jet boating.

The Whanganui Journey within the park is included as one of New Zealand’s Great walks. It is in fact a 145km river journey by canoe or kayak from Taumarunui to Pipiriki taking 4-5 days.

For trampers the Matemateaonga Track is one of the most popular longer trips (3-4 days one way). It follows an old Maori trail and settlers dray road deep into the park reaching it’s end at the famous Bridge to Nowhere. A jet boat ride is required from the end of the track.

Operators provide Jet boat tours from Pipiriki and Taumarunui. Taking a jet boat from Pipiriki is also the easiest way to access the famous Bridge to Nowhere.