Whanganui River Adventure


Whanganui River Adventure

Was From $ 2,415 AUD
Now From $ 1,811 AUD


King Country in New Zealand is a land of picturesque landscapes, perfectly fit for the noble explorer. So, spend five days in the wilds of the Whanganui on an adventure deep in the country’s North Island. What follows is a journey through handcut tunnels, past overflowing lavender farms, through ancient fern forests and up fertile rivers to the Valley of Abandoned Dreams. Add some thrill-seeking activities, comfortable motel-style accommodation and a host of outdoor inclusions, and you’ve got yourself an action-packed tour of north western New Zealand that’s well past the tourist brochure. It may well be the king – or queen – of them all.

Trip Name
Whanganui River Adventure
Last Updated
  • Learn of a land dubbed the 'Forgotten World' on a rail cart experience near Taumarunui, passing through handcut brick tunnels to rolling countryside and fields of lavender.
  • Get your adrenaline pumping with a fast-paced jet boat ride to the Mangapurua Landing, swapping the thrills for curious tales of the Valley of Abandoned Dreams on a guided hike to the Bridge to Nowhere.
  • Canoeing down the Whanganui River without any rush or hurry gives you the power to choose your own pace.
  • The scenery of New Zealand’s North Island begs for more than just a happy snap. Consider your options to hike through forests and waterfalls in your spare time, and get up close and personal with a leader-led walk at Mt Taranaki.


ITINERARY CHANGES Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you review this information prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays, or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in-country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any such changes once on tour. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability, and maybe on a join-in basis. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your leader know you are interested in the Group Meeting and they can assist. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high-risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

Day 1 - Taupo / Pureora / Taumarunui
Kia ora – welcome to Taupo! Right in the centre of New Zealand’s North Island, the town sits on the banks of Lake Taupo and is a perfect starting point for your adventure. Meet your leader and fellow travel crew at 10 am this morning – more details can be found in the ‘Joining Point Instructions’ of your Essential Trip Information. After a quick meeting, head to Pureora Village and Forest Park, learning about the local history and its logging past. With an abundance of ferns and centuries’ old trees here, you’ll feel you’ve escaped to the wilderness already! Head back up to Lake Taupo for an optional picnic lunch on its banks before heading south with your group to Taumarunui. Set near the junction of the Whanganui and Taringamotu rivers, Taumarunui is your base for tonight, and you’ve got a free evening to enjoy the town at your leisure. Perhaps ask your leader for their restaurant recommendations.
Day 2 - Forgotten World / Ohakune
Rise and shine for an early start this morning – you’re off to the Forgotten World! These former railway tracks take you along 40 kilometres of the 'Forgotten World Railway', through ten incredible hand built brick tunnels; one of them over 1.5 kilometres in length. Ride on custom built rail carts through dense native bushlands and past stunning hilly outcrops – you’ll soon realise that this region definitely lives up to its name as King Country. Arrive in Tokirima, where a delicious ploughman’s lunch and home baked goods await your group. After lunch, board a minibus, which will take you via the acclaimed Lauren’s Lavender Farm. Awaken the senses walking through the fields of purple (seasonal). Next head to Ohakune at the foot of Tongariro National Park. Keep an eye out for the big carrot on the way into town – you won’t miss it! Once arrived, there’s the option to hike to Waitonga Falls if you’re feeling up to it (approximately 1.5 hours total). Otherwise, take the afternoon to rest and relax.
Day 3 - Whanganui National Park / Ohakune
Another early morning calls for some adrenaline pumping action. Travel up the Whanganui River on an exhilarating jetboat rapids ride to Mangapurua Landing, passing by pristine forests and deep gorges full of ferns. Once arrived, disembark the boat and begin a guided walk to the Bridge to Nowhere, the gateway to the so-called ‘Valley of Abandoned Dreams’. You’ll learn all about the history of the valley and the tales that surround this mysterious region and tragic period of New Zealand history. Sit back and soak in your flourishing surroundings. Hop back into the jetboat for another short ride, then slow things down for the next part of your journey – a leisurely canoe back down the Whanganui River towards Pipiriki. After a safety briefing and some paddling tips, board your 2-person canoe and leave the rest of the world behind you as you float past stunning scenery, stopping off as you wish at points of interest along the way. Your guide will be on hand to share why this river is so significant to the Maori people. Head back to Ohakune for the night
Day 4 - Whanganui
This morning continue to Whanganui, set at the mouth of the Whanganui River. Stop off in Putiki and pay a visit to one of the country’s most beautiful churches where you’ll admire its intricate Maori tukutuku (weavings) and learn about its layered history. Settle into your accommodation then set out to explore Whanganui on an orientation walk with your leader. One of New Zealand’s oldest towns, Whanganui is dotted with heritage buildings, natural wonders and artistic touches. The rest of the afternoon is free for your own explorations.
Day 5 - Mt Taranaki / New Plymouth
After breakfast this morning, swing by the popular Kai Iwi Beach to marvel at its soaring cliffs and rugged beauty, well known for its unusual drift wood. Then it’s time to get back on the road with the epic Mt Taranaki (also known under its colonial name Mt Egmont) in your sights. Watch the peak loom larger in the horizon, and once arrived at its base, take a leader-led walk on the slopes with your group. Continue your drive to New Plymouth, where your adventure finishes on arrival. With no activities planned after this, you are free to leave the group, either continuing your own adventure or beginning your homeward journey.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
27-11-202201-12-2022AUD $ 1,811-
18-12-202222-12-2022AUD $ 2,485-
08-01-202312-01-2023AUD $ 2,585-
19-02-202323-02-2023AUD $ 2,585-
19-03-202323-03-2023AUD $ 2,510-
16-04-202320-04-2023AUD $ 2,510-
29-10-202302-11-2023AUD $ 2,510-
26-11-202330-11-2023AUD $ 2,510-
17-12-202321-12-2023AUD $ 2,585-


Motel (3 nights),Hotel (1 night)


Private vehicle,Canoe,Jet Boat,Rail Cart