Our Whanganui river ad­ven­ture

A ca­noe­ing trip down the Whanganui River is an un­for­get­table ex­pe­ri­ence, writes Mandy Joachim & Jonathan Love.

Go Travel New Zealand - - Ruapehu -

The Whanganui River is not only one of New Zealand’s top 10 Great Walks, but also part of the trail which leads its hik­ers from the far north to the deep­est south of New Zealand.

After de­cid­ing to walk the river, we chose Tau­marunui Ca­noe Hire and Jet Boat Tours be­cause we had heard great feed­back about Ron, Karen and their fam­ily run busi­ness.

When we ar­rived at the com­pany's base, we were meet an en­er­getic young boy. He saw us driv­ing up and ran to our car as we parked next to a large blue jet boat ready to set out on an af­ter­noon spin. He told us his name was David and took us to the of­fice.

In­side, Karen wel­comed us and gave us pa­per­work to fill out while we sat in the brief­ing room, which had amaz­ing views of Mount Hiku­rangi and the Whanganui River.

We were also shown where we could free­dom camp on a spot just down from the com­pany's base.

We de­cided to pack the af­ter­noon be­fore our jour­ney so got our bar­rels and dry­bags from Sa­muel and went off to camp. The next morn­ing, we were wel­comed into the safety brief­ing by Karen and Ros­alie ( Karen and Ron’s only daugh­ter and 5 sons are in­volved in the busi­ness in some way). They asked ev­ery­one what hot drink we would like: cap­puc­cino, latte, long black or tea. It tasted su­perb.

At the brief­ing, Ron de­scribed the rapids we would en­counter, where to en­ter, how to read the wa­ter and what to do while you are in them. Most of the tips were com­mon sense and Ron had us laugh­ing a lot. We learnt how to han­dle rocks and what to do if you fall in the wa­ter.

Next Jono showed us parts of the river on the video, the big­ger rapids and all the camp sites where ev­ery­one was stay­ing.

After pack­ing our gear, Karen fit­ted us with life jack­ets while Jono, Justin and Sa­muel loaded our gear to the trailer. After a short bumpy ride to the boat ramp be­low their house, we saw a line of red ca­noes next to the wa­ter.

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