1370 – 1476 Palmerston North

Due to the 100km of road walking we decided to get the bus from Whanganui to Palmerston North. Walking up the side of a state Highway for 100km just isn’t that much fun.

On the way to the bus station I was going to jump on a tram and have a glass of wine for Dave but unfortunately I was informed that the trams were out of action due to flooding. This was later disputed by someone else but by then it was too late. I was already on the bus.

The bus ride was very good and I spent most of the time talking to the bus driver. He was a very good story teller.

Palmerston North is bigger than I thought but so far nice. I think I will rest here tomorrow and hopefully Gareth and Emily will get my messages so I can go and see them.

No pictures but that’s life.

Route Maps

These maps are for interest only. The current maps are available at Te Araroa Trust’s website and are updated each September with the most current route.

1325 Р1370 Whanganui 

There is a thing that happens where before bed we all agree that we can sleep in the next morning but at 5:30am someone wakes up and deflates their mattress and then the race to the start of the day begins….In fact in general you could say we aren’t very good at following plans.

Today’s plan involved a relaxing paddle down the river to catch the tide and end up in Whanganui. The actuality was going to fast, preempting the tide, and then paddling against it for 3 hours or so.

We got there in the end….

Hindsight

  • Don’t paddle against the tide when trying to get to Whanganui.
  • Lugging barrels of luggage up and down river banks is no fun.
  • Some canoes are better than others.
  • That nice bank you want to pull up on for lunch is probably knee deep river silt.

Route Maps

These maps are for interest only. The current maps are available at Te Araroa Trust’s website and are updated each September with the most current route.

1265 – 1325 Downes Hut

60kms on a river takes a long time. Eventually you look forward to the rapids just so you can stop paddling against the wind a bit.

Other than that, the Whanganui continued to roll out incredible vista after incredible vista beginning with the deep green gorge look and changing somewhere above Jerusalem to include more and more farmland.

Even though it is a Saturday there appears to be little traffic on the river with only a couple of jet boats spotted and I think all but one were working for DOC.

Tomorrow we will continue down to Whanganui as long as the tide and winds are kind.

Hindsight

  • Once past Jerusalem the river quietens down a lot.
  • Jerusalem looked quite nice. I would have liked to visit.
  • Being trapped in a canoe makes me irate.
  • Always blame the person steering.

Route Maps

These maps are for interest only. The current maps are available at Te Araroa Trust’s website and are updated each September with the most current route.

1243 – 1265 Tieke Kainga Hut

The river started out in the same style with vast green canyons and continued in this manner until after the bridge to nowhere.

Lunch was on the side of the river on a bank made of the world’s most perfect river skipping stones and occasional fossils.

It’s sort of hard to talk about the journey as much of it is the same but it is nice.

Hindsight

  • The river was quite high when we did it but our travel times where very fast.
  • There was a lot of alcohol outside the Marae.
  • There is always one group of campers who yell all night.

Route Maps

These maps are for interest only. The current maps are available at Te Araroa Trust’s website and are updated each September with the most current route.

1218 – 1243 John Coules Hut

Can’t say Taumarunui River Canoes did spectacularly well but they got to us in the end and remembered all our food even if the rope they gave us to tie off was too short to reach the first tie off. Cest la vie.

Anyway. The Whanganui River is fantastic, beautiful, and amazing. Also, I am shit in canoes. The last time I was in a canoe was 20 years ago on the Hokitika and it shows.

Hindsight

  • Eventually Ken got so pissed off with our canoe that Taumaranui Canoes refunded some money. Very nice of them I thought.
  • The Bridge to Nowhere is a nice walk with a not particularly spectacular end.
  • Following the foam is the fastest way. Luke says the foam generally follows the fastest water.
  • Aim for the V.
  • Watch out for the eddies and if they are trying to tip you out then try leaning into them a bit.
  • There are a lot of goats on the Whanganui.
  • It’s hard to take photos while paddling.

Route Maps

These maps are for interest only. The current maps are available at Te Araroa Trust’s website and are updated each September with the most current route.