Department of Conservation Huts and Campsites
There are only Department of Conservation campsites on the Taumarunui to Whakahoro section of the Whanganui River, with the John Coull Hut and Tieke Marae being supplemented by campsites. There is a hut at Whakahoro, but it is sleeping only, with separate cooking shelters outside. John Coull Hut has gas rings to cook on, but canoeists must take their own pots, plates and eating utensils. There is a campsite approximately every two hours after Ohinepane, each having a shelter that serves as a water catcher, and a toilet. Each campsite has storage for about 5000 litres of fresh water that does not need purifying.
It is not possible to freedom camp beside the Whanganui River. DOC hut and campsite bookings must be made before going on the river. It is now possible to book a bed in the DOC huts and at the Tieke Marae.
We highly recommend the accommodation and exclusive experience of Posh Pioneers, located right next to the Maharanui campsite just north of Whakahoro. Posh Pioneers is a unique off the grid boutique accommodation experience hosted by the lovely Heather and Fritz Bonk. A stay here will provide some unforgettable memories
Blue Duck Lodge
You can also book into the private Whio Lodge or Steele’s Shearing Quarters at Blue Duck Station in Whakahoro. Be aware there is quite a hike to bring your gear up from the river at the end of a long day paddling.
The private Ramanui Campsite opposite Tieke Marae has a 6-bed hut, or campsites. The hut can be booked directly with the Bridge to Nowhere Lodge at 0800 480 308 or by email.
From Pipiriki onwards you can organise your campsites as you go with a variety of options available, Whanganui River Adventures have Camping and cabins in Pipiriki, further down is Jerusalem, then a campsite at Ranana, The Flying Fox, Koriniti, Downes Hut, Atene, Parekino and finishing at the Top 10 Holiday Park in Whanganui.