What is included?
Our service for all canoeists includes: Complimentary door-to-river transfer shuttle service, Secure flood lit vehicle storage, Canoe/Kayak, Paddles, Life Jackets, Storage Drums, Dry Bags, Baler, Rope, River Maps, Safety Video and Briefing, Emergency Kit, Personal Locator Beacon, Hot shower on return to our base.
If you book a Guided Canoe Tour you will also have a qualified canoe guide (trained in river rescue) with you, the extra safety of a Garmin InReach communication device so you can get help anywhere on the river, full catering, camping equipment including Aussie style single swags and 50mm self inflating mattresses, plus campsite or accommodation included as per your choice of tour.
Do I need canoeing experience?
No, the Whanganui River Journey is suitable for novice canoeists as a grade 1 and 2 river and we give a full safety briefing and paddling instruction before you leave. Basic swimming ability is highly recommended.
Will I fall out or get wet?
Falling out is definitely a possibility – be prepared! Plan for bad weather and getting wet, bring plenty of warm clothing and wet weather gear. A thermos flask to fill with hot water or beverage each morning is a great idea for warming up quickly. If you choose a kayak instead of a canoe be advised you will definitely get wet! (Kayaks not available for Guided Tours sorry.)
What facilities are available at campsites?
DOC provide huts or campsites along the awa. For Freedom Hire Canoe these must be booked and paid for separately with the Department of Conservation at https://bookings.doc.govt.nz/Saturn/Facilities. Please keep your booking number as we need that for our records. DOC campsites provide limited supply rain water taps, an outside sink, a shelter with picnic table and mattresses in the huts. There are no rubbish bins provided, please carry out what you carry in, take all your waste with you.
Is better accommodation available?
Private accommodation is available at Posh Pioneers, Blue Duck Station, Ramanui Campsite, and Bridge to Nowhere Lodge. Please click on each to visit their website for further information.
Is there cell phone coverage?
There is no mobile service along most of the Whanganui River and in other areas we run activities in. All canoe groups will have a Personal Locator Beacon for emergencies. Our drivers and guides carry a Garmin In Reach device to allow for emergency communication.
Where are toilets available?
Toilets (long drops) are available at every Department of Conservation (DOC) campsite, take your own toilet paper and hand sanitiser. Do not toilet elsewhere unless completely unavoidable and in this case please dig a latrine hole at least 50m from running water.
Is the water safe to drink?
We recommend you take your drinking water with you. Excellent untreated sping water is available free of charge at the Piriaka water tanks, just down the road from our base. If using water from the campsites or river, we recommend you purify this water by boiling or other means.
Can I take my kids?
We recommend your group has a good ratio of adults to children and all participants have basic swimming ability. Children under six are considered too young under most circumstances. Please phone us to discuss.
How many people fit in a canoe?
Two people fit in a canadian canoe and one person in a sit-on-kayak. Sometimes people will have three per canoe so they can sit a child in between two adults.
What storage and gear is provided with my canoe?
Each canoe comes with 4x 55 litre drums, 1x dry bag, and 1x 20 litre drum for smaller essentials (measurements are on the Canoeing page). Also a spare paddle, baler, tie down straps for the gear, and a rope to secure the canoe at night.
What if we have an emergency?
We provide a basic emergency kit for every group. Included is: Personal Locator Beacon, First Aid Kit (though you should also bring your own), emergency blanket, rope, knife etc. You will be given a full safety briefing before departure and laminated information sheets including maps and emergency procedures. If you book a Guided Tour your qualified guide will carry extra safety gear and communications equipment, as well as being trained in river rescue and outdoor first aid.
Can I bring my own Personal Floatation Device (life jacket), canoe or kayak?
Yes, you can bring your own Personal Floatation Device (life jacket) and we will check it is safe before you depart. If you have your own canoe or kayak we are happy to provide transport only.
Is there anywhere to buy supplies?
There are no shops down the river but basic supplies are available from Posh Pioneers, Blue Duck Station and Pipiriki. It's best to be fully prepared with everything you might need before you leave.
Can we canoe the Whanganui River year round?
The river is open all year, however we recommend only experienced outdoor adventurers canoe in winter. Jet Boating, Fly Fishing, Clay Bird Target Shooting, Helicopter Rides and even some Forgotten World Garden Tours are available year round.
Can I hunt down the river?
Hunting is permitted in Whanganui River National Park from May to September, contact DOC for permits. Dogs are only permitted May to September and must have Kiwi Aversion Training. Before hiring canoes we need to sight your DOC permit and Avian Aversion Certificate, or permission from private land owners. Click here to get your DOC permit.
What if my trip has to be cancelled or postponed?
Please see our Cancellation Policy for full details. Rest assured that if your trip is cancelled due to Covid Level Restrictions you will receive a full refund. We're very reasonable so please give us a call to discuss any concerns on 0800 BLAZIN (0800 252 946) or call or txt +64 21 991564 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.