Whanganui National Park
Whanganui National Park is located in the central North Island with the township of Taumarunui to the north and Whanganui to the south. It is close to the small towns of Pipiriki, Ohinepane, and Whakahoro which are the main gateways to the river itself.
Whanganui National Park surrounds the upper and middle areas of the Whanganui River, which is New Zealand's longest navigable waterway. The 329 kilometre river winds its way to the Tasman Sea through an endless display of forested valleys and hills. Tramping tracks through wild lowland forests and river trips down the mighty Whanganui are popular activities for visitors.
It has a very distinctive landscape of river valley systems with steep slopes, sharp ridges and an almost complete cover of native lowland forest. The park is at the centre of a large sedimentary basin, so the rocks are mostly mudstones which are easily sculpted by the river into fascinating shapes.
For bird watchers there are large numbers of native birds to be seen such as kereru (native pigeon), piwakawaka (fantail), tui, toutouwai (robin), riroriro (grey warbler) and miromiro (tomtit). You can also hope for sightings of kaka and yellow-crowned parakeets. At night it's possible to hear the call of the North Island brown kiwi.
Whanganui National Park History
Whanganui National Park was established in 1986. The river was once an important transport route for Maori and many defensive forts were constructed on headlands along its winding course. Early European settlers and traders also used the river for transport, guiding their shallow-draft boats through the long narrow gorges.
Main Towns in the Manawatu Region
Other Towns in the Manawatu Region