Waitomo, Taranaki, Wanganui

Old May 24th, 2009, 05:37 PM
  #1  
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Waitomo, Taranaki, Wanganui

I'm planning a trip around the western North Island - mainly because its one region I haven't seen much of in New Zealand. Can someone who's been there please list some 'must do's'. I'm interested in natural stuff - walking, gardens, and really good quality local attractions. Also any nice eco-friendly type accommodation to recommend?
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Old May 27th, 2009, 03:58 PM
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Sorry, I just saw this request.

In April 2004, we spent a night at the Missing Leg hostel just outside Egmont National Park. The owners allow you to use their herb garden and the honey from their bees; we enjoyed our stay there.

I see that Missing Leg is no longer listed as a Budget Backpackers Hostel (BBH) so they may not be in business. Here's a link for other properties in that area:

http://www.bbh.co.nz/listings.aspx?bbh=list&aid=218

There are a lot of hiking trails in Egmont National Park. We just did a short nature trail, but it was lovely.

The next day we drove to Waitomo and did the Black Labyrinth tour with Blackwater Rafting, which was a lot of fun. You walk into Ruakuri Cave and tube down the river while watching glowworms. When you're done, you head back to their offices for hot soup and bagels.

We stayed at the Waitomo YHA in one of their chalets, which was very comfortable.

Lee Ann
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Old May 27th, 2009, 06:54 PM
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Thanks for that Lee Ann. Looks like Missing Leg is still in operation, but received a recent "poor attitide and service" comment in a web report. I've found out about Shoestring Backpackers in New Plymouth which has a really good rap.
Did you go anywhere near the Whanganui River, by any chance?
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Old May 28th, 2009, 12:13 AM
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I second the labyrinth tour with Blackwater rafting. Have done a couple of tube trips through Waitomo and both were awesome experiences. Good value for money too - they're a good half day exercise. Waitomo has loads of free sights too including Marokopa Falls, the Natural Bridge and a couple of free caves (don't forget the torch!). There's a mostly unsealed road that runs along the West Coast in towards Marokopa from Kawhia which is kinda scenic too (depending on which way you're coming from of course).

Spent a nice relaxing week in Wanganui last year - Victoria Lake was very picturesque and good for a stroll. North of Wanganui on the road to New Plymouth you'll find Bushy Park Sanctuary which has a predator proof fence so there's opportunity to spot different types of native birds. Even if you don't the bush walk is really nice. The Waimarie paddle steamer travels up the Whanganui river and is a great couple of hours with interesting commentary and views.

We really want to go back into the Whanganui park and do one of the kayak trips from Pipiriki. These look amazing!

Hope this helps
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Old May 28th, 2009, 12:36 PM
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Hi Mike,

Thanks - Bushy Park and the steamer sound interesting.
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Old May 28th, 2009, 03:43 PM
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Sorry, we just spent a night in Wanganui and didn't do anything on the river.

Lee Ann
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