Jet-Boat Tours

If you fancy a faster-paced river adventure, consider a jet-boat tour—you'll skim across the rapids, dodge the rocks, and see fantastic scenery. Note that Whanganui River rides are more about grand scenery and cultural history than the short, thrill-seeking ones offered by some southern-based operations. One of the most popular tours is a boat trip from Pipiriki to Mangapurua Landing, followed by a walk to the Bridge to Nowhere in the Mangapurua Valley. The valley was a farming settlement established in 1918 and abandoned in 1942, owing to the impossibly remote and rugged country. The old concrete bridge in the bush is a fascinating reminder. Jet-boat companies also transport hikers to two national park hiking trails: the Matemateonga Track and the Mangapurua Track.

Bridge to Nowhere. Jet-boats make the trip from Pipiriki to the Bridge to Nowhere (NZ$130) as well as to other natural and historic sights. The company also offers a host of additional activities, including canoeing, canoe/jet-boat combos, accommodations at the Bridge to Nowhere Lodge, and transport for mountain bikers tackling the Bridge to Nowhere section of the Mountains to Sea—Nga Ara Tuhono Cycle Trail. 0800/480–308;

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