Days 61-66: Taumarunui to Whanganui.

E rere kau mai te Awanui
Mai i te Kahui Maunga ki Tangaroa
Ko au te Awa, ko te Awa ko au.

We started the river journey at Ohinepani, the previous afternoon we had taken the boat out for a paddle from the campground in Marunui with the intention of paddling a small section into Taumarunui about an hour. After 40 mins I checked the GPS to find out where we were, funny about 3km past where we were ment to get out, by the time we managed to contact Fiona to pick us up we were almost at Ohinepani the camp spot for the next night, so having paddled the first section of river that became our start point for the river journey. Ohinepani to Whakahoro then John Coull camp, Ngaporo, Downes Hut and onto Whanganui and a rest day.

Being an official great walk I was expecting hoards of people so was pleasantly surprised to find so few people out on the river. I was even happier that the river did most of the work and we managed to keep the canoe floating the right way up for the whole journey, most folks seem to fall out at least once a day.

Meandering down the river you are in one of the remotest places in New Zealand, very little access in or out other than boat, dense bush and an abundance of bird life. Tuis, Korimoko, flocks of Kereru and pairs of Karearea every km scouting the river valley for the next stray duckling. Whose only defense is to splash water and hope the falcon tires and gives up. One of the last places attempted to be settled one of the first places to be reclaimed by the bush. The Rata is blooming it’s going to be a hot summer.

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