Strategic Advisor Aaron Rice-Edwards says DOC anticipates and welcomes the increasing number of visitors seeking the serenity, peace and adventure experienced on the Whanganui River.
“The opportunity for visitors to experience nature and connect with our great outdoors has provided for many a lasting impact shared with friends and whanau over the years,” Aaron says.
“We’re asking people to do their part by being safe on the awa [river], tidy, respectful and well-prepared. People need to be aware and conscious of essential basic awa rules ie; wear your life jacket securely, keep to the side while jet boats and other motorised vessels are passing.”
Paddlers intending to spend several days on the river should also pay special attention to getting a good weather forecast before they get on the water.
At the same time as welcoming visitors, DOC Supervisor Senior Ranger Recreation and Historic Jim Campbell also advises DOC will take a stronger line on those breaking the rules and strongly advises visitors to stay only at designated campsites.
While the Mangapurua section of the Mountains to Sea cycleway is currently closed, visitors can still access the Bridge to Nowhere from the Whanganui River at Mangapurua Landing.
The section between Ruatiti road end and the Mangapurua Trig is open and offers a great day ride.
“The Matemateaonga and Trains tracks are also open for trampers and a great place to getaway. The track up to Puketotara Hut from the river opposite Tieke provides an opportunity to escape, get awesome mountain views and experience the bush,” Jim says.