Canoe Safaris
Canoe Safaris
5
Multi-day ToursBoat ToursKayaking & Canoeing
8:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Monday
8:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Tuesday
8:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Wednesday
8:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Thursday
8:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Friday
8:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Saturday
8:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Sunday
8:00 AM - 9:00 PM
About
Guided tours from 1 to 5 days in the Whanganui National Park. Suitable for all ages and all fitness levels. Family trips a speciality. Operating for 40 years. Easy paddling, short Walks, Maori and European history. Fantastic meals. Fully qualified guides and we are a licensed operator. Canoe and Kayak Hire is also available.
Ohakune, New Zealand

Awards
Travellers' Choice
2024

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(27 reviews)

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles330 reviews
Excellent
313
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12
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Rachel
6 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2019 • Family
What an amazing three day family adventure in a magical part of the world. Stunning scenery and the most beautiful native forest I have ever seen. In fact it had a Jurassic park feel! Beautiful wildlife too... trout, loads of native birds and so many little wild pigs and goats on the riverside.
In our party we had 9 adults and 10 kids aged from 8-14year olds. Phil, from Canoe Safaries, was an incredible guide, along with two of his awesome colleagues who were fabulous hosts. They work very hard and their main objective is to ensure we were all happy and safe at all times. They taught us paddling techniques, they set up camp, cooked our food at our camping spots each night and they shared their extensive knowledge about the history of the Whanganui River and the flora and fauna that lives there. The kids absolutely loved the trip! The younger five kids (7years old -10) all went together in a large open canoe with a guide and a Dad from the group. This worked perfectly as it would have been too tough for them to canoe in a two-person canoe all day. They sang all the way down the river and had massive water fights and all and all they had a party in that boat for three days! The river was really warm in February and we went swimming every day. The camp life in the evening was brilliant! Great food! We were very well looked after! I would recommend to bring some snacks in your pocket... although Canoe Safaris supply great food and plenty of it, it was sometimes long stretches of time where there were no beaches on the river to stop and eat. A few muesli bars and small snacks in your pocket would keep the energy up! We had amazing weather so we just wore swimming togs and a long sleeved rash shirt all day. However, if you struck cool weather you will most certainly need to wear layers! You need a good sun hat that ties under the chin and plenty of sun block. Take footwear that allows you to be able to climb up steep river banks. It was quite hard work scrambling up the river bank with heavy gear so you need a good grip! Lightweight sneakers work well. Remember to stretch in the evening... you will be using upper body muscles that perhaps you don’t usually use!!
Canoe safaris opens up a whole new world on the river! If you want an adventure with friends, loads of fun and excitement on the river and a camping experience to treasure for ever, then this is the trip for you and your family!
Written 5 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Paul F
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019
We booked a 4 day guided canoe trip down the Whanganui River with Canoe Safaris for a family of 4 (including 2 teenage boys). Each day was spent canoeing and then camping above the river in tents (provided). Canoe Safaris were fantastic, they supplied the tents, bedrolls and food (the food was excellent) and transport to and from the river.

The river was pretty gentle, aside from the odd rapid which our guides talked us through. Phil, Greg and Maddie were excellent guides, very friendly, professional, and knowledgeable about the history of the river.

Thoroughly recommend for families or those wanting to try canoeing for the first time.
Written 3 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

507RachelL
Wellington, New Zealand7 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019
We were really thrilled with the professionalism of the tour operators and guides. We had booked without fully reading about the journey and had not expected there to be so many rapids, but the guides gave us great direction on how to safely navigate through rapids and past hazards despite my husband and I being nervous on the river. The food was excellent and campsites enjoyable. Special mention of just how awesome Erin is as a guide - really clear with instructions and able to project her voice for stragglers to clearly hear instructions. This is a wonderful way to experience the Wanganui river.
Written 4 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

John
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
The magnificent scenery and remote landscapes of the Wanganui River can be fully enjoyed while Phil, Kirsty and team at Canoe Safaris take care of every detail.
We recently completed a four day trip down the Wanganui River and all our expectations were exceeded. The scenery is amazing, the remoteness and difficulties of breaking in and farming this wild terrain is difficult to comprehend.
Our guides, Maddie, Greg and Phil taught us paddling techniques, explained tricky river conditions and how to negotiate the rapids and added interesting information on the local flora, fauna and history.
The variety of menus was outstanding with all meal preparation done by our guides.
I am a Coeliac who requires a gluten free diet. At each break and meal time I was impressed by the level of the attention to detail and thoughtfulness to meet my allergy requirements. My food was cooked first and every effort was made to avoid cross contamination.
But just as impressive was the amount, type and variety of food and drinks, ancillary tables, stoves, pots, cutlery etc. taken on the trip, almost all of which was transported on the river by our guides.
The trip was also special because of the teamwork and camaraderie within the group.
Written 4 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Marion J
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
Our family of four (children 16 and 13) did a three day independent trip with Canoe Safaris who proved to be friendly, efficient and professional in all aspects of their business. From making initial bookings with Kirsty, to staying in your clean and modern motel, to Phil's thorough canoe instructions, everything flowed (pun!) very well. Thank you Kirsty and Phil for your help in making our Whanganui Journey experience one to remember.
Written 14 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Lindaannz
Whangarei, New Zealand46 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2020
A superb experience in a stunning part of NZ! We’ve just completed a fabulous 5 Day Guided Canoe Safari with our trusty, knowledgeable, safety conscious and extremely skilled guide, Morgan. Our canoe skills went from non-existent to confidently capable to the extent that none of us capsized at all, due to his expert guidance. It was an amazing time, the catering / food was perfect (thanks, Kirsty), the weather window was exceptional and the scenery breathtaking.
From our first communications with owners Kirsty and Phil, to landing safely at the take-out spot after 5 days on the river with Morgan, our experience with Canoe Safaris was always extremely professional. Thank you !
Written 20 December 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

kiwiamy
London21 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2021 • Family
We (parents, Mr 8 and Miss 6) have just returned from 4 days on the river. It was a spectacular and relaxing break. We needed the slow pace, tech free time and the experience did not disappoint.

The views from the river were spectacular and constantly changing. We heard all sorts of birds including kiwi and kokako. The weather also held, which for April was a relief.

All of the above would have applied no matter who we used but I would recommend Canoe Safaris without question.

Kirsty answered all my silly questions before we hit the river. She coordinated spectacular food for us to eat on the river. Phil gave the best pre departure briefing making me feel relaxed about getting two kids onnthe river.

Our guide Simon had so much experience on rivers generally and had taken the time to learn the history of this river and share it. He would stop in random spots we would have never seen without him, and happily occupied the kids minds by giving them jokes and quizzes in moments they may have otherwise been bored.

I will be telling everyone we know what a good time we had and how much the Canoe Safari team made it hhe enjoyable experience it was.
Written 25 April 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sally F
Geelong, Australia3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Family
I thoroughly recommend taking a guided tour with Canoe Safaris above doing a self guided tour. We were not highly experienced at canoeing and if we didn't have the guide (Erin) to coach us through some rapids I'm sure we would have tipped over. Thankfully we didn't, which made our trip much more enjoyable. Also Erin cooks you amazing meals which are great especially at the end of tiring days ! Good gear eg tents/mats etc also important. Reliable, knowledgeable crew who will look after you.
Written 18 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Vivienne S
Wellington, New Zealand8 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2021
We are a family group of 5 just back from the five day guided trip. Our guides Aiden and Tayler were exceptional, and made the trip for us. They showed endless patience and supported everyone especially those of us requiring more coaching at paddling. I was so thankful we chose the guided option. Aiden and Tayler were amazing on the water, keeping the group together and making sure everyone got the full instructions on how to tackle each rapid. And then they cooked us yummy meals. My mum who is a month off 80 came on the trip and the guides took great care of her and she stayed dry for the whole trip. Tents were great, thermorests were so comfy, and all the hard work of food prep and gear cleanup was done by the guides and Phil and Kirsty back at base. One of our group was injured by tripping over a log at a camp site and had to leave early. Aidan organized a jet boat pick up for the injured person by satellite phone and got her safely back to base. This would have been impossible on our own. Highly recommended.
Written 26 March 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tahs14
Sydney, Australia75 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2021 • Couples
This is not one of the ‘Great Walks’ for nothing - its an experience that I’d recommend for anyone who enjoys the outdoors. Amazing part fo the world and a sensational trip. And I’d recommend Canoe Safaris to organise and guide the trip. Phil, Simon & Dave were our guides on the river, teaching us how to paddle the canoe, steering us though the rapids and generally ensuing that everything ran smoothly. The food was great and plentiful and the rest of the gear that was provided (tents, sleeping mattresses, PFD’s, etc) were excellent quality. And thanks to Kristy for doing all the hard work back in Ohakune to make it all run smoothly.
Written 17 November 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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