Te Araroa Trail – Day 47
Wednesday, December 20, 2023
Distance/ Total: 35 km / 21.7 mi paddling
I was excited to get on the river and was up at 5:30 am. I had all my gear packed up in barrels for the canoe trip and headed up to the Taumarunui Canoe office for the safety orientation before the trip.
They provided coffee and homemade bread while they explained how to handle the rapids, where to get off the river for the huts, and what to do if something goes wrong. After the meeting we loaded up and headed to Whakahoro to get on the river.
Whakahoro is 165 km further down the trail, but due to the Christmas holiday schedule on the Whanganui River all the campgrounds were booked up between 12/27 and 1/10. In order to do the river section without waiting 2 weeks I skipped forward with the canoe companies help and started 12/20. I plan to finish the river 12/24 and be in the city of Whanganui for the holidays, return to Taumarunui on 12/27 and start back where I left off on 12/28. Once I reach Whakahoro I will then return to Whanganui and continue on with my hike. (Wow, that was a mouthful)
Back to today, Andi (my canoe partner) and I reached the river loaded up, went through some additional orientation and were finally on the river about 10:00 am.
The river was pretty fun with only class 1 rapids today and some beautiful forest and deep canyons to enjoy as we traveled down river. We stopped at 2 other campsites to eat lunch and take a break ( those canoe seats are hard). We arrived at our campground about 4:30 and set up our tents for the evening.
Today was a 35 km day and after getting used to the canoe we made pretty good time to camp. There are about 15 canoes here tonight and the people are split between the hut and camping tents. I’m in a tent and visited with others before climbing into my tent about dusk.