Unique Whanganui River Experience


Unique Whanganui Experience managing director is Hayden Potaka has a team of Cultural Navigators that have all been on the Tira Hoe Waka wananga, trained Iwi knowledge and have a strong knowledge of the river. They have also been technical in swift water rescue and hold current first aid certificates. Hemi Gray is our lead cultural navigator and has ability to bring a group of individuals together and create a fantastic team of friends. Most trips start with formal handshakes, but end with hugs all round.

Each Experience is Unique. Continuing the business based on its Unique themes, We are wanting to focus the experience on the river and enhancing the gourmet food experience by introducing different Chefs to river while utilising the produce the surrounds the river and bush environment. So keep an eye out those food themed experience.


We’ll guide you through the heart of the Whanganui River, places inaccessible by land, and you’ll get a taste of the great food, history and culture of the river - memories that will stay with you forever.


Your ‘on-river’ experience begins when you reach Whakahoro. Before getting on the water and making your way along the Retaruke River, to join the Whanganui River, you’ll be briefed thoroughly. All safety procedures will be discussed and you’ll be trained with the best way to steer your canoe, how to read the water, and things to look out for along the way.


Time off the river is all about relaxing and telling a few stories. You’ll be provided with a tent, air mattress, inflatable pillow, and a bag for all of your things to go in – this is ‘glamping’ at its best! You’ll be amazed at what can be cooked using a gas camp oven – roasts, baked goods, dessert – none of this dried packet stuff. And we hope you won’t go hungry, there’s plenty to keep you going!

Map & Directions

71 Carlton Avenue, Tawhero Whanganui 4501, New Zealand


Trips normally start in Ohakune or Whanganui. Transport can be arranged depending on where you are travelling from. But it will pay to speak with Hayden to ensure meeting places are confirmed prior to your Unique Experience Starts.

Cancellation Policy

Adventure activities have a degree of risk. No operator can guarantee absolute safety to participants. Whilst the operator and guides of ‘Unique Whanganui River Experience’ are committed to safety at all times they cannot be held responsible for injury and loss or damage to personal property if you fail to follow their instructions.

Cancellation Policy: If a trip has to be cancelled due to weather conditions, a refund of 80% of the booking total will be made.
If a client cancels within 48 hours of tour departure, no refund will be provided. If a client cancels more than 48 hours before tour departure, a 60% refund will be provided.
Where you are entitled to a refund, the refund will be made to the same credit card that you used to confirm the booking.

For amendments of bookings, additional charges or a refund may apply depending on the nature of the booking amendment.

Damage: In the unlikely event of canoes being damaged the crew will be asked for a contribution to assist with repairs. https://uniquewhanganuiriver.co.nz/terms/

If you make a booking using a discount code you will not be able to use that discount code on any subsequent booking amendment. Amendments will be made using the normal price of the product being amended.

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