Introduction

Find out important safety information for the Whanganui Journey.

Your safety is your responsibility. To have a great time in the outdoors, know before you go the five simple rules of the Outdoor Safety Code to help you stay safe:

  1. Plan your trip
  2. Tell someone
  3. Be aware of the weather
  4. Know your limits
  5. Take sufficient supplies

1. Plan your trip

Seek local knowledge, plan your route and the amount of time you expect it to take.

It's important to plan, prepare and equip yourself well. Have the right gear and skills required for the trip and always check the latest information about facilities you plan to use, and local track and weather conditions.

On the Whanganui Journey, be aware that:

  • Once on the river, emergency communication is available only at John Coull Hut and Tieke Kainga, and there is only road access to the river at Whakahoro and Pipiriki.

More information:

Check for alerts at the top of Whanganui Journey page, or contact:

Whanganui Office
Phone:      +64 6 349 2100
Email:   whanganui@doc.govt.nz
Full office details
 

2. Tell someone

Before you go into the outdoors, tell someone your plans and leave a date to raise the alarm if you haven't returned. To do this, use the New Zealand Outdoors Intentions process on the AdventureSmart website. It is endorsed by New Zealand's search and rescue agencies and provides three simple options to tell someone you trust the details about your trip.

3. Be aware of the weather

New Zealand's weather can be highly unpredictable - expect weather changes and be prepared for them.

On the Whanganui Journey, be aware that:

  • Heavy rain and flooding can occur at any time of yearon the Whanganui River and the weather can change quickly. You will need to be prepared for rain, cold and windy conditions.
  • Don’t canoe the river when water levels are predicted to rise or it is in flood. If you capsize, you may not beable to get back in, or swim to the river’s edge.
  • Always pull your canoe up high on the bank and tie it to something secure. It may not be raining on the river, but rain elsewhere in the large catchment can cause the river to rise several metres overnight.

More information:

Check the Whanganui rural area weather forecast of the MetService website.

4. Know your limits

Challenge yourself within your physical limits and experience.

On the Whanganui Journey, be aware that:

  • The trip should only be undertaken by people in good physical condition and fitness - once you're on the river below Whakahoro, there is no turning back.

5. Take sufficient supplies

You must be self sufficient: be sure you have enough food, clothing, equipment and emergency food for the worst-case scenario.

Take an appropriate means of communication such as a cellphone and/or personal locator beacon. Personal locator beacons provide increased personal safety. You can rent them from various outlets, check details on the Rescue Co-ordination Centre NZ website

On the Whanganui Journey, be aware that:

  • Food and drinks are not available for purchase at huts and campsites.

More information:

For a comprehensive gear list, read New Zealand Recreational Canoeing Association’s Guide to the Whanganui River.

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