As one can see from reading the reviews, there are many ways to enjoy the Wanganui River, and we hope to come back to try the kayaking or a longer trip to the Bridge to Nowhere, perhaps staying in one of the few river lodges. This trip, on Sunday, we spent a couple of hours with family on the paddle steamer Waimarie, restored and recommissioned 100 years after she was first built. It's useful to know that there are drinks sold on board, and that you can either pre-order a bag lunch or bring your own food for a picnic, since the cafe where the steamer stops has fairly unfriendly service and mediocre food (in particular, I'd suggest skipping the enormous Lamingtons). The coffee was fine. It's also useful to know that if you sit on top in front (great view but lots of sun so slather on the sunscreen and bring a hat) you will get coal dust all over you at one point. I just checked my laundry, and it does come out, but jeans are a better choice than my white slacks were! On Monday, we drove along the river to Pipiriki, stopping to look at various lovely views and to visit a particularly serene marae with good 19th century carvings to the left of the road a little before Jerusalem. (The drive is about 74 kilometers and takes about 1-1/2 hours without stops. We took about 2/1-2.) At Pipiriki, we felt slightly un-ecofriendly taking a 45 minute jet boat trip further up the river, but really enjoyed it. Both the drive along and the time on the river were wonderful.
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