Welcome to Stewart Island & Sails Ashore +64 3 219 1151 tait@sailsashore.co.nz




Forgotten Word….. The Map 

Day 1…….. Taumarinui to Whangamomona.

Day 2 ……   Whangamomona to Whanganui   

Day 3 …….. Whanganui to Blue Duck Station 

Day 4 …….. Blue Duck Station to Taumaranui


Up the Whanganui River

After overnighting in Whanganui we were picked up at 0715 by Tracey of Whanganui Tours & Mail Run. Tracey was born in the Whanganui River Valley and it seemed like she was related to the whole valley. And what better way to explore than on a Rural Delivery Mail Run. Her stories were about family, growing up on the river, what life was like, the people and the histories. And we stopped at several place of interest and ended the morning at Jerusalem.

From Jerusalem we joined Whanganui River Adventures. and carried on up the river itself heading for The Bridge to Nowhere. This is an around 40 minutes easy walk, where we had lunch, then returned to the Jet Boat, then on upriver to Blue Duck Station, where we spent the night. 

Our Rural Delivery and Tour Host

Aramoana View Point, looking north up the Whanganui River in the early morning sun

Aramoana View Point, looking north up the Whanganui River

Rural Delivery. Tracey told us of picking up and paying for medicines and other items for her customers.
So as well as the mail the RD drivers are often the link to the wider world for folks who may not be so mobile

Rural Delivery. Some of the mail boxes showed great creativity, or perhaps re-purposing. 
A microwave working beyond it’s design life.

Tracey had us out of the van to see points of interest

For a Stewart Islander the forest was just so different

Some properties had no access apart from by jet boat or in this case by flying fox across the river

River Queen, Filmed in 2005.
Our Morning Tea Stop with Traceys Aunt Maureen,

Our Morning Tea Stop with Traceys Aunt Maureen,
Scones from heaven

Next Stop, Tracey explains about the Kawana Flour Mill

Next Stop, Tracey explains about the Kawana Flour Mill

Kawana Millers Cottage


Our fist view of Jerusalem

Josephs Church, Jerusalem

Josephs Church, Jerusalem

Josephs Church, Jerusalem

The old Convent of the Sisters of Compassion is now a hostel.
But filled with memories and photos of how it was when Mother Mary Joseph was part of the community here.

Perhaps from a much later period the the previous “Nuns on Horses”
but never the less showing illustrating how capable these women were

Our Jet Boat Awaits. From now we leave the roads, and travel further upriver by jet boat

Previous to this I had seen the Whanganui River just twice, each time as I crossed on a bridge in Whanganui.  I was astonished at how muddy it was, and also the size of the flow, and just how deeply gorged it was. In short everything about the rive was an eye opener for me. 

The river banks had slips in many places, explaining the muddy water

The gorges were quite spectacular. No chance to climb out in many places

We weren’t the only people on the river.
Kayakers as we approach the Mangapurua Landing for the 40 minute walk to the Bridge to Nowhere

Our Lunch Spot.

If ever there was a sad monument to wasted dreams it’s this old horse drawn plough.
Abandoned by the early settlers

Looking out over the Whanganui River from Retaruke Station, Home of Richard & Rachel Steel.
We stayed the night at Blue Duck Station