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Hiakai: Te Awa o Whanganui

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The only dining experience of its kind in Aotearoa!

A dining experience like no other. Your journey will start in Raetihi where you'll be greeted by Hayden Potaka of Unique Whanganui River Experience, who will convoy guests along Whanganui River Road to Pipiriki. From Pipiriki, guests will board a jet boat to explore and learn about the history of the Whanganui River, its importance to Maori and its unique status as a legal entity.

Next, you will be taken to Puraroto where we will be camping overnight as well as enjoying a 6-course tasting menu by award-winning dining experience, Hiakai. Each course will be accompanied with a beverage pairing that has been carefully selected or crafted to compliment the menu. Hiakai combines traditional Māori cookery with modern cooking techniques to create a fine dining experience that showcases Māori Cuisine in a way that has never been done before. This unique approach has earned Hiakai international acclaim, with the Hiakai dining experience being featured in media publications across the world. At the end of your dining experience, make your way down to the campfire and enjoy the quiet calm of rural Aotearoa.

monii Hiakai: Te Awa o Whanganui

In the morning, enjoy an artisanal breakfast prepared by Hiakai before gearing up to canoe the Whanganui River back to Pipiriki. Ride the rapids of the river, paddle through beautiful scenery, and listen to the native birds sing as you make your way back to your final destination.

Dates for this event are:

- Sat, 13/01 - Sun, 14/01
- Sat, 20/01 - Sun, 21/01
- Sat, 27/01 - Sun, 28/01
- Sat, 03/02 - Sun, 4/02
- Sat, 10/02 - Sun, 11/02

Tickets for this experience are $375 p/p which includes:

- A guided jet boat ride along the Whanganui River.

- Canoe hire and operator guide with over 10 years guiding experience.

- Light snacks and refreshments prepared by Hiakai upon arrival at Puraroto Campsite.

- A six-course tasting menu with wine and bespoke juice pairings crafted by Hiakai.

- Artisinal breakfast prepared by Hiakai on the morning of departure.

- Dome tents, air mattresses, inflatable pillow, dry bag, torches, and overnight passes for Puraroto Campsite.

Spaces are limited, book now to reserve your seat!

illx2c Hiakai: Te Awa o Whanganui


Can we leave our car somewhere safe?

Vehicles will be parked overnight in a safe and secure location at Whanganui River Adventures in Pipiriki.

What equipment do we provide?

We will provide the following equipment:

  • Dome Tents for overnight camping
  • Air mattress
  • Inflatable pillow
  • Dry bag
  • Life jacket
  • Food and water
  • Canoes
  • Jet boat
  • Guide
  • First Aid Kit

Where do we start from? How will we get to the river?

All guests are to meet at Raetihi Holiday Park at 1pm. Hayden Potaka from Unique Whanganui River Experience will be there to meet you and guide you along Whanganui River Road to Whanganui River Adventures in Pipiriki. Whanganui River Road is a unique historic road with incredible views overlooking the Whanganui River, and surrounded rich native fauna. Upon arriving at Whanganui River Adventures you will be fitted with life jackets then taken aboard jetboat bound for the Puraroto Campsite where you'll be spending the night.

Do I need previous canoeing experience?

Not at all, these trips cater for the absolute beginner who has never paddled before. You’ll be given clear Safety Briefings and also a bit of Training prior to leaving in order to help you manage, and Hayden will always be on-hand to offer advice. There are a number of rapids between Puraroto and Pipiriki, however, they're no problem at all – they are perfect for beginners, great fun but not at all dangerous.

What do I need to bring?

The following is recommended:

  • Warm on-river and off-river clothes
  • River footwear
  • Sleeping bag and/or blanket

A full itinerary and suggested equipment list will be provided when you book.

Dietary Requirements

Guests must inform us of dietary requirements at least one week prior to dining. Due to the remote location of the event, we cannot cater to dietaries without advanced notice. Please ensure that you inform us ahead of time so we can plan accordingly.

Refund Policy

Over 21 days until scheduled event: Guests may receive a full refund

Less than 21 days until scheduled event: Guests may receive a partial refund of 50% of the purchase price

Book online here.

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