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1218 - 1243 John Coull Hut

masonbee Te Araroa

Can't say Taumarunui River Canoes did spectacularly well but they got to us in the end and remembered all our food even if the rope they gave us to tie off was too short to reach the first tie off. Cest la vie. John Coull was all right though.

The river is running quite high which is making the journey faster. It is also smoothing out the rapids. We didn't actually stay in the hut when we got to it. John Coull campsite is a series of terraces on the banks of the river. There were quite a few people there.

Not being in the hut also means we don't have to carry all our drums of stuff so far.

Anyway. The Whanganui River is fantastic, beautiful, and amazing. Also, I am shit in canoes. The last time I was in a canoe was 20 years ago on the Hokitika and it shows. I am leaving the steering to Ken as he is better at it. I tend to turn us around to often.

Unfortunately Ken screwed up his arm back before Taumaranui so he is only really good on one side. This means I have to paddle constantly on the other. Luke is very experienced with canoes so Silvan barely has to paddle. Luke dips his paddle in the water occasionally and the bloody thing obeys him like magic.


  • Eventually Ken got so pissed off with our canoe that Taumaranui Canoes refunded some money. Very nice of them I thought.
  • The Bridge to Nowhere is a nice walk with a not particularly spectacular end.
  • Following the foam is the fastest way. Luke says the foam generally follows the fastest water.
  • Aim for the V.
  • Watch out for the eddies and if they are trying to tip you out then try leaning into them a bit.
  • There are a lot of goats on the Whanganui.
  • It's hard to take photos while paddling.
  • Alcohol is a good thing to have at the end of the day on a river journey.

John Coull Hut Map

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