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A Manatū Taonga audio guide to the Whanganui River. Check out the Ministry for Culture and Heritage's audio guide in the image carousel above.

For the Māori tribes of the Whanganui River, the river was vitally important for transport, food and spiritual wellbeing. Māori caught eels by building ingenious eel weirs in the river -- but these structures were removed by European settlers to allow access for steamboats. Boat trips up the river became popular with tourists in the late 19th century.

Whanganui River,

'New Zealand's great scenic river' poster,

Whanganui tribes,

Three-fence eel weir,

Te hopu tuna -- eeling,

Whanganui or Wanganui?,

Archival audio sourced from Radio New Zealand Sound Archives, Sound files may not be reused without permission from Radio New Zealand Sound Archives (Reference number TCDR5112).

Roadside Stories are a series of audio guides to places of interest on major road trips in New Zealand. Each guide tells the story of an attraction along the way -- its people, its history, its cultural and natural significance. For more information about Roadside Stories visit

Map showing Whanganui River - Roadside Stories