Te Araroa trail walkers are "proper travellers" and a pleasure to host, Tamara Riverside Lodge owner Rory Smith says.

The Te Araroa trail is 3000km from Cape Reinga to Bluff. It was opened in 2011 and passes through Whanganui.

It's a mixture of established tracks and walkways, new tracks and sections of road or highway.

Mr Smith has been hosting about 10 trail walkers a week lately. He said they often stayed two nights, to rest up after several days in the isolation of the Whanganui River.


"I absolutely love the Te Araroa walk. It's a fantastic thing for Whanganui. That type of traveller really enriches the town," he said.

People can choose to cycle, walk or canoe the trail in places. Some insist on walking every step, while others only do sections that appeal to them.

Many choose to hire a canoe and paddle the Whanganui River section, getting out at the Whanganui River Top Ten Holiday Park in Aramoho.

Owner Jeannie Kay has two to 10 trail walkers staying each night at present, and said that's likely to carry on through January. Some opt to hire a bicycle to do the next leg to Palmerston North, in an arrangement with the Riverlands Family Park.

Most trail walkers are in their 20s and from Europe or the United States, Ms Kay said. The Kiwi walkers tend to be a bit older.

Heading south past Whanganui the trail takes SH3 to Turakina, then Turakina Beach Rd to Koitiata. Then it heads down the beach toward Scott's Ferry, veering inland near the Fusilier wreck site and heading for Santoft and across to Palmerston North.

The SH3 section is not very safe for walkers, and the Te Araroa Whanganui Trust is looking for an alternative route along the coast. Any route will require bridging the Whangaehu and Turakina rivers.

Trustee Brian Doughty has been talking to landowners in the area, and hopes to arrive at a solution that will suit everyone.