The Whanganui River Rd is seeing more tourists than last year, including an increasing number of cyclists.

Bronnie Crow, at the city's information centre, says the road is one of the top four attractions for visitors to Whanganui.

The Flying Fox co-owner, Annette Main, said her boutique accommodation business on the River Rd at Koriniti was sleeping six to eight people a night and bookings were still steady. She is also seeing eight to 10 cyclists on the road each day and at least three campervans at the Conservation Department campsite at Atene every night.

The 79km road to Pipiriki has bush and river scenery, several marae and the picturesque convent and church at Jerusalem/Hiruharama. At Pipiriki, travellers get off or on to the river in jetboats and canoes. At least six places offer accommodation along the road, ranging from camping spots to self-contained cottages.


The Operiki homestay and Ranana campground are closed but two new accommodation options have opened. In Pipiriki, the Haworths have turned the former school into a campground with cabins and Tracey Marshall opened Te Punga Homestead at Koriniti last summer.

Many of the tourist operators on the road have banded together to market it with a website called Journeys on the Whanganui. And several operators run guided and unguided canoe tours, and jetboat trips. There's a day walk at Atene and the road is part of the new Mountains to Sea/Nga Ara Tuhono Cycle Trail.

Ms Main said the River Rd end of the trail was attracting a few big organised groups as well as independent cyclists.