Kiwi entertainer Pio Terei rode a horse, paddled a canoe and tried a spot of eeling on the Whanganui leg of the Te Araroa Trail.

He was filmed on the trail for a seven-part Maori TV series, Tales from the Trails. The first part screened on Friday at 8.30pm. It was about Mr Terei's trek through Northland.

The Wanganui part will screen on April 10. In it Mr Terei meets conservationist Dan Steele at Blue Duck Lodge and goes hunting with him. Then he paddles and jetboats the Whanganui with Baldy Haitana and Ken Haworth, stopping at Tieke Marae for a powhiri.

In Pipiriki he goes eel fishing with Tommy Treanor. Mr Treanor threads large worms on to stripped flax fibre (muka) and whips eels out of the river one after another.


On the Whanganui River Rd the entertainer meets Marlene Ranginui and artist George Potaka at the Matahiwi Gallery. He tries horse trekking with a group led by Turoa Ranginui, and meets Sisters of Compassion Lusiana and Christina at the Jerusalem convent.

He finishes his river time being cooked for by Wanganui Mayor Annette Main, at her boutique homestay The Flying Fox.

The series follows the Te Araroa trail from Cape Reinga to Bluff, opened in 2011.

At 3000km long, it's one of the longest walks in the world. Te Araroa Trail chief executive Rob Wakelin says 80 per cent of people who walked it last year were international visitors.

Each region of New Zealand has a trust to look after its piece of the trail. For Whanganui the chairwoman is Maureen Bamber, with members Brian Doughty, Ridgway Lythgoe, Annette Main and Dave Scoullar.

Mr Doughty estimated about three trail walkers passed through Wanganui a week.

He said the route south from Wanganui ran along the coast and trustees were trying to get foot bridges built for it across the Whangaehu and Turakina rivers.