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The Wanganui River

Listed under Natural World in North Island, New Zealand.

Photo of The Wanganui River
Photo by flickr user jemsweb
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The closest you'll get to the raw and elemental power of this land is canoeing down the upper reaches of a great river such as the Wanganui, through bedrock scoured into contorted cliff faces by endless cycles of flood. Note the mirroring effect at the waters' edge as terrible faces flash briefly into view before disappearing again into the depths - the inspiration for tiki carvings. Drifting quietly you can appreciate the brooding power of the land, and how the Maori came to regard it as a living entity. You can travel independently, but a tour with a Maori guardian of the river will add immeasurably to the experience. Contact Wairua Hikoi Tours, run by Wai Wiari Southen, through

Tony Kleu c/o The Sydney Morning Herald.

Written by press.

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