Established in 1893, Raetihi is home to the "Theatre Royal" - not only New Zealand's oldest picture theatre, but the oldest in the Southern Hemisphere. A generously wide main street and historic buildings reflect the pioneering history of this former timber town. It is the closest town to the Mangapurua mountain bike and walking track, the Bridge to Nowhere and the starting point for the iconic Whanganui River Road journey.
In addition to the large sheep and beef stations, tranquil domain and its own wild-west town, Ruatiti is most famous for trout fishing and is home to the real old west town Mellonsfolly Ranch. The Manganui-o-te-Ao river is also home to a protected population of the rare New Zealand blue duck (whio).
A thriving destination in the days of steamboat travel, the tiny settlement of Pipiriki is anchored into the banks of the Whanganui River. It is the final stop for the many river journeys that commenced upstream from Taumarunui or Whakahoro. Pipiriki is also the access point for jet-boat rides to the Bridge to Nowhere and now boasts a campground, two cabins and a small takeaway food shop.
Check the accommodation surrounding Raetihi, Ruatiti and Pipiriki here.