Ben Adam and Rebecca Mead have grown up in the area, and have a lot of knowledge of Whanganui, Ruapehu and the Whanganui River.
Ben drives jet boats for the Bridge to Nowhere Tours, and is on the river between Pipiriki and Mangapurua pretty much daily in Summer. He has done this since he was 17 years old, so knows the river like the back of his hand. In his spare time, he enjoys paddling the river, hunting in the surrounding bush and taking the kids out camping. Bens Family own the Bridge to Nowhere Lodge and Jet Boat tours, so talk to us about booking a spot at the Lodge for a touch of indulgence of the trip.
Feel free to wave out to Ben as he jet boats past you on your last day or so of paddling. Have a chat to him about how your trip is going – we love to hear your feedback and stories about how everything is going along the way.
Rebecca will greet you at our base at the Raetihi Holiday Park, but no doubt you would have spoken to her over the phone or via email a few times before you arrive, it is always nice to match faces to names. Rebecca has worked in Tourism and Hospitality for a long time now, and after living at the Bridge to Nowhere Lodge with Ben and his family for a couple of years, and now at the Raetihi Holiday Park for a few years – pretty much can answer any of those questions you need answered about the area.
The Whanganui River has an important place in Rebecca’s family history. Her Great Grandfather, William (Bill) Mead is a well-known man in the area. He has written many books about the Whanganui River, and was one of the first people to map the river –his maps are still used by many canoeists (including Whanganui River Canoes’ clients) today.
We hope that the Whanganui River will still be important for the next few generations of our family.
You will no doubt see the passion for the river our young children have when you meet them at our base.