An almost unique natural feature, and site of an attempt to dam the wild and scenic Whanganui River

THIS post follows on from my earlier one about the Whanganui River. In this post, I zero in on one rather unusual and especially scenic feature of the river, a cut-off meander or ‘oxbow’ that is still preserved as an obvious dried-up river channel, with a skyline walk around the tops that surround it.

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The Ātene Oxbow and skyline track, from NZ Topo Map, screenshot taken 22 October 2020, map ultimately sourced from LINZ, Crown Copyright Reserved. Scale box added for this post. North at top.

This remarkable feature is at a spot called Ātene, a missionary-bestowed name which is Maori for Athens. …


Mary Jane Walker

A Maverick Traveller: Kiwi adventurer, author of twelve books of travel stories, a blog, and a website (

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