NZ’s biggest database of free packrafting trip information: interactive maps, route guides and plenty of images to help you find and plan your next packrafting trip!
The Hollyford-Pyke Loop (I/II)
The most famous packrafting loop in NZ…
5-6 Days | Fiordland | Stay in DOC Huts
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Polnoon Burn (IV) or (III with portages)
Steep creeking in the Shotover River headwaters. 2-3 days, Otago.
This is a packrafting overnight run that starts on the lower slopes of Ruapehu and bounces its way down to join the Whanganui below Owhango. Most of the flow off Ruapehu is diverted to the Tongariro Power Scheme so it’s best after heavy rain but grade is heavily flow dependant. The Whakapapa is renowned with…
The Mokihinui is a brilliant packraft trip. You can walk in from the west, stay a night and paddle out. You can head in from the Buller end by bike or foot on the Old Ghost Road, then hop on the river where your skills dictate.
Wairaurahiri River (II+)
2-5 day options | Fiordland
A classic moderate packrafting trip.
Aorere (III/IV) Shakespeare Flat To Brown Hut
A classic day trip off the Heaphy Track for intermediate to advanced packrafters: fun and challenging paddling with a scenic backdrop and wonderful wilderness feel. But be wary: the Aorere is notorious for how much it rises with rain. Not too surprising when you consider it has a 573km catchment, and headwaters very near the…
The Lochy River (IV & Portages)
Overnight out and return trip for advanced paddlers. In Otago, near Lake Wakatipu. Permission required
Young River (III/IV)
A great day trip for strong packrafters, in Mt Aspiring National Park.
Karamea River (V with portages)
6-8 days of remote and very advanced whitewater. Great approach & great huts. West coast, Kahurangi National Park.
Waiau Toa – Clarence River II/III
From Hugh Canard’s Guide to the Clarence/Waiau-Toa – Updated Jan 2022 This is one of the few long rivers of the narrow mountainous islands of New Zealand. It offers fabulous scenery, edible wildlife, and no highways or bridges, and a near-wilderness experience. It has amazing geology and is a living laboratory of the influence of…
Poulter River (I/II) via Casey Saddle
An ‘almost-loop’ trip through Arthurs Pass mountains and braided river valleys. There are a few options for paddling the Poulter, including continuing on down the Waimakariri Gorge. Thanks to Michael Batchelor for the information and photos to make up this trip page. Haydn Deane posted a great video of the Poulter-Waimak Gorge option on vimeo…
Takaka River (II or III) powerhouse to the bridge
This is a roadside run, which is dam controlled and very popular with all paddlers. Access Leave a car (or bikes) at the new road bridge on the Cobb valley road and drive up to the power station. Easiest to get in on the left fork assuming the turbines are all running. View Larger Topographic…
Aorere River (II) Salisbury Falls Gorge
The crystal clear Aorere cuts through the epic rock gorge at Salisbury falls, which is Takaka’s biggest and busiest swimming hole. The gorge itself runs for a few km each side of the tourist area and is an easy and spectacular trip, suitable for confident beginners. This is a short and sweet car-shuttle run, which…
The Ellery, Jackson & Arawhata Loop (I+)
A longish day trip, with a great variety of terrain and non-technical paddling.
Kaipo River II/III or up to IV
3-4 days side trip to the Hollyford Pyke, to explore a seldom visited valley.
Glenroy River (IV)
The Glenroy is a technical, short sharp introduction to Class 4 creeking. It can be packrafted at flows lower than recommended for kayaks. It has lots of rocks and pin /wrap hazards at low flow so be wary. Once you are in the gorge there is only one way out! The put in is the…
Maruia River (II+) Boundary Road to Shenandoah Stream
The Maruia is a very pleasant and scenic float that is mostly Class II. There is a Class III rapid in the middle of the run and there are a few Class II+ depending on flow. It’s an easy run as anything above Class II is easily portaged. You don’t need 2 days to complete…
Hunter River (II-)
2 days hike, 1-2 days paddle.
Remote and scenic headwaters, in a seldom visited valley | Otago.
Upper Nevis River (I/III)
Roadside grade III in Otago Highcountry, with two day’s worth of paddling, hiking and biking on offer.
Needs rain to be runnable.