Aniwhenua (II)

The Rangitaiki is the longest river in the Bay of Plenty. The Aniwhenua is a great beginner trip, or just a cool spot to play around with some good mates. There are quite a few surf waves and eddy lines to practice up your skills on. Many kayak clubs use this as a skills building…

Raukokore River (II)

The Raukokore from Te Kumi Station is a pleasant Grade I-II trip in the East Cape Raukumara Ranges with a wilderness feel. It can be done in a long day or split over two. Description and photos Stu Bilby. Put in Put in on the Waikura River on Te Kumi Road. Usually near the road…

Motu (III+/ IV)

This wild and remote epic through East Cape Country is one of the top multi-day Packrafting  trips in the North Island. It flows through spectacular dense forest and gorgy scenery. It is a popular rafting trip particularly with hunters who also utilise jet boats for access. The Motu River is the Premier whitewater wilderness trip…

Taruarau (IV)

The Taruarau River is a tributary of the Ngaruroro River it has a very steep and tricky gorge below the Napier Taihape Road.  It is only runnable through winter and early spring or after rain. It has a great Class III+ – IV section known as the Hot Springs gorge, The run is very highly…

Upper Hurunui (II) Lake to Seaward

The Hurunui is the most important River in Canterbury for paddlers. It has navigable flows all year round and offers a good variety of whitewater runs.  It has something for everyone; for learners there is a run from the Lake and through Sisters Gorge, for intermediate paddlers the Jollie Brook and Hawarden gap runs, and…

Hawarden Gap (II+) Hurunui River

The Hawarden Gap is a bit of an under-utilised gem.  12 km of Class II open gravel channel through rugged farmland has plenty of play features to practice eddies and technique before the valley constricts at the Hawarden Gap where the real fun begins. The river is aligned such that a norwester is funneled up the river…

Hurunui River Maori Gully III

This short gorge section of the Hurunui is one reason why there are so many whitewater kayakers in Canterbury. Every kayaker in Christchurch in the past 50 years has nervously faced and often swum Maori Gully. This Grade 3 section is 1.6km of varied and distinctive rapids that vary only slowly over the decades. It…

Mohaka TeHoe (III)

This is a half day run through a scenic gorge. The Te Hoe can hit Class III+ in higher flows. At low flows it’s technical boulder gardens with most (but not all) harder rapids being portageable. By Road To get to the put-in drive down Waitara road about 8km to Glenfalls. From Glenfalls continue 5km…

Mohaka McVicars to Glenfalls (I/II) to Everetts (II)

A great introduction to packrafting can be had by camping at Glenfalls on the Napier Taupo Road (SH5) and running the easy Class I /II section. On the subsequent days the Glenfalls to Everetts run steps up the difficulty to Class II. It’s got a consistent flow right through the year and will have water…

Upper Rangitikei (III/IV)

This hard to get to and hard to time remote experience is one of the North Islands best-kept secrets. From tussock covered desert plateau to beech forest, to scrub and high country sheep station it has so much scenery packed in. It is also one of our premier trout fisheries and is protected by a…

Whakatane River (II)

This is a great two to four day wilderness trip through Te Urewera as described by Stu Bilby. It is suitable for paddlers with basic skills. A choice of huts or great camping each night, wild horses, beautiful forests, striking history and Tuhoe culture. Good hunting, fishing and swimming. This is a traditional canoe route…

Matiri (II+ III)

The Matiri is known as an epic kayak run when it’s in flood. More than any other river in the Murchison area, the Matiri’s character varies with flow. For packrafting, it’s a nice run at lower flows. From the end of the road you can walk several kilometres up the track towards the lake and determine…

Upper/ Mid Matakitaki (II)

The Matakitaki is one of the larger Buller tributaries. It is a popular kayak run due to it’s proximity to Murchison. There are three runs. The Lower Matakitaki, not covered here, is a portage for Packrafters (tales of broken limbs and kayak pins abound). The Mid Matakitaki is a short run that has a number…

Buller River Overview

The Buller river is one of New Zealand’s mightiest rivers. From it’s source in the Nelson Lakes to the wild West Coast at Westport it’s a spectacular beast. From the Lake it has a lovely short bouldery run across the terminal moraine that retains the Lake. It then becomes a slightly braided river for some…

Source of the Buller II+ / III

This is a delightful run that exits lake Rotoiti for a short placid reach and then takes off through a series of boulder garden rapids amidst beech forest and manuka. The “Source of the Buller” run begins at Lake Rotoiti’s outlet on West Bay Road and continues past the main road bridge on SH63 all…

Wairau (II & III – IV)

A real gem of a river that only Blenheim paddlers seem to know about.  The Wairau River is the largest river in Marlborough. It drains an area that is in a rain shadow, so it’s best in spring with snow melt. In higher flows the Wairau could be run as one continuous paddle from Hell’s…

Waingawa River from Mitre Flats (II+/III)

The Waingawa is one of the smallest of the runnable Eastern Tararua rivers.  It takes a crystal ball to get the timing right for this run.  It rises very fast and then falls just as quickly to residual flows that except in mid winter are barely paddle-able.  Catch the right weather combo and it’s another…

Mangahao (III+ / IV)

This has always been regarded as the premier Tararua river for kayaking but it is dammed.  On scheduled release days it was pretty popular and has some heavy Class IV features unsuitable for Packrafts.  It was once a popular tubing river in low flows but residual flows are insufficient for it to receive much paddler…

Manganui-a-te-ao (II & III-IV)

A shorter and more exciting alternative to the Wanganui multi day.  The Manganui-a-te-ao is tucked away between Raetahi and the Wanganui River.  It’s a better option than the Wanganui in a packraft as it has some decent rapids over the first two thirds of the trip.  Trout and Whio abound and the scenery ranges from…