Hope River (II+) St Jacobs Hut to the highway

Another lovely river in the Lewis Pass region. An extended but beautiful and straightforward walk in through beech forest and river flats to the comfortable, quaint St Jacob’s hut. The paddle out down the Hope river is an enjoyable mixture of open river flats with a fun gravel races and some interesting class II+ boulder…

Pororari River (I) swingbridge to SH6

A short scenic float through a huge limestone gorge, this could be the last section of a trip on the Inland Packtrack, or a short out and back from Punakaiki. Thanks to Elias Love for the photos and info. View Larger Topographic Map Pororari River Track Its about 1hr up the track to the swingbridge…

Hokitika River (II+) Rapid Creek Hut to Hokitika Gorge

The headwaters of this valley are home to some of the hard west coast heli-kayaking runs, but the section from Rapid Creek down is much more manageable for intermediate packrafters. Easily done in a day, but there’s a great wee hut there so why not spend the night? There’s more than a few ways to…

Whataroa River (II+) first swingbridge to old SH6 bridge site

A day trip to a big west coast river, with a stunning backdrop. If you’ve got the skills you can head above this section for some serious boating.. Thanks to Elias Love for the photos and info for this trip page. View Larger Topographic Map Highway to first swingbridge The first kilometre or so of…

Taipo River (II/III, with optional IV/V top section) via Harman Pass

The Taipo below Julia Hut is already well known as a heli-kayaking run, with some detailed paddling information in the Whitewater NZ river guide book. Taipo means ”devil” or evil spirit in Maori. It is interesting because Maori used it thinking it was English and the early English settlers used it thinking it was Maori….

Otaki River (II) Forks to Kaitawa Rd bridge

This is a lovely introductory trip in a scenic gorge with road access to put-in and take-out. Popular with kayakers, rafter and tubers, it’s a great trip, but even though the road isn’t far away, the gorge walls mean that its not easy to escape once you’ve started. Thanks to Martin Robertson and Carol Exton…

Moeraki River (I/II) from Boulder Creek to the ocean

Unlike the section above Haast-Paringa Cattle Track, the lower Moeraki is a very gentle paddle. This trip involves travel through the river, a lake, across the coast at low tide to a penguin colony, then back to the road via an excellent track. The coastal section is very subject to tide and sea conditions to…

Otaki River (III/IV) from Waitewaewae Hut to Otaki Forks

Historically, a classic Wellington region kayak run, it doesn’t get done very often due to the tricky flows needed and tough access. At the right flow, it’s a much more accessible packrafting trip, through a very scenic and wild gorge in the heart of the Tararuas. The trip is normally done over two days, by…

Waiohine River (II+/III) From Park Forks

Carol Exton is organising a trip into the Waiohine River in the Tararua Ranges (near Wellington). The Waiohine has long been regarded as a classic Tararua Gorging trip, so if the right flows are hit, it’ll be a brilliant pack raft.  I’d guess it’d be class II+  perhaps a rapid or two in class III….

Mikonui River (II/III) from Totara Valley Rd to SH6

West Coast rivers can be pretty intimidating. If you want a gentler option but still with a wilderness feel, fantastic views of the Southern Alps, rain forested gorges and waterfalls then the Mikonui just south of Ross is a great option. And Ross is a cool little town to hang out in. There are few…