Waimakarirri River Gorge (II) from Mt White to Sheffield

The Waimakariri Gorge is a great Grade 2 overnight trip or long day-trip covering 50 to 60 kms or river, accessible by car at both ends. Being so close to the outdoor recreation focussed population centre of Christchurch, this section of river will probably become one of the most commonly pack-rafted trips in New Zealand….

Upper Mohaka River (II+) from Poronui Stn to SH5

This is a neat 3-day trip which seems to exist just for packrafters… Walking access only, beautiful clear safe river through steep native bush, trout, plentiful wilderness camping options, easy hitchhiking options, and oh yeah… 2 amazing HOT-SPRINGS! River is 99% Gr2, but Sphincter rapid (portagable) is a Gr3. Thank you to Chris Coutts for…

Wairaurahiri River (II+)

This is an ideal packraft mission with loads of variety: A gorgeous, remote lake, continuous, G2+ river, great huts, fascinating history and loads of options of how to complete a trip, depending on time, preference and weather. Thanks to Jamie McAuley for the descriptions and Janet Musker for the photographs. View Larger Topographic Map From…

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…

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…

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…

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…