Te Awa Kairangi / Hutt River gorge (low flow III, high flow IV)

The gorge of Te Awa Kairangi / Hutt River is a spectacular trip through native forest with a real wilderness feel.  It is well known by local paddlers, as it is the closest class III water to Wellington (one hour) and has road access with a short shuttle.  Te Awakairangi / Hutt River supplies Wellington with much…

Lower Hurunui (I) from Mandamus river to SH7 bridge

A cruisey day trip down a braided Canterbury river. Thanks to Matt Burke for the words, Sam Newton and Zak Hind as the talent in the photos…  View Larger Topographic Map Car shuttle Its about a 20-30 minute trip each way on mostly gravel roads. The run This 30km stretch of the Hurunui is all…

Lower Waiohine Gorge (II+) From Totara Flats Hut to Gorge Road

As it descends through the Tararua Ranges, the Waiohine River has a number of sections of interest to Packrafters. The Upper Gorge (above Mid Waiohine Hut),  Middle Gorge (Mid Waiohine Hut to Totara Flats Hut)  and the Lower Gorge (Totara Flats Hut to Gorge Road). The lower Gorge of the Waiohine is a typical scenic…

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…

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…

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…

Wangapeka River (III/IV) from Kings Creek Hut to Rolling Junction

An out and back day mission to a challenging river in Kahurangi National Park. Thanks to Aaron Reimer for permission to use his trip report as a basis for this trip page. Aaron thinks there are options to extend the trip upstream (with harder rapids than this section) and downstream (more mellow rapids) of this…