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…

Blue Grey River (II/III) via Robinson Valley

A fun loop trip in Lewis Pass, with a walk up beech forest valley and over a pass, a quick paddle across Lake Christabel and through grade 2 to 3 rapids (with some portaging). Thank you to Carey Lintott, Nicole Symon and Martin Peat for the information and photos. This keen group did the trip…

Lower Whirinaki (II/III) Okui Gorge

The Whirinaki River is a one of the main rivers draining Whirinaki Te Pua-a-Tāne Forest Park around 1 hour east of Rotorua. It is fed by a watershed the extends south and east from the Galatea plains past Minginui and into the forest park. With amazing bush, easy access at a number of points and…

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…

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…

Dobson River (I/II-) via Jamieson Saddle to Lake Ruataniwha

Thanks to Nick Neyens who gave permission to use the trip report on his blog to make up a page here. Its well worth reading his Dobson Packrafting Trip blog post (scroll down the blog to find it) before doing this trip. Its also worth noting that Nick is a very fit, bold and fast…

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…

Hollyford-Pyke Loop (I/II)

The Hollyford-Pyke loop is one of NZ’s classic packrafting trips. The trips takes you through rivers, lakes, lagoons, estuaries, along wild west coat beaches, lowland scrub and lush beech forest. Seemingly defying gravity, there’s only 2.5 days walking out of 6, and that walking hardly climbs more than a few hundred meters. It’s a chance…

South Temple Stream (III-) from South Temple Hut

Apart from a very short and easily portaged gorge halfway down, the South Temple below the hut provides fast and consistent paddling through boulder gardens. This sweet section of stream needs a bit of rain to bring it into condition for paddling, otherwise it is just too bony to float. There are a few options…

Lower Motatapu River (I) – Matukituki River (I) loop

An interesting float circuit, providing some different perspectives to a popular area. View Larger Topographic Map The shuttle There’s a good sized official carpark at both the take out and put in. The West Wanaka Road is mostly gravel, but any car will make it to the carpark. The Wanaka Mt Aspiring Road gets quite…