Ahuriri River (I-II) from Watson Creek

The upper section needs a bit of rain to be worth a trip, but it’s a beautiful valley and a very mellow paddle. Depending on your enthusiasm, time and objectives, you could visit the Ahuriri for a day trip, a short shuttle run, or a long float all the way to Omarama. View Larger Topographic…

Mararoa River (II-III) from South Mavora Lake to Kiwi Burn swingbridge

A well known Southland kayaking run, with options to hike the shuttle, paddle the lakes or go all the way to the sea if you’re keen! Thanks to Gerard Hill and Andy Magness for the information. View Larger Topographic Map Mavora Lakes Walkway: Kiwi Burn swingbridge to South Mavora Lake Although a mountain bike or…

Waimakariri River (I-II) Carrington Hut to Klondyke Corner

Classic Canterbury braided river, with some nice huts and options for tramping side trips. Easily done as a day trip, you could spend many days exploring the upper catchment before floating back down to your car. View Larger Topographic Map Waimakariri Valley: Carrington Hut Route The Waimakariri Valley is a major route featuring in a…

Nina River (I-III) from Nina Hut to State Highway 6

A beautiful walk in through a densely forested valley with scattered grassy clearings and high open tussock ridges, backed by rocky summits. To top it off, the river is visually stunning, an easy class I-II with an exciting class III section through a small gorge. This trip page is adapted with permission from a trip…

Rees River (I) from 25 Mile Creek to Muddy Creek

A simple, short day trip to a beautiful valley. Great trip for beginning packrafters, even after rain. View Larger Topographic Map Rees Valley Track Most 2WD vehicles with a bit of clearance can get up the Rees Valley Road, though there are a few stream fords which might be problematic for some vehicles. A good…

Matukituki River East Branch (II/III-) from Junction Flat to Cameron Flat

A classic day trip, with straightforward access, amazing views and just enough rapids to keep intermediate packrafters entertained but not terrified. Needs a bit of rain to bring out the best in it. View Larger Topographic Map Jetboats Be aware that Wanaka River Journeys (as well as recreational jet boaters) regularly operate on the Matukituki River. These…

Murchison River (II/III+) and Tasman Lake via Onslow Hut

An off-trail adventure up the seldom visited Murchison Valley, among NZ’s highest peaks and glacial valleys. This trip involves considerable route finding skill, especially amongst the moraine features of the valley. As the Glaciers continue to recede, this trip may become more difficult, or even impossible. This trip is suitable for parties with experience around…

Wanganui River (III-V) from Hunters Hut

Another wild westcoast valley and river. This trip page is intended for inspiration only, and is collated by the editor of this site from many sources of information. These are cited in the text below. Featured image is credit to Dulkara Martig. View Larger Topographic Map Wanganui Valley Track to Hunters Hut About 5 hours…

Hopkins River (I-II) from Dodger Hut to Ram Hill 2WD carpark

A large beautiful valley with a plethora of huts. Lots of tramping, climbing and hunting opportunities. The packrafting is generally very easy in normal flows, down a wide braided river. Very easy access, you can even get a 4wd up the valley! Good beginners trip. This trip page is intended for inspiration only, and is…

Wilkin River (I+) from Kerin Forks Hut

A mellow out and back trip to a neat hut, with options for side trips or as a starting point for bigger adventures. There’s some good fishing up around the Hut. There’s a little bit of class II further up the Wilkin Valley, but it quickly gets very steep with huge boulder gardens (class IV-V)….

Hawea River (II)

The Hawea is a hydro dam controlled river. In its usual state of 10 cumecs, it’s a very simple class II run, close to town. When the dam releases, the play wave in the middle is rated at class III and will be full with all the local kayakers! View Larger Topographic Map The Hawea…

Dart River (I/II) from Daley’s Flat Hut

A great overnight trip, to explore a newly formed lake.  Some fun, easy paddling in a gorgeous valley. Jetboats Be aware that Dart River Safaris commercial Jetboats can travel as far as Slip Stream. Read the Jetboat courtesy code, and give them a call before you head out! The Dart Track Currently the lower reaches of…