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…

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…

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…

Doubtful River (II) from Doubtless Hut

There are 3 rivers that run parallel on the western side of the Lewis River. The Doubtful River is not the most scenic, or the most exciting, but it does have whio and potential in higher water. Thanks to Colin Kinnison for the information and photos for this trip page. View Larger Topographic Map SH7…

Jollie River (II+/III) from above Littles Hut

The Jollie river lies between the Burnett mountains and the Gamack range and flows into the north east corner of Lake Pukaki. Its a straight forward 16km out and back trip, which can be done as a longer day trip or easy overnighter. Thanks to Craig Ball for the information and photos to make up…

D’Urville River (I/II-) from Morgan’s Hut

Thanks to Michael Batchelor for the information and photos to make up this trip page. View Larger Topographic Map D’Urville Hut to Morgan’s Hut The quickest option is to arrange a boat transfer in advance with Lake Rotoroa Water Taxi . They run on demand trips from Rotoroa Village to the head of the lake….

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…

Huxley River (II/III-)

An out and back overnight (or long day) trip to a beautiful valley. This trip benefits from a 4WD and bit of rain, in normal flows you’d probably be scraping or walking rather than floating. Beautiful backdrop to an interesting paddle. View Larger Topographic Map Lake Ohau Valley Road to Huxley Forks Huts Beyond the…

Pelorus River (II/III) from Roebuck Hut to Pelorus Bridge

This page is purely inspired by videos and trip reports that I’ve seen: I haven’t done the trip myself, so read into the reports what you will, and make your own assessment! As far as I can tell, it looks like a classic overnight through trip. A longish hike into a sweet hut, then a…

Borland Burn (II) from the North-Middle Borland Burn confluence

Needs a fair bit of rain to make this paddleable, but this is Fiordland so you shouldn’t need to wait long… Options of a stay in a Rock Bivvy, or the North Borland Hut could turn this into an overnighter. Thanks to Jesse Friedlander for the information. View Larger Topographic Map Borland Tracks to the…

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…

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…

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…