The Rangitikei Canyon (II/II+) River Valley Lodge to Vinegar Hill

The headwaters of the Rangitikei run through the Kaimanawa Range, offering a classic and challenging wilderness multiday trip. A while after crossing State Highway 5 (The Napier-Taihape road) there is a short, sharp class V gorge that ends at River Valley Lodge.    The “Rangitikei Canyon” begins here, and offers a very scenic 2-4 day…

Waingaro River (IV) Forks Hut to Paynes Ford

The Waingaro in Golden bay has been run mostly as a heli- kayak trip from the forks hut but it’s probably only been run 10-15 times in total, it is definitely an exploratory type adventure run. For advanced packrafters, I’d suggest that it is bucket list material: incredibly spectacular country, prolific Whio numbers and over…

Taruarau (IV)

The Taruarau River is a tributary of the Ngaruroro River it has a very steep and tricky gorge below the Napier Taihape Road.  It is only runnable through winter and early spring or after rain. It has a great Class III+ – IV section known as the Hot Springs gorge, The run is very highly…

Okarito River (II/III)

West coast.

A car to car trip with a variety of paddling, from lake, to easy river to class III rapids to esturary!

Very scenic paddle.

Windley River (III)

A classic packrafting trip; an excellent approach over the tops, followed by clean, challenging paddling through bedrock gorges.

Dingle Burn (III+)

2 day through trip with a crux gorge in the middle.
Long car shuttle, and tricky to get the right flow.

Rangitikei River Utiku to Mangaweka (II)

This is a scenic Class II run in a river that always has enough flow for a paddle. It is a great learners trip with eddies and play waves and an excellent camp ground at the take out. It feels more remote than it is due to the nature of the gorge. It’s best to…

Upper Whanganui (II+/III)

This trip explores 36km of the seldom-paddled upper reaches of the mighty Whanganui River, which stretches from its beginnings on the flanks of Mt Tongariro, to the mouth near Whanganui, 290km away. Most people have floated down the spectacular sections below Taumarunui, but we were interested in exploring the upstream section where it flows through…

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….

Grey River (II/III) via the Nina Valley

A long distance through trip that crosses the main divide from east to west. Most people would probably want to allow 4 or 5 days for the trip which is evenly split with 50km of trekking and 50km of paddling. Some off-track navigation is required and the class III Gentle Annie gorge has no easy…

Okuru River (I/III) via Emily Pass

Two really tough days of off-track travel through thick (and steep) South Westland scrub lead to the obvious put on for the Okuru River. The Okuru is a gorgeous river, mainly class I, with a few class II rapids and about 6 in the easy class III range. A satisfying trip for determined and experienced…

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…

Taipo River (II/III, with optional IV/V top section) via Harman Pass

The Taipo below Julia Hut is already well known as a heli-kayaking run, with some detailed paddling information in the Whitewater NZ river guide book. Taipo means ”devil” or evil spirit in Maori. It is interesting because Maori used it thinking it was English and the early English settlers used it thinking it was Maori….

Waiohine River (III/IV) From Mid Waiohine

Updated 2020 by Martin Robertson The Waiohine has a fearsome reputation as a Gorge trip with many tube trips being completed over the years but possibly just as many being aborted.  It is the classic Tararua Gorging trip, and with the right flows a  brilliant pack raft.  Its definitely not one to underestimate.   The river…

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…

Maruia River (III) Cannibal Gorge to Maruia Springs

One of a series of ‘teaser’ trip pages for those heading to the 2017 NZ Packrafting Meetup. Thanks to Hugh Canard for the information. I’m hopeful that the Meetup will result in a little more info plus a few photos so we can expand these pages. View Larger Topographic Map St James Walkway to Cannibal…