Whangaehu (III)

The Whangaehu is a great Class III river with the unique feature of draining the Crater Lake on Mt Ruapehu.  It’s not one to take a swim in as the water is acidic!  But take some fresh drinking water and enjoy the continuous rapids. It’s a recurring theme in these parts that the river has…

Mangahao ParkRafting Centre (III)

The Mangahao Slalom Course is a short stretch of artificial Class III water that can be run over and over all day. It’s Parkrafting at its best; just park and play. The catch is they only run the powerhouse and spill water into the Mangaore Stream during times of high electricity demand or excess rainfall….

Tongariro Pillars of Hercules (III)

Trip Overview Access 13, or the Pillars of Hercules Run, is a very scenic run that can be scratched through at residual flows but is best done on one of the scheduled release days. The tracks in and out are tricky. Above this run is the deadly Tree Trunk Gorge and below it another deadly…

Tongariro Access 10 Run (III)

Trip Overview Access 10 is one of the premier roadside runs in the North Island. It has a reliable year-round flow of about 16m3 and a number of schedule release days where it is allowed to flow at what would be its normal flow of 30m3 or more. Link it up with the upstream Access…

Akatarawa River (II)

The Akatarawa River is a great little after work run 40 minutes drive out of Wellington. It has a single named rapid “The Wall” that can be challenging but is easily portaged. It’s a small catchment and accordingly takes some rain to get going. It can be a good default rain run if the Hutt…

Waiau Toa – Clarence River (II)

Updated Dec 2019 From Hugh Canard’s Guide to the Clarence/Waiau-Toa This is one of the few long rivers of the narrow mountainous islands of New Zealand.   It offers fabulous scenery, edible wildlife, and no highways or bridges, and a near wilderness experience.  It has amazing geology and is a living laboratory of the influence of…

Ngaruroro Lower Gorge (III/IV)

The lower gorge, with it’s manuka native bush and surrounding steep and rugged hills, provides an impressive and scenic wilderness area. The 39km section includes a gorge containing more challenging white water than in the upper river, which provides just enough excitement for advanced paddlers. Hugh Canard described it as a sneaky one that creeps…

Rangitikei River Utiku to Mangaweka (II)

This is a scenic Class 2 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 so take drinking…

Rangitikei River – River Valley Lodge to Mangaweka (II)

This is a scenic overnight trip that starts with lots of Class 2 rapids and spectacular gorge scenery extending more than 90km down river. It requires advance permission from River Valley Lodge for access across private land to the put-in. This is typically done as two full days to Mangaweka Campground.  It could be done…

Waipakahi River from the Urchin Track (II)

The Waipakihi River drains the Kaimanawa Ranges on the eastern side of the desert road. Where it leaves the mountains it becomes the Tongariro River.  It is a picturesque river valley through beech forest. It has insufficient flow through the warmer months and can only be run after rainfall. View Larger Topographic Map Shuttle There…

Tauherenikau River, Cone Hut to Bucks Rd (II/III high flow)

The Tauherenikau river flows from Mount Hector in the Taruara ranges to Lake Wairarapa. It drains the area of the Tararua ranges between the Waiohine River and the Hutt River.  As the Tauherenikau exits the range, it flows through a stunning gorge. It is the smallest of the three rivers draining the Southern Tararua ranges. As…

Te Awa Kairangi (Hutt River) – Twin Lakes to Moonshine Bridge (I/II)

Once the Te Awa Kairangi (Hutt) River emerges from the Tararua Ranges, it is a mostly braided, gentle paddle that is suitable for beginners. There are two commonly run sections which run alongside the roads of Upper Hutt.  Thanks to Martin Robertson for the information and pictures.  View Larger Topographic Map Te Awa Kairangi …

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 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…