Greenstone River (III+/IV)

Epic scenery, challenging whitewater and huge potential for creative approaches: a long day trip, an overnighter or as part of a larger mission.

Eglinton River (I/II) Mackay Creek to Lake Te Anau

This section takes in some delightful open river flats, and a spectacular limestone gorge. A great spot to convince your friends how great packrafting is and also possible as an evening trip from Te Anau. On a warm sunny day, one could spend some time exploring the gorge, as it’s possibly to climb out onto…

Lower Taieri River, Lee Stream to Outram (I/II)

This is a scenic trip only 20 minutes from Dunedin, taking in the final part of the Lower Taieri run in the Whitewater New Zealand Guide. The run described here misses the grade III section above Lee Stream, and is a good trip for Dunedinites wanting to practice on some grade II rapids. Could be…

Clarke River (I/II) from Rough Creek

A relatively straight-forward out and back weekend trip to a beautiful braided river beneath Mt Hooker. Best after rain, or during the spring melt. View Larger Topographic Map Logistics and (potential) shuttle There are a couple of ways to start and end the trip. No shuttle: Park your vehicles on the southern side of Clarke…

Hooker Lake from Mt Cook Village

A half day explore on a glacially fed lake with an incredible view of NZ’s tallest peak. View Larger Topographic Map Hooker Valley Track The Hooker Valley Track is one of the most popular short walks in the Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park, and its not hard to see why. On a very easy, gravelled and…

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…

Rees River (II/III) from Muddy Creek to McDougals Creek

A great little roadside run in a beautiful beech lined valley. There’s a few pool drop Class III rapids at the beginning, followed by a fun and bouncy trip on pretty continuous class II. The initial rapids can be easily portaged. Thanks to Huw Miles for the information. Photo credits to Huw Miles www.packraftingqueenstown.com: Julian…

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…

Wairaurahiri River (II+)

This is an ideal packraft mission with loads of variety: A gorgeous, remote lake, continuous, G2+ river, great huts, fascinating history and loads of options of how to complete a trip, depending on time, preference and weather. Thanks to Jamie McAuley for the descriptions and Janet Musker for the photographs. View Larger Topographic Map From…

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…

Whataroa River (II+) first swingbridge to old SH6 bridge site

A day trip to a big west coast river, with a stunning backdrop. If you’ve got the skills you can head above this section for some serious boating.. Thanks to Elias Love for the photos and info for this trip page. View Larger Topographic Map Highway to first swingbridge The first kilometre or so of…

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….

Otaki River (II) Forks to Kaitawa Rd bridge

This is a lovely introductory trip in a scenic gorge with road access to put-in and take-out. Popular with kayakers, rafter and tubers, it’s a great trip, but even though the road isn’t far away, the gorge walls mean that its not easy to escape once you’ve started. Thanks to Martin Robertson and Carol Exton…

Moeraki River (I/II) from Boulder Creek to the ocean

Unlike the section above Haast-Paringa Cattle Track, the lower Moeraki is a very gentle paddle. This trip involves travel through the river, a lake, a bush bash (or coastal walk at low tide)to a penguin colony, then back to the road via an excellent track. The coastal walk section is very subject to tide and…