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…

Rakaia Gorge (II)

An easily accessible and short Canterbury float with reliable flows and a big water feel. Beautiful water and views and a great enjoyment-to-energy expenditure ratio. Best during weekdays to avoid large amounts of jet boat traffic. (please take a look at our general advice about Jetboats and packrafts) View Larger Topographic Map Logistics Park just…

Lower Hurunui (I) from Mandamus river to SH7 bridge

A cruisey day trip down a braided Canterbury river. Thanks to Matt Burke for the words, Sam Newton and Zak Hind as the talent in the photos…  View Larger Topographic Map Car shuttle Its about a 20-30 minute trip each way on mostly gravel roads. The run This 30km stretch of the Hurunui is all…

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…

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….

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…

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…

Boyle River (II+) from Boyle Village to Windy Point

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 Boyle River (II+) from Boyle…

Dobson River (I/II-) via Jamieson Saddle to Lake Ruataniwha

Thanks to Nick Neynens who gave permission to use the trip report on his blog to make up a page here. Its well worth reading his Dobson Packrafting Trip blog post (scroll down the blog to find it) before doing this trip. Its also worth noting that Nick is a very fit, bold and fast…

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…

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…

Upper Waiau River (III/IV) from Lake Guyon to Hope River

The Upper Waiau has long been regarded by the NZ Paddling community as a classic multi-day intermediate trip. Access was usually by Helicopter or walking in over Mailings pass, an expensive or exhausting option with hardshell kayaks. The below information is from a packraft trip by Chris Coutts and Thomas Land in January 2015. Chris…

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…

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…

Garvie Ski Tour

Here is a five star ski tour in the Garvie Mountains, SE of Queenstown. The Blue Lake Huts makes a wonderful base from which to explore from. The terrain has something for everyone; steeps, rolling ridges, bluffs, lakes, chute, ice climbing. Note – this is on private land and permission is required before proceeding. View…