Copland River (III/-IV) from Architect Creek Hut

A wild westcoast valley with some challenging paddling in solid flows and an optional trip to a famous hot spring.

Report update Dec20 – Alan Swann

View Larger Topographic Map

The Copland Track
The Copland track is very well marked and easy to follow, apart from the first crossing at Rough Creek, its almost a dry boot trip to Architect Creek.

Tramping up to Architect Creek. / D.Clearwater

Architect Creek Hut is great, but only has 2 bunks, so its worth bringing a tent (plent of good camping around). About 3 hours from the road end.

You could easily stretch this trip out by leaving your paddling gear near Architect Creek and visiting the Welcome Flat hotpools (another 3-4hrs up the valley). Welcome Flat Hut requires advance bookings.

See the DOC Website for more information and updates: Copland Track

Copland River (III/-IV)
Enter the river just upstream off the hut or 700m upstream at Architect Creek and paddle towards a huge boulder, centre river, the first rapid. At approx 600meters below Architect Creek hut the river turns 90deg left and then right, just after this turn there is a Class IV section which runs for a few hundred metres, it has approx four 1-2m boulder drops. This section can be easily portaged on river left.

Copland River / A. Swann

The river then eases with predominately class III rapids which have some big holes that need avoiding.

Copland River/ A.Swann collection
Copland River/ A.Swann collection

One rapid at the R for River on the topo map is slightly larger with 3 distinct drops (class -IV in elevated flows) but easily scouted or portaged on river right. Before too long, the river starts to slowly ease and becomes mostly class I with a few fun class II rapids until the confluence with the Karangarua.

Karangarua River (I/II)
Below the confluence, the volume doubles, with some larger wave trains and long flat sections. On a windy day it might be a little slow going at times.


One trip report Log your trip

  1. Kate Lord says:

    Super trip! Definitely recommend stashing your raft at Architect creek and continuing on to Welcome Flat Hut for the night. It took us 5 hours paddling to get from Architect creek back to the car.

    Submit a trip report

    Please log your trip, so we can be up to date with conditions and learn about the flows for this run.

    Your email address will not be published.
    Required fields are marked *