Links and Resources


Visit the Packrafting in New Zealand facebook group to connect to the local Packrafting Community.

Jet boat courtesy code

Some useful information about staying safe when Jetboats could be on the river with you.

Guided trips, courses, rentals and gear

Packrafting Queenstown  – Guided Tours, Skills Courses, Rentals, based in Queenstown

Packraft New Zealand Distributor of Kokopelli Packrafts and accessories.

Based in the heart of NZ whitewater paddling: the West Coast of the South Island.

Blue Duck Packrafting Ltd

Designed in New Zealand for New Zealand conditions.

Packrafts with unique features from ultralight to expedition, to serious whitewater.

  • Inanga Series no frills up to Grade 2
  • Mokihi with removable spray decks up to Grade 3
  • Whitewater series – self-bailing and spray skirt versions with thigh braces.
  • Adventure Racing doubles – these packrafts win events.
Accessories – 4 piece lightweight paddles, superior seats, backrests, bow bags, attachments, thigh braces. Rentals – singles and doubles, paddles, PFDs, and helmets included. Instruction – Intro level and how to be a safe packrafter.

Other Packrafting companies

  • Packrafting New Zealand is NZ’s first Packrafting guide company.  They offer a number of guided packrafting trips, as well as offering Packraft specific river safety and rescue courses. They also sell gear from Alpacka Rafts, Hyperlite Mountain Gear and Western Mountaineering.
  •  Koaro Packrafts are a NZ company, based on the west coast that began to produce and sell packrafts in 2016.
  • Further Faster – Packrafting Sales (MRS) in Christchurch
  • Wanaka River Journeys – Guided Tours based in Wanaka

River information

This site is created by Whitewater NZ, and is an updated online version of Graham Charles’ NZ Whitewater guide.  The whitewater guide is obviously focused on hardshell kayaking, and caters more for the class III to V kayaker.  But there is information useful for packrafters, and some details about easier runs and roadside training locations.

Flow gauges

Flow gauges in NZ are run by the regional councils.  Most have pages which show the locations of gauges on a map. Although there are plenty of gauges in NZ, there are lots of locations where there is no gauge, so choosing a site nearby to your intended destination can give you an indication of what flows might be doing in that area. Most areas also have rain gauges, which can be helpful for predicting flows.

Backcountry information

Department of Conservation mapping tool

The DOC GIS site is an excellent resource for finding the location of public conservation lands,  huts and tracks.  Many of the objects on the map have links to the main DOC website, which has heaps of great info on access, track descriptions, hut fees etc….  Its a great start to planning a packrafting trip.

Walking Access Mapping System

The Walking Access Commission is a NZ goverment entity, which works with landowners and the government to identify, protect and promote walking access through NZ.  The online WAMS tool shows most of the same info as the DOC GIS site, but additionally it shows things like marginal strips, unformed roads and public waterway information. These bits of info are very helpful when planning trips which start or finish in areas that are predominantly private land (most of our land that isn’t covered in forest). You can identify a legal way to travel, which doesn’t require permission of the landowner. Otherwise, you need to find and (politely) ask for access from the landowner.

This site has all the NZ Topomaps (the same as DOC GIS and WAMS) but without any of the overlaid information.  This makes it much faster to view the maps, but there’s less deeper info to help plan. Very popular site in NZ.  Its also the site used to power the route maps on this blog.