Source of the Buller II+ / III

This is a delightful run that exits lake Rotoiti for a short placid reach and then takes off through a series of boulder garden rapids amidst beech forest and manuka. The “Source of the Buller” run begins at Lake Rotoiti’s outlet on West Bay Road and continues past the main road bridge on SH63 all…

Routeburn River (II+/III-) Weka Flat to Sylvan bridge

Another GY gem of a paddle with beautiful crystal blue pools, cool boulder formations and beech lined forest, along with sensational views of the Humboldt Mountain range and Mount Earnslaw. Thank you to Alan Swann for the information for this trip page. The Routeburn river has always looked like it fitted into the `too scary`…

Wairau (II & III – IV)

A real gem of a river that only Blenheim paddlers seem to know about.  The Wairau River is the largest river in Marlborough. It drains an area that is in a rain shadow, so it’s best in spring with snow melt. In higher flows the Wairau could be run as one continuous paddle from Hell’s…

Waingawa River from Mitre Flats (II+/III)

The Waingawa is one of the smallest of the runnable Eastern Tararua rivers.  It takes a crystal ball to get the timing right for this run.  It rises very fast and then falls just as quickly to residual flows that except in mid winter are barely paddle-able.  Catch the right weather combo and it’s another…

Mangahao (III+ / IV)

This has always been regarded as the premier Tararua river for kayaking but it is dammed.  On the rare release days it’s pretty popular and has some heavy Class IV features unsuitable for Packrafts.  It was once a popular tubing river in low flows but residual flows are insufficient for it to receive much paddler…

Manganui-a-te-ao (II & III-IV)

A shorter and more exciting alternative to the Wanganui multi day.  The Manganui-a-te-ao is tucked away between Raetahi and the Wanganui River.  It’s a better option than the Wanganui in a packraft as it has some decent rapids over the first two thirds of the trip.  Trout and Whio abound and the scenery ranges from…

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…

Caples River (II)

A stunning paddle with magnificent views of the Humboldt and Ailsa Mountain ranges along with beautiful sections of exquisite South Island crystal clear pools in majestic gorges with beech lined forest.   Thank you to Alan Swann for the information for this trip page. View Larger Topographic Map The trip can be done in a…

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…

Maruia River below Maruia Falls (II/II+)

This is a fun roadside run that starts at Maruia Falls and ends 1 km before the confluence with the Buller River. Starting at the falls is exhilarating, but the rapids are generally straightforward. The run only takes a few hours, at just over 10km. View Larger Topographic Map Logistics Take out: Make sure to…

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…

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…