Waipakahi River from the Urchin Track (II)

The Waipakihi River drains the Kaimanawa Ranges on the eastern side of the desert road. Where it leaves the mountains it becomes the Tongariro River.  It is a picturesque river valley through beech forest. It has insufficient flow through the warmer months and can only be run after rainfall. View Larger Topographic Map Shuttle There…

Tauherenikau River, Cone Hut to Bucks Rd (II/III high flow)

The Tauherenikau river flows from Mount Hector in the Taruara ranges to Lake Wairarapa. It drains the area of the Tararua ranges between the Waiohine River and the Hutt River.  As the Tauherenikau exits the range, it flows through a stunning gorge. It is the smallest of the three rivers draining the Southern Tararua ranges. As…

Upper Whanganui (II+/III)

This trip explores 36km of the seldom-paddled upper reaches of the mighty Whanganui River, which stretches from its beginnings on the flanks of Mt Tongariro, to the mouth near Whanganui, 290km away. Most people have floated down the spectacular sections below Taumarunui, but we were interested in exploring the upstream section where it flows through…

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…

Te Awa Kairangi (Hutt River) – Twin Lakes to Moonshine Bridge (I/II)

Once the Te Awa Kairangi (Hutt) River emerges from the Tararua Ranges, it is a mostly braided, gentle paddle that is suitable for beginners. There are two commonly run sections which run alongside the roads of Upper Hutt.  Thanks to Martin Robertson for the information and pictures.  View Larger Topographic Map Te Awa Kairangi …

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…

Te Awa Kairangi / Hutt River gorge (low flow III, high flow IV)

The gorge of Te Awa Kairangi / Hutt River is a spectacular trip through native forest with a real wilderness feel.  It is well known by local paddlers, as it is the closest class III water to Wellington (one hour) and has road access with a short shuttle.  Te Awakairangi / Hutt River supplies Wellington with much…

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…

Lower Waiohine Gorge (II+) From Totara Flats Hut to Gorge Road

As it descends through the Tararua Ranges, the Waiohine River has a number of sections of interest to Packrafters. The Upper Gorge (above Mid Waiohine Hut),  Middle Gorge (Mid Waiohine Hut to Totara Flats Hut)  and the Lower Gorge (Totara Flats Hut to Gorge Road). The lower Gorge of the Waiohine is a typical scenic…

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…

Upper Mohaka River (II+) from Poronui Stn to SH5

This is a neat 3-day trip which seems to exist just for packrafters… Walking access only, beautiful clear safe river through steep native bush, trout, plentiful wilderness camping options, easy hitchhiking options, and oh yeah… 2 amazing HOT-SPRINGS! River is 99% Gr2, but Sphincter rapid (portagable) is a Gr3. Thank you to Chris Coutts for…

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…