D’Urville River (I/II-) from Morgan’s Hut

Thanks to Michael Batchelor for the information and photos to make up this trip page. View Larger Topographic Map D’Urville Hut to Morgan’s Hut The quickest option is to arrange a boat transfer in advance with Lake Rotoroa Water Taxi . They run on demand trips from Rotoroa Village to the head of the lake….

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…

Huxley River (II/III-)

An out and back overnight (or long day) trip to a beautiful valley. This trip benefits from a 4WD and bit of rain, in normal flows you’d probably be scraping or walking rather than floating. Beautiful backdrop to an interesting paddle. View Larger Topographic Map Lake Ohau Valley Road to Huxley Forks Huts Beyond the…

Pelorus River (II/III) from Roebuck Hut to Pelorus Bridge

This page is purely inspired by videos and trip reports that I’ve seen: I haven’t done the trip myself, so read into the reports what you will, and make your own assessment! As far as I can tell, it looks like a classic overnight through trip. A longish hike into a sweet hut, then a…

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…

Borland Burn (II) from the North-Middle Borland Burn confluence

Needs a fair bit of rain to make this paddleable, but this is Fiordland so you shouldn’t need to wait long… Options of a stay in a Rock Bivvy, or the North Borland Hut could turn this into an overnighter. Thanks to Jesse Friedlander for the information. View Larger Topographic Map Borland Tracks to the…

South Temple Stream (III-) from South Temple Hut

Apart from a very short and easily portaged gorge halfway down, the South Temple below the hut provides fast and consistent paddling through boulder gardens. This sweet section of stream needs a bit of rain to bring it into condition for paddling, otherwise it is just too bony to float. There are a few options…

Clutha River (I) Alexandra to Roxborough Gorge

A relaxed float down one of NZ’s largest rivers, with impressive rocky cliffs and heritage sites on the return journey. We began our day trip from Alexandra, and returned by hiking up the Roxborough Gorge Trail, though there are other ways to incorporate a packraft into a trip in this area. You could hike or…

Ahuriri River (I-II) from Watson Creek

The upper section needs a bit of rain to be worth a trip, but it’s a beautiful valley and a very mellow paddle. Depending on your enthusiasm, time and objectives, you could visit the Ahuriri for a day trip, a short shuttle run, or a long float all the way to Omarama. View Larger Topographic…

Mararoa River (II-III) from South Mavora Lake to Kiwi Burn swingbridge

A well known Southland kayaking run, with options to hike the shuttle, paddle the lakes or go all the way to the sea if you’re keen! Thanks to Gerard Hill and Andy Magness for the information. View Larger Topographic Map Mavora Lakes Walkway: Kiwi Burn swingbridge to South Mavora Lake Although a mountain bike or…

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…

Lower Motatapu River (I) – Matukituki River (I) loop

UPSTREAM STRAINER HAZARD As of 20 Dec 2021, there are at least 4 river wide strainers upstream of this section.. Downstream there are more than a few strainer hazards: In high flows, it would be difficult to avoid some of these, so be warned and avoid this unless you’ve been down recently at normal flow….

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…

Rees River (I) from 25 Mile Creek to Muddy Creek

A simple, short day trip to a beautiful valley. Great trip for beginning packrafters, even after rain. View Larger Topographic Map Rees Valley Track Most 2WD vehicles with a bit of clearance can get up the Rees Valley Road, though there are a few stream fords which might be problematic for some vehicles. A good…

Matukituki River East Branch (II/III-) from Junction Flat to Cameron Flat

A classic day trip, with straightforward access, amazing views and just enough rapids to keep intermediate packrafters entertained but not terrified. Needs a bit of rain to bring out the best in it. View Larger Topographic Map Jetboats Be aware that Wanaka River Journeys (as well as recreational jet boaters) regularly operate on the Matukituki River. These…

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…

Wanganui River (III-V) from Hunters Hut

Another wild westcoast valley and river. This trip page is intended for inspiration only, and is collated by the editor of this site from many sources of information. These are cited in the text below. Featured image is credit to Dulkara Martig. View Larger Topographic Map Wanganui Valley Track to Hunters Hut About 5 hours…

Hopkins River (I-II) from Dodger Hut to Ram Hill 2WD carpark

A large beautiful valley with a plethora of huts. Lots of tramping, climbing and hunting opportunities. The packrafting is generally very easy in normal flows, down a wide braided river. Very easy access, you can even get a 4wd up the valley! Good beginners trip. This trip page is intended for inspiration only, and is…

Ngaruroro River (II-IV) Kuripapango to Whanawhana

This section does not have any huts, so any packrafters would need to take camping gear. Quite a popular run with local Kayak clubs. No walking required, but a few options for side trips. There’s more information and links to other photos and trip reports on the Ngaruroro Kuripapango to Whanawhana on Rivers.org.nz webpage. View…