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

A classic intermediate overnighter, with decent tracks, huts and gorgeous gorges. There’s heaps of ways to enjoy the Pelorus, from grade I day trips to weekend grade III through trips. With a little imagination, the choice is yours!

Thanks to Bryan Moore for the trip updates. Feature image is credit to Dulkara Martig Collection.

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Approach options

Classic through trip (III): Pelorus Track from Hacket Road end to Roebuck Hut

The classic ‘through trip’ route would begin at the Hacket picnic area. DOC reckons about 6.5 hrs of tramping through to Roebuck Hut (6 bunks), but reports from recent trips have suggested up to 8hrs due to slips and windfall (Apr 2023).

Shortcut through trip (II+): Starting at Middy Hut

From either Dun Mountain or Hacket, you can skip the grade III top section, making for a shorter trip overall.

Out & back: from the Pelorus Bridge

From this side, you could car shuttle the road section, make a day trip as far as you wanted, or a cruisier overnighter that avoids the grade III section.. The choice is yours!

Other options

Check out the Pelorus Track page on the DOC website for more information about ways to access the river, inspiration for loop trips and info about the huts.

On the Pelorus River

Everything is portagable, unless the river is in flood! The Pelorus Track follows the river the whole way, and although it isn’t always accessble from the river due to steep banks or gorge walls, it is accessible enough to use to skip sections or escape if the river is a bit too high… But beware; not all side streams are bridged, so a major rain event can still get you stuck…

Roebuck Hut to Middy Hut (III)

Some solid grade III paddling, which can be completely boat scouted by competent groups. Some drops might need portaging due to obstacles… It’s worth noting the track is a fair distance above the river and not always accessible from the gorge.

Middy Hut to Capt Creek Hut (II+)

This section is generally easy grade I/II with a couple of harder II+ sections thrown in.

Capt Creek Hut to Pelorus Bridge (I/II)

Mostly grade I with a couple of grade II rapids. This section is still gorgeous, and mostly suitable for beginners. All the rapids are easily scouted and portaged if needed.


Check out these trip reports for images and inspiration… And if you have done the trip and feel like sharing your photos for publication on this site, then please contact us


Marlborough District Council Environmental Graphs. Select ‘River’ then ‘flow’ then Pelorus at Bryants. The gauge is just above the Pelorus bridge take out.

Flows around 15-20 cumecs are pretty good for ‘low’ packrafting flows. Much lower and the river gets a bit too bony to be enjoyable.

Huw Miles reported it was ‘glorious’ paddling at 40 cumecs.

One trip report Log your trip

  1. Adam Currie says:

    Paddled at 7 cumecs lol – it goes – but isn’t fun. Tried to get to it asap after the rain but flow drops crazy fast like any river

    • Date of your trip -26/12/23
    • Estimated/gauge flow -7 cumecs
    • When did it last rain and how much? -23-24th Dec quite a bit
    • How long did it take to paddle the section described here? -
    • Any new hazards? -A couple of very rare sharp sticks

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