Waiau River (I/II) Te Anau Control Gates to Lake Manapouri

This section provides lots of options for trips; half day trips using shuttles or walking, full day paddles, overnight options including paddling on Manapouri itself. Despite being bordered by the Kepler track on the true right and roads on the true left, it has quite a wilderness feel, with lots of options. View Larger Topographic…

Eglinton River (I/II) Mackay Creek to Lake Te Anau

This section takes in some delightful open river flats, and a spectacular limestone gorge. A great spot to convince your friends how great packrafting is and also possible as an evening trip from Te Anau. On a warm sunny day, one could spend some time exploring the gorge, as it’s possibly to climb out onto…

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…

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…

Okuru River (I/III) via Emily Pass

Two really tough days of off-track travel through thick (and steep) South Westland scrub lead to the obvious put on for the Okuru River. The Okuru is a gorgeous river, mainly class I, with a few class II rapids and about 6 in the easy class III range. A satisfying trip for determined and experienced…

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…

Moeraki River (I/II) from Boulder Creek to the ocean

Unlike the section above Haast-Paringa Cattle Track, the lower Moeraki is a very gentle paddle. This trip involves travel through the river, a lake, a bush bash (or coastal walk at low tide)to a penguin colony, then back to the road via an excellent track. The coastal walk section is very subject to tide and…

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…

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

An interesting float circuit, providing some different perspectives to a popular area. View Larger Topographic Map Jetboats Be aware that Wanaka River Journeys (as well as recreational jet boaters) regularly operate on the Matukituki River. Read the Jetboat courtesy code before you head out, and give them a call! The shuttle There’s a good sized…

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…

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…

Wilkin River (I+) from Kerin Forks Hut

A mellow out and back trip to a neat hut, with options for side trips or as a starting point for bigger adventures. There’s some good fishing up around the Hut. There’s a little bit of class II further up the Wilkin Valley, but it quickly gets very steep with huge boulder gardens (class IV-V)….

West Matukituki River (I-III) above Raspberry Flat

An out-and-back trip, through farmland, beech forest and huge Otago peaks. Lots of options to shorten or lengthen the trip. A one day option goes as far as Aspiring Hut, avoiding the harder rapids. For two days, camp at Shovel Flat, for the top section of class III paddling. More days could be spent with…