Mohaka McVicars to Glenfalls (I/II) to Everetts (II)

A great introduction to packrafting can be had by camping at Glenfalls on the Napier Taupo Road (SH5) and running the easy Class I /II section. On the subsequent days the Glenfalls to Everetts run steps up the difficulty to Class II. It’s got a consistent flow right through the year and will have water…

Okarito River (II/III)

West coast.

A car to car trip with a variety of paddling, from lake, to easy river to class III rapids to esturary!

Very scenic paddle.

Alfred Stream (II)

Short and scenic, with easy access and option to make it into an overnight trip with a stay at Lake Daniell.

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…

Whakatane River (II)

This is a great two to four day wilderness trip through Te Urewera as described by Stu Bilby. It is suitable for paddlers with basic skills. A choice of huts or great camping each night, wild horses, beautiful forests, striking history and Tuhoe culture. Good hunting, fishing and swimming. This is a traditional canoe route…

Matiri (II+ III)

The Matiri is known as an epic kayak run when it’s in flood. More than any other river in the Murchison area, the Matiri’s character varies with flow. For packrafting, it’s a nice run at lower flows. From the end of the road you can walk several kilometres up the track towards the lake and determine…

Upper/ Mid Matakitaki (II)

The Matakitaki is one of the larger Buller tributaries. It is a popular kayak run due to it’s proximity to Murchison. There are three runs. The Lower Matakitaki, not covered here, is a portage for Packrafters (tales of broken limbs and kayak pins abound). The Mid Matakitaki is a short run that has a number…

Buller River Overview

The Buller river is one of New Zealand’s mightiest rivers. From it’s source in the Nelson Lakes to the wild West Coast at Westport it’s a spectacular beast. From the Lake it has a lovely short bouldery run across the terminal moraine that retains the Lake. It then becomes a slightly braided river for some…

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…

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…

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…

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…