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)

As members of our packrafting community will be aware of, and appreciate, that Te Urewera is currently in a period of change. Ruatahuna and Ruatoki hapu are keen to host manuhiri, but have asked for the information on the Whakatane River trip to not be in such a public place for the time being while…

Matiri River (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 (II/III) Source to Murchison

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…

Wairau (II / III) (- IV in high flow)

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+) from Ruatiti (III) from Hoihanga

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+ & portages) or (IV+)

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.   There’s plenty of straightforward paddling, plus a few very serious and completely committing gorges. The gorges are either impassable (due to log jams)…

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 II 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. It’s best to…

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…

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 Private land…