Motu (III+/ IV)

This wild and remote epic through East Cape Country is one of the top multi-day Packrafting  trips in the North Island. It flows through spectacular dense forest and gorgy scenery. It is a popular rafting trip particularly with hunters who also utilise jet boats for access. The Motu River is the Premier whitewater wilderness trip…

Taruarau (IV)

The Taruarau River is a tributary of the Ngaruroro River it has a very steep and tricky gorge below the Napier Taihape Road.  It is only runnable through winter and early spring or after rain. It has a great Class III+ – IV section known as the Hot Springs gorge, The run is very highly…

Upper Rangitikei (III/IV)

This hard to get to and hard to time remote experience is one of the North Islands best-kept secrets. From tussock covered desert plateau to beech forest, to scrub and high country sheep station it has so much scenery packed in. It is also one of our premier trout fisheries and is protected by a…

Greenstone River (III+/IV)

Epic scenery, challenging whitewater and huge potential for creative approaches: a long day trip, an overnighter or as part of a larger mission.

Mangahao (III+ / IV)

This has always been regarded as the premier Tararua river for kayaking but it is dammed.  On scheduled release days it was pretty popular and has some heavy Class IV features unsuitable for Packrafts.  It was once a popular tubing river in low flows but residual flows are insufficient for it to receive much paddler…

Ngaruroro Lower Gorge (III/IV)

The lower gorge, with it’s manuka native bush and surrounding steep and rugged hills, provides an impressive and scenic wilderness area. The 39km section includes a gorge containing more challenging white water than in the upper river, which provides just enough excitement for advanced paddlers. Hugh Canard described it as a sneaky one that creeps…

Otaki River (III/IV) from Waitewaewae Hut to Otaki Forks

Historically, a classic Wellington region kayak run, it doesn’t get done very often due to the tricky flows needed and tough access. At the right flow, it’s a much more accessible packrafting trip, through a very scenic and wild gorge in the heart of the Tararuas. The trip is normally done over two days, by…

Wangapeka River (III/IV) from Kings Creek Hut to Rolling Junction

An out and back day mission to a challenging river in Kahurangi National Park. Thanks to Aaron Reimer for permission to use his trip report as a basis for this trip page. Aaron thinks there are options to extend the trip upstream (with harder rapids than this section) and downstream (more mellow rapids) of this…

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…

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…

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…