Windley River (III)

A classic packrafting trip; an excellent approach over the tops, followed by clean, challenging paddling through bedrock gorges.

Alfred Stream (II)

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

Dingle Burn (III+)

2 day through trip with a crux gorge in the middle.
Long car shuttle, and tricky to get the right flow.

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.

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…

Mangahao (III+ / IV)

This has always been regarded as the premier Tararua river for kayaking but it is dammed.  On the rare release days it’s 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…

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…

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…

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…

Rangitikei River – River Valley Lodge to Mangaweka (II)

This is a scenic overnight trip that starts with lots of Class 2 rapids and spectacular gorge scenery extending more than 90km down river. It requires advance permission from River Valley Lodge for access across private land to the put-in. This is typically done as two full days to Mangaweka Campground.  It could be done…

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 Shuttle There…

Tauherenikau River, Cone Hut to Bucks Rd (II/III high flow)

The Tauherenikau river flows from Mount Hector in the Taruara ranges to Lake Wairarapa. It drains the area of the Tararua ranges between the Waiohine River and the Hutt River.  As the Tauherenikau exits the range, it flows through a stunning gorge. It is the smallest of the three rivers draining the Southern Tararua ranges. As…

Upper Whanganui (II+/III)

This trip explores 36km of the seldom-paddled upper reaches of the mighty Whanganui River, which stretches from its beginnings on the flanks of Mt Tongariro, to the mouth near Whanganui, 290km away. Most people have floated down the spectacular sections below Taumarunui, but we were interested in exploring the upstream section where it flows through…

Clarke River (I/II) from Rough Creek

A relatively straight-forward out and back weekend trip to a beautiful braided river beneath Mt Hooker. Best after rain, or during the spring melt. View Larger Topographic Map Logistics and (potential) shuttle There are a couple of ways to start and end the trip. No shuttle: Park your vehicles on the southern side of Clarke…

Lower Waiohine Gorge (II+) From Totara Flats Hut to Gorge Road

As it descends through the Tararua Ranges, the Waiohine River has a number of sections of interest to Packrafters. The Upper Gorge (above Mid Waiohine Hut),  Middle Gorge (Mid Waiohine Hut to Totara Flats Hut)  and the Lower Gorge (Totara Flats Hut to Gorge Road). The lower Gorge of the Waiohine is a typical scenic…

Lower Whirinaki (II/III) Okui Gorge

The Whirinaki River is a one of the main rivers draining Whirinaki Te Pua-a-Tāne Forest Park around 1 hour east of Rotorua. It is fed by a watershed the extends south and east from the Galatea plains past Minginui and into the forest park. With amazing bush, easy access at a number of points and…

Waimakarirri River Gorge (II) from Mt White to Sheffield

The Waimakariri Gorge is a great Grade 2 overnight trip or long day-trip covering 50 to 60 kms or river, accessible by car at both ends. Being so close to the outdoor recreation focussed population centre of Christchurch, this section of river will probably become one of the most commonly pack-rafted trips in New Zealand….

Hope River (II+) St Jacobs Hut to the highway

Another lovely river in the Lewis Pass region. An extended but beautiful and straightforward walk in through beech forest and river flats to the comfortable, quaint St Jacob’s hut. The paddle out down the Hope river is an enjoyable mixture of open river flats with a fun gravel races and some interesting class II+ boulder…