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Old 02-26-2010   #1
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
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North Island of New Zealand???

Got a connection on the north island of new zealand in new plymouth on the west coast. Anybody know how far new plymouth is from good boating? All the stuff I found on the internet talked about the south island. Google earth scout makes the southern alps look awesome, and the north island looks much less mountainous. Any good whitewater on the north island. Creeking?

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Old 02-27-2010   #2
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North Island whitewater?

Hmmm. There are some minor riffles, like these:

And these:

And this:

And lots of boringly gorgeous water like this:

(The wild stretch is the Waikato River just below Lake Taupo and the fall is called Hukanui. I think they banned boating on that reach. The tranquil stretch is on the Waioeka, above Tauranga.)

There's a big volcanic cone near New Plymouth called Taranaki, 2518m. Lots of streams run off it to the sea. It's not far to the Whanganui River, which is a classic NZ float trip through amazing gorges: check out the NZ film River Queen that was shot there.

Summed up, there's a lot of good boating water on North Island.

For a listing, go to and click on the River Guide. Check out the areas on the list from Waikato to Wellington.

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Old 02-28-2010   #3
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^ that looks absolutely amazing. I'll for sure have to check this one out while im down there
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Old 02-28-2010   #4
Denver, Colorado
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Thanks for the link Chip. Looks like new plymouth is pretty far from good boating. Also looks like the north island has lots of class III, but not as much more difficult runs.
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Old 02-28-2010   #5
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You can boat Huka falls, though the tourists and such often call the cops. Just wait until they close the gate to the parking lot (so everyone leaves- around 8pm I think), and it's good to go.
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Old 02-28-2010   #6
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The rangatiki is on the north
It's near taihipi
From what I remember it was freakin sweet.
Go Dawgs!!!
Happiness is a way of travel not a destination
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Old 03-01-2010   #7
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See the forums here: | Our purpose is to preserve New Zealand's whitewater resources and enhance opportunities to enjoy them safely.
American Whitewater's website and river stewardship projects are funded by paddlers. Please join, renew, or make a donation to help us protect whitewater rivers in Colorado and nationwide.
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Old 03-01-2010   #8
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Rangitīkei / Matawhero Bridge to River Valley Lodge, IV
Wed, 2006-05-17 21:59 jonathan
Class: IV
Portage?: No
Level: class IV: 25-45cu, class IV+ to V: >45cu
Gauge: see website or 06 388 1444
Length: 10km
Gradient: 11m/km
Time: 2-4 hours
Put in: off Matawhero Road where it joins the river
Take out: River Valley Lodge
Shuttle: 17.7km gravel road
Maps: U21
Character: technical, tight bedrock gorge
Hot tip: check out the Bliss Stick factory just up the road for a trial boat
If there was one single river with every ingredient for the evolutionary recipe of trip into epic into story into legend, it is the Rangitikei or 'day of striding out'. Take one reasonably accessible yet wild river flowing through a spectacular, deep gorge. Add several challenging drops and one extremely cool play hole. Attach a large catchment that causes the river to rise and fall dramatically in short periods of time. Put a lodge, hot showers, a big open fireplace and a bar at the take-out. Job's on.
Go Dawgs!!!
Happiness is a way of travel not a destination
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Old 03-02-2010   #9
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The North Island is great. You can paddle great water and it's warm. Hit the Full James Wave(the world championships were held on this), then hit the Wiaroa(it's like Gore Canyon) and paddle the Kytuna (great jungle creek.) We did a few other class IV and V creeks but don't remember the names.
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Old 03-05-2010   #10
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The Rangatiki occasionally beats the crap out of people who treat it as a walk in the park. A couple of guys had hiked out of it after a night in the bush the weekend I visited the Bliss Stick factory. Don't miss the Kaituna. Super fun. And Niki Kelley guides rafts there.

It's worth getting to the south island if you can, but none of the good runs are roadside. It's either a long hike or heli access (not as expensive as you think), which means that you either need to head down there with a good crew, or be able to make friends fast if you plan on tying in with another group.

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