New Zealand Paddling - Mountain Buzz

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Old 11-15-2006   #1
boneboater's Avatar
Florianópolis, Santa Catarina, Brazil
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 22
New Zealand Paddling

I am looking to paddle down in NZ this coming February. I have heard nothing but great stuff about the paddling there and I am soliciting any beta on where and who I should paddle with.

It seems like there is good stuff on both the North and South Islands. I only have 6 days in NZ and was looking to paddle 3 of them. That really limits me to one region.

From what I can tell it is hard to go wrong. There is good stuff on the North Island, near Christchurch, and also Queenstown.

I am looking to run Class III-IV stuff....something comparable in difficulty to Bailey or Gore. Like those runs though I'd like the option to portage the hair since I am a little out of currency.
Please let me know if there is any outfitters I should work with or what rivers I should run. Thanks so much


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Old 11-15-2006   #2
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 16
sup bro , i live in nz. in the north island there is the kaituna which is a g4 with a 4 and 7 meter drops with a couple of weirs + very very sticky holes. im based in the hawkes bay. it has the mohaka with a couple of g3 and 4 sections. if u realy want to push it there is a river called the havelock river its a g5 maybe a g5+ in places awesome run in the south. at a higher flows there is the waipunga on the napier taupo highway with 3 sections. the first run is a g4 but u need to carry your boats down a cliff face and the second run is a g3 but needs a ft rain has a 2mtr drop witch you can be chewed like hell if you screw up. the gorge run is a g3+ 4 bt i prefer the top section. huka falls is a must on average 200qmex is running threw a 8 metr wide shute and a 7 meter drop at the end has a wier at the top witch screwed me up on the first run. the tongariro is a awesome run. access 14 and 13 need to be realsing or in flood and a g3 witch is called access 13.

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Old 11-16-2006   #3
pnw, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 3,408
My understanding is that the meccas are Murchison and Hokitika on the south island
"Yesterday I was clever and tried to change the world. Today I am wise and try to change myself." -Rumi
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Old 11-16-2006   #4
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 84
I went last year, can't say enough good things about NZ! For quality, committing class V (more like Vallecito than Gore or Bailey) and a truly great "kiwi experience" you can not beat the South Island near Hokitika. The glow worm tours by the lake south of town are world class for post-kayak evenings.

If you want to rent a boat and just go on some more III-IV runs like Gore/Bailey/Ark on the South Island I would go to Murchison. You can rent gear from Mich's shop in town and there are quite a few good runs right around there.

I've heard good things about the N. island, but did not boat there.
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Old 11-16-2006   #5
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 4
nikki kelly team Dagger

Hi there mate, Nikki Kelly here. I have a few ideas for your holiday. If you are looking for a cultural experince then come to Rotorua North Island, alot of Maori tourism for the three days off the river, brilliant mountain biking lakes, ocean ect. For the three days on water you have the Rangitike, Kaituna and Wairoa, as much Gore Canyon as you can handle. but the down fall is you may have to hire a guide, it can take three days to meet the right people to kayak with or sort our vehicles ect. There is the local kayak shop to hire boats, and if you have a little extra cash and want the best 6 day cultural, activity kayaking holiday wicked company i work for them.
Other option, the stunning south island, straight to Murchison, always plenty of people to kayak with, nz kayak school to hire boats, all the sections easy grade three NZ style. Good vibes down there.
hope it works out, post anymore questions
cher bro
nikki kelly team D
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Old 11-17-2006   #6
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 14

My wife and I spent some time on the south island last year and got a couple of days boatin' in around Murchison. The people there are awesome and very helpfull. I would go strait to the NZ kayak school for gear and advice. I ended up hitting the Earthquake section of the Buller which is a big water pool drop river with warm water and awesome scenery. Think Westwater with blue-green water. Overall a good class 3 play run. By the way I think grades tend to be a bit stiff in NZ, just something to keep in mind. If it says class 4 think Gore.
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Old 11-17-2006   #7
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 16
you should be able to find a few paddlers here
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Old 11-22-2006   #8
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 156
what about late june/early july? Too cold? I'm looking for a honeymoon spot and my fiancee is a beginner but willing to raft harder stuff- any comercial outfits working that time of year?

Any idea if Australia would be better, what with parts of it sticking further north? I'd heard the North Jonstone runs then, and maybe some other stuff near Cairns.

Any beta greatly appreciated
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Old 11-22-2006   #9
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 28
Re: nikki kelly team Dagger

Originally Posted by nikki kelly
Hi there mate, Nikki Kelly here.

nikki kelly team D
You are NOT the Nikki Kelly, get outta here! :P
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Old 11-22-2006   #10
KVBA TV8 Vail weatherman/Colorado Kayaker, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 851
Send a message via MSN to hobie
Yeah, it is. I emailed her (she paddles for our whitewater team) when I read the post. Seeing how that is her homeland I figured she would be the person to ask. Whenever I see something our team might know a bit about I send them a link so they can respond. Part of my duties.

Dagger Kayaks

Here is an update she just sent for the Team D site as well. Good reading.
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