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Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone have any paddling connections in NZ? I will be there for 7 months (December through June). I would like to paddle III-IV. Does anyone has any suggestions on obtaining a boat and gear as well. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
 

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Its not whitewater, but I would highly recommend that you rent sea kayaks and do Abel Tasman. Take the Kayaks as far as you can go, have them taxied back to the rental company, and finish the rest of the hike on foot. One of my top experiences when i was there.
 

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Awesome!! Thanks for the advice. I've heard that trek is beautiful. Any other suggestions (boating or non-boating)?
 

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The hike to Liverpool Hut was excellent. Liverpool Hut | Photographs | New Zealand Tramper: hiking and walking community information. There is good pickup ultimate frisbee in Dunedin, and that is always a good way to meet locals and perhaps score a place to sleep for the night. I love Aurthur's pass, and skiing there is unlike any you will every do anywhere... plus some incredible climbing/bouldering at Castle Hill... I could list more but those were some favorites.
 

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I kayaked down there for a few months. There are paddlers, shops and WW resources all over. It is super cool down there. Have fun. I second Abel Tasman.
 

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South Island or North Island? I have spent some time in NZ? Auckland has a good paddling club that I'm sure you could hook up with. In the south Island Dunedin has a club too I think... Anyhow internet search kayak clubs and get in contact with them. The kiwi's are awesome and I'm sure someone will be able to hook you up.

As for advice: You can go as big or small as you want down there- easily. I did a small amount of boating and a lot of hiking and fly fishing. The shotover river by Queenstown is the only boating I did- class IV in high water, class III in low. Fun, but the drive to the put-in is the scariest thing... Hiking- get on ANY "great walks"- I did not do Abel Tasman, but it looks sweet. The Routeburn Trek is amazing- it can be done as a long day hike instead of 2 nights. I fished/backcountry hiked, the greenstone and caples rivers. Big trout. Also did 10 days through the Karamea River basin fish/hike. The Karakea coudl eb an epic multi-day whitewater trip IV+ (need a heli to drop you off).

On the North Island- the Tongiriro River has some Class III at higher flows, but famous fishery. The Mohaka River headwaters- again good backcountry hiking/fishing and could be a cheaper heli trip w/ kayak, though how much whitewater I do not know. I am fogetting a couple great rivers on the North Island- one is a canoe trip "great walk"- looked sick. Enjoy! It rains a lot there, the mountains are big, and I love it.

If you end up in Australia, I have better Kayaking hook-ups/knowledge down in Victoria.



If you head to Australia there is stuff to run too. I know more about the boating there, so just give a holler.
 

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You are gonna love it there! I went there !an [email protected]@ for a couple of weeks, and really wished I'd been able to stay longer. Most of the people we ran into were staying 4-6 months.

I didn't have any WW experiences down there, but resources are EVERYWHERE.. For cheap gear, check the bulletin boards at local hostels. People that are leaving try to offload there stuff cheap for extra cash.

as far as non-ww experiences: don't pass up sea kayaking the milford sound. Amazing scenery that is secong to none. Look up Roscoe's Milford Kayaks. They're cheap and have great guides.

also, on the north island, look at the Whanganui river journey. It's a 3-5 day canoe trip through amazing NZ scenery. If you wanna see examples, check out my youtube channel, it's trevorandkristen.

there are both ww and non ww outfitters everywhere, you won't have problems. They're tripping over themselves for business..
 

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One more thing: If you do the Whanganui river on the North Island, look up Yeti Tours for canoe/kayak rentals. They're off the beaten path in Oakune, but they have the best prices by far.

Yeti Tours
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you so much. Your responses have been awesome!! I am starting to look up some of those suggestions...can't wait to get over there!
 

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If you end up on the South Island, based on your request for info, I would recommend New Zealand Kayak School - kayaking courses in nz: - People in Murchison. There are lots of good III - IV runs in the area. The Kayak School rents boats and sells gear. Also, if you get a wild hair they offer all kinds of great instruction from basic up to swiftwater rescue. You will meet other boaters from around the world at the Riverview Campground & Cafe located on the east edge of town along the Buller River.
 

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When I went down there I contacted Blisstick directly and they hooked me up with a new boat for pro-deal equivalent prices. Then one of the workers drove it across the north island for me to pick it up! Super friendly. They also have a program where if you work in the factory for 50 hours, they give you a better deal, and you get to make your own boat. At least these are the deals they had when I was there 3 years ago. Awesome people.

I forget the name of the book, as it's in the storage unit, but the guy who runs the kayak shop in Murchison (mentioned in the post above) was also involved in writing a fantastic guide book to the whole country. Kayaking New Zealand or something- rather generic title that escapes me, that is a 'best of' 100 runs for both islands. I recall his name was Mitch? Older fellow who is an amazing paddler and really cool guy.

Buy the book (if you can't find it based on my lame description PM me and I'll go look for it, plus I can dig out my old notes if you like) and it really has all the info one really needs.

While there are runs everywhere, if you're strictly there for paddling, the south island is definitely the place to go. Hokatika has tons of stuff, though a fair amount of it is stout. I agree that Murchison is a great place for class 3-4 stuff.

Lots less people in the south. More of the common touristy stuff is on the north island, though quite a bit less paddling. Plus, most of the north island stuff is rain and seasonally dependent (if I recall correctly anyway). The south island stuff is rated by: do it before the rain, do it while it's raining, or do it after it has already rained as lots of it is glacier fed and can come up (too) fast. Keep in mind, the south island west coast sees over 21 feet of rain a year (yes, feet).

Kayak heaven.
 

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The Kaituna River in Okere Falls is the place to set up base camp on the North Island. There's a lot of epicness--including a sweet ~15 ft waterfall--squeezed into its mile-long class IV slot canyon, and it ends with one of the best play holes anywhere. Sun Spots is the name of the outfitter in that area. The Kaituna is just a 20 minute drive from Rotorua, which is tourist central for the North Island. It runs all the time (dam fed), it's centrally located for most of the good boating on the island, and its usually pretty easy to find people to paddle with. Plus, the ocean is nearby for surfing by boat or board.

I also recommend the Rangitiki, which is in the central North Island pretty close to the Bliss Stick factory. Mostly III-IV with a couple Vs.

For a guide book, I recommend "New Zealand Whitewater" by Graham Charles.

I suggest spending significant time on both islands. Tons to see and do on both; they are very different in terms of culture, geography, and paddling.
 

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The guidebook that phlyingfish just mentioned, "New Zealand Whitewater" by Graham Charles is the one I was thinking of. My mistake. Disregard what I was talking about with Mitch (he's referenced in the book, but as ph pointed out is not the author).

I'll dig through stuff over the next few days and see what emails and such I have around.

Cheers!
 
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