Trips Reports

Tongariro Trip - Saturday 7th & Sunday 8th January 2012:

A great weekend was had on the Tongariro but unfortunately we did not get to paddle Access 14 on the Sunday due to much rain on Saturday night,

making the river too high and still rising.

Paddling Access 10 on Saturday included Kevin, Mark, John, Daniel, Gary & Riley

Sunday Kevin, Mark, John & Daniel did Access 10 again after deciding not to run A14.

We also teamed up both days with a group from the Auckland Uni Canoe Club who had a raft team and two kayakers.

Photos above: Saturday (Left) Gary & (Right) John

Despite not getting the planned two runs on the A14 release we still had a great time both days on A10 taking our time, playing etc On the Saturday we stopped at a stream that enters the Tongariro just before you get to the prison bridge which has a waterfall a short walk up the steam.

Photos: Saturday (Above Left) Mark Playing & (Right) Waterfall

Here is some flow data for the Sunday.

The Genesis site showed that flow at the Rangipo Dam peaked at 51 cumec at 12 noon on Sunday.

Our visual on the Waihohonu was maybe 30 cumec at 11am.

At 10:30 we had looked at access 14 takeout and thought it might be 60 cumec.

We think it would have come up to 80-100 cumec so a good decision made not to run it.

Access 10 was 20 cumec at the start i.e. a little higher than the minimum of 16 cumec


Manaotaki Trip - Sunday 26th June 2011:

Twenty three enthusiastic paddlers accessed the river via a farm road further north of the usual put in SH3 bridge rest spot. This access allowed for another 3kms of paddling which included some warm-up rapids and a sizable drop prior to entering the gorge section below the bridge.

Photos above: Upper section sizable drop (Left) Alan & (Right) Ross B

With plenty of water flowing the gorge was a fun but challenging paddle, due to the tight twisting limestone formations with their many ledge type drops, pour overs and holes.

At the start we had split into two groups to make the section you must portage easier and safe. This worked well with less kayakers waiting in line to get out of their boats and then climbing down the rock face to the river.

Photos above: (Right) Portage down rock face - (Top Left) Andy H - (Bottom Left) Peter V

Below this everyone enjoyed the fantastic scenery with many making the most of some play waves before a lunch stop.

After resting in the sun and a good catch up on everyone’s kayaking thrills and spills, we continued through to the Manaotaki / Mokau confluence.

Once on the Mokau river we all grouped at the base of Little Aratiatia while one keen paddler made the difficult trek up the gorge and ran the rapid.

With the trip nearing its end there was only the rodeo rapid to do which everyone found the confidence to paddle, well done.

Photo below: Kayakers ready to go at put-in

Overall the trip was a great success with plenty of white water, heaps of fine sunny weather and most importantly a brilliant turnout of happy paddlers!


28th May 2011

Last Saturday Event - Rescue Skills

Good turn out of kayakers wanting to brush up and learn some techniques.

Went through throwbagging, combat swimming, livebait and strong swimmer rescues, eskimo rescues, towlines, recovering people and gear in continuous flow, and simple haul systems.

Following on from that;

here is a list minimum gear required and knots that you should be able to tie to do these simple hauls (Direct pull, vector, 2:1).


  • Throw rope
  • Sling
  • Snap gate paddle karabiner
  • Screwgate Pear shaped karabiner
  • Pulley (or sheave only)
  • Prussick Rope


  • Figure 8
  • Bowline
  • No knot
  • Clove hitch
  • Italian Hitch tied off with half hitches (Munter Hitch/Mule)
  • Prussick knot
  • Double fishermans (to tie a prussick loop)

Great to see paddlers practicing these techniques before you really need them.

Ross 'rescuing' Aaron and his gear Cheers

Nick Brown.

Mokau Trip - 8th May 2011

10 of us enjoyed a great day on the river, Ben Evans and Mark Houwers doing the run for the first time and loved it.

Really warm day with water temperature nice too. River at 1.65m meters which was lower then we usually do it but still enough water to make it fun and not too much to flood out some of the smaller rapids. Little Huka at this flow is interesting with about half of the paddlers getting quickly spiralled upside down.

Photos above: (Left) Ross B tackling Little Huka - (Right) Mark G lining up Little Aratiatia

Only one swimmer on the day after getting stuck in a hole after a small drop.

Overall a day on the river to remember and a note to myself that I must get up here to do it more often.

Driving home we were discussing one of our next trips should be the Tawarau river before all the old paddlers get too old to be able to show us the lines LOL..

Cheers Peter

Mokau Trip - 29th August 2010

Conditions looked great on arrival at the Mokau Power Station put-in with a river level measuring 1.8 and fine calm weather.

The NPKC group comprising of Peter and Bronnie, Ian and Julie, Ross and Kevin were joined by Gary, Bev and Riley (Te Kuiti) and Prue (Auckland).

The upper section, displaying all the ledge type drops, was working well. Definitely a fun ride.

The final two metre drop produced the first swims of the day - Bronnie discovered a good size hole which quickly held her under; unaware of the situation Kevin followed suit, landing directly above her capsized kayak; both individually had a turbulent work out.

The lead-up to the Little Huka saw everyone through without incident.

After scouting, Ross was the first to lead the way straight down the Green Tongue then cleanly through the narrow channel.

Ian achieved a clean run, most others encountered problems when pushed against the left rock face.

Good size wave trains throughout the middle section created smiles galore amongst the team.

Ross achieved his "best ever" play-boat cartwheels.

Little Aratiatia was always going to be a challenge! Much time spent inspecting the preferable line to follow.

Peter and Ross found it more difficult than expected, both faced issues with a nasty hole and a rock on the right.

Ian's run was dramatic, leaving him stranded amongst huge rocks near the same hole.

Kevin approached the situation with a hard left entry, ensuring his success of a clean run.

For those opting to walk the Little Aratiatia, Peter and Ross kindly ran the rapids again returning the remaining kayaks to the group waiting below.

The final bottom rapid was scouted "possible" as surprisingly the line flowed hard left of the central drop and monstrous hole.

Photos above: (Top Right) Rapid just above proposed dam - (Left) Action Man, Ross - (Bottom Right) Action Woman, Bronnie

All in all, a jolly good day had by all.


Mid- winter trip but the Mokau water doesn't seem to chill like our mountain rivers. An inch of rain had hit the region 24 hrs prior, and according to the locals it takes a while for it to seep through - which meant about 2.5 on the guage - perfect flow the Mokau. Some would say it's a bit pushy but as we inadvertently discovered - everything seemed to flush...eventually : )

So 1.5hr drive to the Totoro put in; Mark, Simon and I meet up with 7 paddlers from the Waikato Kayak Club and about 4hrs running it with plenty of stops for scouting.

Nick Brown

Tongariro Access 10, 14 & 13 - 6-7th Feb 2010

Wow! I have run the Tongariro Access 10 alot in the last 20 years, and the Saturday release was by far the most enjoyible - sunny blue sky, great company, warm water, crystal clean and 32 cubic meters a second. A great crowd came from Taranaki, there must of been a dozen paddlers - they must of seen a good thing coming.

Aaron Field, myself and the good bunch from the VUCC finished off the day by running the last drop of Waikato falls. So long as you do some sort of boof and don't pin drop in like one of the other paddlers did, you'll come out the bottom in one piece unlike one of the other paddlers did. "Mate! it's like a garage sale down there".

Day 2 found us running Access 14, being awed by Tree Trunk Gorge from below and then finishing off with Access 13. Great weekend and one I've circled in the calender for next year.

Nick Brown

15th August 2010 Mokau

Mark coming down with Boyd about to break out of the eddy.

Waiwhakaiho Quarry Run (Alfred Rd bridge - MOW) - 12 Dec 2009

30m3/s. 2.5hr run, Peter O, Mark G, Aaron F, Aaron W, Alden, Ross B, Nick B +3 VUCC. Good grade 3 run with no major difficulties. Only 1 swim (Rock monster stole Aaron W's paddle). Fanatastic play hole one rapid up from Quarry Rapid.

Nick Brown

After a fun run down the Waiwhakaiho, Ross B, Aaron F and the three VUCC kayakers, Jo, Dave and Garth (who had made a detour on their way to the Wairoa, when they heard that heavy rain was forecasted for Mt Taranaki) headed off for a run down the Stony with a quick coffee fix in Okato on the way. The river at the Wiremu Rd bridge looked to be flowing about 2 meters, about 20ish m3/s. Which would have made for a great flow, sadly after walking in from the end of Puniho Rd the level at the top was about 12m3/s. Which is still an ok flow, just a little bony at times. Still it was a great run down, earning smiles from the Wellington crew, with Dave giving the odd whoopee.

Aaron Field

Waiwhakaiho from the Kaiaui swing bridge - 1-8-09

Boyd Benton, Aaron Field and I Nick Brown ran the Waiwhakaiho in the park today an awesome but tiring run.

By 8am, over a 2 hr period, 30mm of rain fell at Nth Egmont (with snow melt). This got the Waiwhakaiho below SH3 peaking at 55m3/s, 3 hrs later.

We put on at 12pm at the Kaiauai swing bridge, at about 8-12m3/s on the drop.

A third of the way down the Karakatonga Stm comes in from R.Left adding a few more m3/s.

Good flow, wouldn't want any lower, a couple more m3/s would of covered most rocks but given less reaction time. Had to watch for boat pins and lots of trees but the river was wide and there's plenty of room to scout.

This section is much better for shorter boats. I paddled a Scud which was manoeuvrable enough to bump and scrape my way down a bad line. Boyd paddled his playboat (Rad), he had a couple minor pins but otherwise had the skills to stay out of trouble. Aaron paddle a longer creek boat (Riot Magnum 80) which lacked agility, having got caught in a couple trees, paddling a high volume boat however kept him on the surface and mostly out of trouble.

We took out at Rahiri on the park boundry -a 2hr run- which I was happy to see the end of as I forgot my paddle jacket and was starting to feel the chill. The section was continuously flowing, cold, consistently technical, and awesome. Grade 4+.

we are curious to know if anyone else has ever paddled this section.

By Nick Brown.