High Water on the Toaroha River

High Water on the Toaroha River Andrew and I had walked in and paddled the Toaroha River the day before at normal flows. However, it had been rain most of the day and been getting heavier in the afternoon. With rain bringing water levels up around Hokitika and only having time in the afternoon to paddle we decided to head back up to the Toaroha River, with the expectation of some more water. Andrew and I were joined again by Tristan for the paddle. We parked our car at the take out and begun walking our boats up the trail. There was a lot more water than the previous day, but from what we could see it still looked quite manageable. Once … Continue reading
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Lower Matakitaki River

Whitewater kayaking on the Matakitaki River The lower section of the Matakitaki River is only a short run. It’s not the hardest run out there, but it’s really fun! It seems to have a bit of everything in it. The fun starts at the put in before your kayak even gets wet! There is a big wooden slide that launches you into the river. Get in your kayak at the top, give yourself a push and slide all the way down into the river. It’s a fun way to start a trip. It’s also entertaining watching others try to slide into the water. Some with more success than others! There are a lot of boulders and rocks on this river to … Continue reading
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Glenroy River in High Water

Whitewater kayaking on the main drop on Glenroy River After warming up on the Buller River in the morning, we headed back to our camp at Murchison for a quick lunch. We then set out to run the Glenroy River for an afternoon paddle. A bit of rain had begun to fall in the last couple of days, which was great as it had been dry for quite a while. Glenroy River had risen a fair bit due to the rain. There is a big flat rock at the take out bridge that is used to gauge the level of the river. The water was nearly covering the entire rock. It was higher than Brendon had seen it before. After checking the level, we … Continue reading
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Buller River: Granity Creek Section

Buller River: Granity Creek Section Arriving in Christchurch, New Zealand I met up with Tristan at the airport early in the morning. We started organising our vehicle, kayaks and other essentials for the next couple of weeks on the road. Andrew arrived later that evening. We stayed in and around Christchurch for a couple of days finalising everything before setting off for the West Coast. Over in the West Coast we begun having some car troubles. We tried to get that sorted out, which wasted another day or two. Meanwhile, it seemed there were no other paddlers out in Hokitika. There had been a really low amount of rainfall recently and the rivers on the West Coast had all become … Continue reading
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High Water on the Shoalhaven River: 2.0m at Hillview

High Water on the Shoalhaven River: 2.0m at Hillview There had been a fair bit of rain in the Shoalhaven River’s catchment. The river had peaked at a massive 3.7m on the Hillview gauge on Friday. By Sunday it had dropped back down to 2.0m, which was still a fair bit more water than what I’d seen it at before. Although we were a little unsure about what the river would look like at this level, we decided that with lengthy pools between rapids we would be able to complete the trip safely. What we found were some fun pushy rapids, that still ended in big pools. The river felt a little less steep than lower levels, but more water meant the rapids where … Continue reading
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Upper Allyn River: Ladies Well Section

Whitewater kayaking ladies well on the Allyn River We had a crew of 3 who were keen to paddle on Sunday. Although there had been a little rain around, there wasn’t enough to bring up any of the rivers. Out of options, we decided to head to Penrith Whitewater Stadium. Just as we were walking out the door to leave, we checked the gauges once more. Although no rivers had started rising yet, we did notice a large storm cell starting to rain in the Allyn River’s catchment. Understanding there was a good chance the Allyn River wouldn’t get enough water, we made the gamble to make the +2hr trip to the Allyn River anyway. The road the the Ladies Well camping area crosses over the … Continue reading
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Peak River: The Long Awaited Return

Whitewater kayaking on the Peak River, Goobarragandra It had been five long years since we’d been back to the Peak River. It was late one afternoon in 2003 after paddling the Goobarragandra River that we begun looking at the topo maps to see if we could find another stretch of river to paddle. The Peak River looked like it had the gradient for some good whitewater. We put on in the afternoon expecting to paddle the relatively short section in good time. It wasn’t long before we reached the main gorge and realised we didn’t have nearly enough time to paddle the rest of the river. As night fell, we were forced to walk back out. Although we had to walk out, … Continue reading
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A Quick Paddle Down the Shoalhaven River

kayaking double falls on the shoalhaven river After paddling down the Corang River for the first time the day before, we decided to paddle the more commonly paddled section of the Shoahaven River. Josh and Andrew had gone home following our Corang River adventure, leaving just Alex, Allen, Jaimes and Tristan for the day. Jaimes hadn’t paddled the Shoalhaven River before, so for him it was a chance to paddle something new for the second day in a row. We put in a few kilometres below Oallen Ford via a small side creek and paddled down the the power lines. The level was around ~1.3m on the Shoalhaven River guage at Hillview. I’m not entirely sure what causes the frothing bubbles here, … Continue reading
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First Time on the Corang River

Allen boofing a waterfall on the Corang River We had a group of six paddlers, none of who had paddled the Corang River before. We only knew about the river from reading a short 2 paragraph write up online. The Corang River flows into the Shoalhaven River towards the end of the powerlines section. Since all but one of our group had paddled this section multiple times before, it was an easy decision to try out something new. Our group consisted of Alex, Allen, Andrew, Jaimes, Josh and Tristan. According to the brief write up we’d read, the Corang River is good to go up to about 1.5m on the Shoalhaven gauge at Hillview. The level was ~1.3m, so it seemed like we … Continue reading
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Eric Jackson Playboat Clinic

Eric Jackson freestyle kayaking at Penrith Whitewater Stadium During Easter 2010, the USA’s premiere freestyle kayaker Eric “EJ” Jackson came over to Australia to help teach a freestyle kayaking clinic. Eric Jackson was the USA’s top finisher in the 2009 freestyle world championship winning the silver medal. Along with his recent silver, he has won the world championships four times throughout his career. It was great to have such a highly skilled paddler come out to Australia to teach. The clinic was held for 2 days over the Easter break at Penrith Whitewater Stadium. We learnt a lot during the clinic, both from Eric Jackson as well as Australian paddlers Jez and Gary who were also teaching groups during the weekend. We worked … Continue reading
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