Nelson Lakes National Park

This is really fine Kiwi style butt-boating: camp in the huts walk up the trails and packraft down.

D’Urville River is Class II, one spot Class III, but there’s a big tunnel going through solid rock that you have to portage. People have hiked into it over passes to the south and rafted w/packs in classic travel style. It’s pretty fun and relaxing

Sabine River is best packrafting I have done yet in NZ out of, say, 15 runs. For you Alaskans picture Echo Bend meets Little Su with drops as tall as Ship Creek. It’s about 9 miles long with a portage at the bottom of a big Class V gorge – of course on a trail. It’s got a bunch of Class III with one 5-drop Class IV and then all the Class II boogey water. Beautiful color, lots boulder-scoutable drops, and beautiful valley of beech trees with snowy peaks in back. Highlight of the trip so far.

Get to it and the D’urville by taking the Lake Rotoroa water taxi (NZ $40) and 4 days or so of food. Buy a hut pass and stay at the Sabine Hut. Do each river as an up and down day trip. The Sabine is really, really good.

Sounds like your having too much fun Roman. I am soooo keen to get back over to NZ. Any fishing yet?


No Steve, I have been too busy paddling to fish! Although it is very satisfying to have a fishing rod stuck in my paddle. I use it show the fisherman in the huts, but that’s the only use it gets!

Saw some big brownies though on the Mokhinui’s South Fork but not as big or as numerous as what I saw last year on the Karamea.

How’s the paddle holding up?

video showing mostly the D’Urville and the walk in with a bit of the Sabine and Rotoroa Lake.

we saw lots of fishers but not many fish