Packrafters in New Zealand?

I just moved to Dunedin on the South Island and are wondering if there are any packrafters here? Get in touch if you are keen to paddle some rivers (as soon as ski season is over that is :smiley: ).

I’m headed to Auckland, NZ for graduate school in July 2009 and have a packraft. I plan on making it down to the south island a few times, so perhaps we could manage a trip or two. I am open to anything between class 1-3.

heikemerkel there are a few vids on youtube - maybe try contacting those guys ? NZ looks excellent for packrafters.

Despite the fantastic rivers over the Tasman (note that I’m in Oz), for some reason, there seems to be little traffic on this site about NZ rafting from Kiwi’s. Most of the stuff about packrafting in NZ seems to come from us visitors, although there are some youtube vids which may be local. Search
“packrafting new zealand”, and see what surfaces.

I’ve heard of only one Kiwi packrafter…who apparently wrote an article in NZ Wilderness Magazine a couple of years ago about rafting the d’Urville R in Nelson Lakes Nat Park.

Perhaps the perceived minimal input from Kiwi’s relates to their extremely poor exchange rates. Buying an Alpacka from Oz is expensive, with our exchange rate fluctuating from AUD$1 = US $0.55 -0.75) - ie add 1/3 to 1/2 the dollar cost, but the kiwis are generally about 10-20% downhill from us - makes for a very expensive hobby in NZ. Perhaps this is the reason?


Andrew - Funny that you mention that ONE packrafter in NZ - I have actually met him. He got 3 packrafts from Sheri a few years ago promising her to promote packrafting in NZ and wrote several articles about the trips he did. He has a family now and just doesn’t have the time to do much rafting any more. Where in Oz are you? How is the packrafting over there? I have been thinking about making my way over there anyway for other reason but didn’t know there is packrafting to be done over in Australia :slight_smile: And I think you definitely have a point about the money issue. I did try to convince a few people to buy one but the price tag is just way too high. I also noticed that rafting in general isn’t done a lot here - we did a trip in a regular raft and people had never heard of a raft with a frame (as opposed to a paddle raft). But again - those things are really expensive and I can see why there aren’t more of them around.

Jules, thanks for the tip! Will check that out.

Just remembered - try Stanley Mulvany via his blog . Might be worth a look. He has certainly done some great looking loops.


I’m in Melbourne. There’s no useful packrafting near here! I wish there was. Just watched a fantastic vid. on youtube of Crow Ck and Glacier Ck in Alaska (found via a recent post on this site under the Alaska section - imagine having access to river like that…dream on.

I only really raft once a year in NZ on my annual fly-fishing/bushwalking/packrafting trip, as I also have a family etc etc etc, in addition to there being no-where handy nearby to raft.

Really need to be up in NE Victoria/SE NSW to find some bigger rivers.

Suggest you stay in NZ if you want to raft !

PS also found some rafting vid. on you-tube from down Fiordland way a while ago…??from some secretive Kiwi’s, or perhaps from visitors again…??.