Time to establish an AusNZPA? Or AusPA + NZPA?

I’m sure that many will agree the time is right for the formation of either an Australia and New Zealand Packrafting Association, or independent Australian and New Zealand Packrafting Associations, as the pursuit of packrafting continues to develop in Australia and New Zealand.

It’s evident that the American Packrafting Association has done a wonderful job of advocacy, education and promotion of conservation in its work since inception, and this is the inspiration for this post. I think that the time is now for us to add to the great work and mission of the APA, by forming a down-under organisation with the same mission.

To this end, Shane Pinner and I have begun planning a meeting soon to flesh out a proposal. We hope to bring Mark Oates aboard too. The purpose of this post is to survey the opinions of all other interested packrafters in Australia and New Zealand.

Do you support the broad concept?
Which model do you prefer?
Do you want to be involved?
Do you have any comments or suggestions?

I look forward to your thoughts.

Thank you,


Hi John,

Congratulations on your well deserved recognition for the contributions you and your crew have made to packrafting and conservation in Australia.

I am certainly keen to be involved and happy to help in whatever way I can.


Great sounding initiative!

Thread bookmarked.

Just a brief update on this topic:

Clearly there is limited interest at this point in time in Australia, in the formation of an Australian Packrafting Association. There are only a handful of people who have indicated enthusiasm for the idea and/or a willingness to be involved, so that concept is on hold for the moment.

There was a little more interest from New Zealand, as expressed on the FB Packrafting New Zealand page. A group of New Zealanders are considering their options currently, and on a very positive note, are likely to announce a formative gathering in New Zealand, for January 2016, along the lines of the successful APA Pack-raft Roundup. This initiative is being led by Dulkara Martig, and the details of it are to be determined when she next emerges from the wilderness. Watch this space.


Hi John,

I don’t necessarily think that there is limited interest in Australia rather that there is limited interest on this forum. There are more packrafts getting around in oz than ever, however the vast vast majority of these new boaters come from bushwalking and liloing or fishing backgrounds and are usually found in bushwalk.com or fishing forums (rather than NZ or the US which have established WW scenes). This can of course be a problem, as they are harder to contact. If you’re not part of bushwalk, I could make a post alerting them to your (good) initiatives if you like?

All the best,


G’day Jeremy,

I agree that there is definitely enough momentum for a dedicated Australian forum/page/internet group, but I’m not convinced that there are enough supporters of an incorporated association for Packrafting in Australia yet. There are definitely a good half-dozen; Shane Pinner, Mark Oates and me down here in Tassie, and probably a similar or greater number of likeminded mainlanders including yourself. I think there are a lot of packrafters who don’t yet perceive the value of such an organisation, although its broad aims have been articulated (above), and would mirror the aims of the APA. For me the primary incentive would be to create a new and legitimate voice for advocacy on conservation issues; pressure on our wilderness areas is a highly contentious topic in Tasmania. For others its more about education, facilitating events, etc.

I’m currently of a mind to encourage keen Australians to go to the proposed packraft round-up in New Zealand in January, meet people, network there and see what comes of it in another year or so… there has been a train of thought (from Mark, Shane and me) to organise a packraft roundup in Tassie for late 2016 or early 2017; that might be a better time to launch an Aus PA… I’d welcome your thoughts on that idea…

BTW; I’m jmac on the bushwalk forum, made a post towards the end of that thread you quoted.

Thanks for your input!



I love the idea and fully support the concept of an AuPA. I have neither feeling nor expertise regarding what model but I do see the need. At this stage and for the immediate term (next 24 months) I am already spread way way too thin and already over committed and looking to reduce my commitments so could not contribute in a meaningful way outside cheering from the shore as others paddle.


Hi John,
i think there are 90 odd folk coming to the meeting on the 8th Oct. In Sydney. that’s a good number. Looking forward to the event. Should be interesting.