This section of the Rangitaiki below Aniwhenua is a great novice section and one of the favourites in the region. It has been kept alive by river users and environmental groups who banded together in 1995 to fight a proposal by Bay Of Plenty Electricity to dam the river to the base of the falls. When dam is releasing it is possible to paddle from the base of the dam down to the falls.
Aniwhenua Falls makes for an exciting put in and kayakers have been plummeting off the edge for years. Things have changed a little after recent floods and there is a ledge you can hit when there is 2.5 cumecs or less running over the falls. Otherwise take lots of pictures and enjoy this kindergarten huck.
Below Aniwhenua the river flows between fantastic walls of ancient volcanic ash. The water is mostly class I-II and when flows are good the rocks are well covered producing great little waves for aspiring surf hogs and there are plenty of pools and eddies making this a popular teaching run.
To get to the put in: from the township of Murupara head east 2km to the turnoff signposted Whakatane, Te Teko, Kouriki. Follow this road for 3.5km to another junction. Turn left and follow Galatea Road for just over 20km. Turn left at a road sign posted Aniwhenua Power Station, cross the dam and turn right. Follow the road to its end by the Power Station just below the falls.
To get to the take out: drive back to Galatea Rd and turn left. Follow this road for about 9km. There is a jet boat launching ramp at Mangamako Stm that has off road parking and is probably safer than the ‘old' take out 1.2km back towards Murupara. It's your choice but there is a ruthless history of vehicle break'ins in this area.