Our purpose is to preserve New Zealand's whitewater resources and enhance opportunities to enjoy them safely.

Pukaki / Below SH8, II

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Pukaki

Info

Class: 
II
Portage?: 
No
Level: 

Visual

Put in: 
Carpark on true left below control gate on SH8
Take out: 
Approx. 3.3km further along sideroad where road drops close to river
Shuttle: 
3.3km
Character: 
Wide, fast
Hot tip: 
Run it before & after lunch

The Pukaki river drains Lake Pukaki into Lake Benmore but now only flows a few times each year according to a schedule negotiated with Meridian Energy under consent CRC905321.7 as part of the massive Waitaki hydro scheme. The run is typically short, fast and furious with occasional one-shot waves in a wide river bed. Easy access means you can do multiple runs so it's a good opportunity to trial some different kayaks.

Many people choose to put in below the initial river-wide weir of boulders at the end of the pool below the spillway. This has been the scene of an entrapment in the past.

Road to takeout is rough, will suit vehicles with decent ground clearance.

History: 

First descent in 1889 by George Mannering and Marmaduke Dixon http://rivers.org.nz/article/mannering-extract
A ferry used to operate across the river outlet from Lake Pukaki before being replaced by a bridge in 1895. http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~nzlscant/pukaki.htm

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