Anatoki / Anatoki Hut to Anatoki Valley sawmill, IV-V
First run in December 1996 by a team from Nelson this creek can only be described as 'radical' and is the flag bearer for the Golden Bay runs and 8 cumecs is all that is required to make it a goer. If you haven't done the Anatoki you haven't done anything and if you go in prepared for anything - you will find it. If you are feeling lucky you could go without some food and overnight gear in your boat but most will want this as insurance - oh and don't expect any nice campsites if you do spend the night in there.
"A mix of mank and absolute classic drops but you have to work pretty hard for it all" says Trent Garnham who managed a 2006 lightning fast run in 10hours with a very strong team! The Anatoki in good flow is just ten cumecs. The first 500m is flat and provides a chance for a warm up - yeah right!
The action comes at you for the next couple of hours in the form of some multiple drops and slides with small pools between. The section ends with a 5m waterfall and a small lake behind a slip. Just when you thought it was steep enough it gets steeper as the next 7km drops at 80m/km. This section is essentially a long and very steep rock garden and most things will need to be scouted.
Travelling at speeds of less than 1km/ hour is common but the portages are short and not difficult. Approximately two kilometres above Anatoki Bend are two nice, four metre waterfalls, the first can be portaged but the second is a clean drop into a big pool and can't be portaged. Shortly after this is a gravel beach which has okay camping for a multi day trip or provides a landing zone and starting point for a one day.
To get to the take out; from Takaka drive towards nelson for 2km. Turn right onto Anatoki Valley rd and drive approximately 5km, passing Bencarri Farm Park. Either park and fly from the old sawmill (you must ask the farmers permission to land the helicopter and cross his land) or further up the valley where the river meets the road before Happy Sam's Farm.