Travelling to New Zealand to go kayaking - advice please

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I am planning on travelling to New Zealand (from the UK) as part of my gap year having finished university earlier this year. Currently I am hoping to fly into Queenstown mid November and travel round South Island first, then North Island, leaving at the end of February.

I mainly want to do grade IV rivers, with maybe some III/III+ to warm up on, and potentially try some harder stuff as well.

I am looking for any advice people can give me for this - where to go, which rivers to do, best way to travel (I'll have my kayak with me so this makes travel more difficult), where to stay, any clubs to get involved in. Also, anyone who might be able to do some kayaking with me while I am here.

I am also hoping to do some rock climbing while I am here so if anyone has info on that as well that would be great.

Any info you can give me would be very much appreciated. Thank you for your help!

rossinator's picture

Hey mate, I'm in Queenstown, Irish lad paddling around grade IV. Just got here and looking for people to paddle with as well. Get in touch if your over this way

Beth M's picture

Thanks for the replies everyone :-)

Doug - yes I'm from Leeds uni and know Jamie, small world! Bad news about your friend, I hope he gets better soon.

Would be great to paddle with you if we're on the same island at the same time. I'm flying into Christchurch now and am going to find a car and a boat and then head to Murchison to start I think.

Cat - same thing really, keep me updated on where you are and hopefully we can meet up.

usboater's picture

Hey Beth-

I'm an American looking to come mid November. I'll be flying into Auckland, grabbing a boat and doing a bit of boating on NI first and then heading South. I plan to be there for several months depending on how things go. Hopefully we can cross paths and boat together!


Dougie P's picture

Hi Beth, are you by chance from leeds? and know Jamie. leeds uni and all that? anyway im doug from london and im out in NZ now and here for a while. was going to be doing a lot of boating but my buddy Sam has bust is shoulder so not really able to paddle for a while and maybe nothing to big for a long time. anyways would be more than happy to link up and hit some rivers with you, we're in the north island and were not really planning to go south for a little while yet.
but whatever your plans, hit me up.

hobie16's picture

Come past Fox Glacier, ask for Tim at the Fox Glacier Guides I'm always keen for a paddle, the Fox river is cold but great!!

rhys's picture

Hey there, there are a few runs around queenstown you can warm up on. Check out roaring meg and dog leg which are both sections on the kawarau river. Best bet though is to get your hands on a copy of a book called 'nz white water' by graham charles. Has heaps on info on rivers, how to get there and what they are like. Also, check out cause your want to get your hands on a car which would make your life so much easier and your holiday ten times better, just sell it when you leave.

Theres heaps of rivers in nz, more in the south island so take your time, and heaps of climbing. Just smile, be friendly and talk to people.