Questions re visitng NZ to paddle

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We are Class 3-4 boaters from the east coast of the US. We will be in NZ for the month of March. We are trying to arrange the logistics for renting boats and paddling while we're there. We're flying into Auckland and starting on the North Island and then heading south. We're having trouble getting a handle on some things. Any advice greatly appreciated!

1. Getting boats to the river. How do we solve the roof rack problem for a rental car? Would we be much better off with AWD or 4WD than your average rental Corolla? If we get a campervan will we be able to get to put-ins and take-outs? Can one modify the ski racks provided by the rental agencies to carry boats?

2.Is it possible or sensible to rent boats for the month vs.finding places near each river to rent for a day or two? We haven't targeted rivers yet, but we are probably going to stick to Grade 2-3 at least until we get acclimated and find people to paddle with.

3. We've got the guidebook, but can't find any info on water temperatures. What might we expect on the North Island in March? On the South Island? Is NZ an all drytop all the time place? What about for sea kayaking?

4. What's the best way to find people to paddle and run shuttle with during March? We are Old School river-runners, not rodeo boaters. Are there club trips we might be able to join?

5. Is the Whanganui River Journey worthwhile for WW boaters or would we be bored? Or is it worthwhile for beauty, cool experience, etc.?

6. What would you consider must-do rivers/creeks for people who may never have the good fortune to be able to visit NZ again? Grade 4 and under.

Thanks so much for any info. you can provide. Hope to see you on the river in a couple of months.

Lisa and Robert