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poutu falls

hay me and some mates paddled poutu falls on the weekend and just wanted to know if there is a easyer way to get in. we parked just north of the poutu stream and walked up walked up a foresty road for 20 mins and then bush bashed down what looked like a track. was a great water fall but real hard walk in and out.

jojo's picture

Welly paddlers have been enjoying this one a bit over the past coupla years - fairly straightforward + can be run at most flows I think though the entry is kinda narrow. Lots of pics. We have been referring to it as Poutu Falls - maybe it needs a new name to distinguish it from the bush-bash-to-manky-drop real Poutu!

quinny12's picture

The first falls are about 900m down from the dam (700m straight line). When we were there (back about 2004) the water was pouring through a narrow slot with a chock stone so you couldnt even get to the lip. The pool was filled with sand and gravel and was only 1m to 1.5m at its deepest. There is an easy enough way to climb down further around the cliff band on river right.
We carried on downriver. It was pretty overgrown in places and had a few logs across the river. A stream comes in on river right and you pass under a bridge which you can see on google map. About 1.2 km below this we came to a drop into a gorge. the entrance drop was sieved out and unrunnable at the time, i think there were trees in it too. We had a fairly arduous portage until we found a place to abseil back into the gorge (a sling had been left in this place by a previous group). It was getting dark and the gorge was difficult to scout so we ended up climbing out to the road instead. The lower falls are about 1.8km below this gorge which you can drive to if the gate is open on river left. Talking to the owner of the sling aftewards the gorge is supposedly mostly 3+ with some portagable sieves if i remember correctly. We would have only considered running the upper falls if the dam was releasing and there had been decent flows to scour the pool out.

cpretty's picture

I have done much the same as others, and looked at the map, then walked in to see what was there. Description is what I remember, and I could never understand how everyone could paddle it.

Here is the Google Earth veiw of the difficult to run version

Move heaps to the right for the normally run version.

boyd1's picture

Not good paddlin read original post. Take slings (we abseiled around poutu falls) then hauled boats up. Take your crapiest gear because it is proper bush bashing. Only bother if you enjoy missions. Highly likely you may not choose to run the falls.

boaterboy888's picture

where is the real poutu falls was think about running from the dam down

boyd1's picture

Ran "kayakers poutu falls" Sat. A straight forward 4-5m drop. Access via forestry roads. Good track in and out (steep in places as to be expected).
Thanks Sam, Dally and the boys!

For ease of portage take your playboat! Fishing the drop pool could be good too - Ive yet to see a trout leap up a 4-5m drop!!

You want a mission (6 hrs +) - go to the real "Poutu falls" and then discuss what it would take to run them.

You want a park and huck! (2 hrs) Go to the falls commonly called Poutu falls by kayakers

boaterboy888's picture

well we walked in from the main road just north of the poutu stream. the creek, and walk up the north side of the creek till we could hear a water fall. had to bush bash down to it. and it was about 6 to 8 meters tall. with a big pool at the bottom. from the pool at the bottom you walk up a small track that looks like people have been there a bit. but in all im keen to see what is up steam and down stream to the main road.

boyd1's picture

Using google earth and topo map GR 537 348 shows a drop pool which matchs the location with what many kayakers usually refer to as "Poutu falls".

However, the real poutu falls as named on the map at the level I saw it was not a fall to be taken lightly. It would be a concern if someone stupidly attempted it (if they had heard about everyone doing it). It was only until we had abseiled down to the drop pool that we found the rocks at the base of the falls and the 1.5-2m deep drop pool which makes me wonder how many people have paddled the actual Poutu Falls???

liam's picture

for it to be a great regular run nearly every spot where a rapid is would need to be cleared of bushes and toetoe. the waterfall would still me a mission to run even with a lot more water going over it but it was a fun adventure, and then maybe 500m below waterfalls where we got out was some large trees across entire stream

boyd1's picture

Yes and no. Maybe if there was a serious flood of water it would rip out some of the islands of Toi-Toi and scrub. It was a great adventure. Good experience - but I don't think I would go back via the creek.

There were signs that we were not the only ones who had been there before...

uncle's picture

you can run the whole stream from dam to the bridge. i think where you were was above the proper potu falls, and if you had kept following down the river you would have got to the potu falls that everybody talks about. i ahve herd much about the upper section/above the falls. do you recon it woould clean up a bit with more water in there???

boyd1's picture

Poutu Falls marked on the map is 500m East of Poutu dam near SH 47A.
100-200 m down from the ford (our put in) at base of dam the whole creek goes into a sieve (HAZARD). It is a grovel/bushbash staying on the water to Poutu Falls.

Yesterday there was a 2m drop into a 20 m long 1-3m wide low gorge (50cm-2m high walls) immediately before poutu falls. The falls had a narrow slot with a 2 m drop (pinning potential) before a 4-5 m cleaner drop into a 1.5m-2m deep pool.

This did not look like the clean huck seen online and we definitely were not going to run it. This Poutu falls is about 5km SW of where other people park up and describe a 20m walk in and 15 minute bushbash.

Could we be at the right drop but extremely low flow - grass and moss in relationship to waterline suggested not. This might suggest that the Poutu stream has another fall in reasonable walking proximity to SH1 bridge near Access 10 Take out road.

Are Kayakers calling this "Poutu Falls" - it definitely didn't equate with the Poutu Falls we went to yesterday....

Look forward to the replies...

boaterboy888's picture

sweet thanks will check it out next time.

willz's picture

You don't have to walk out bro, just paddle out. There's some fun technical boulder gardens just downstream of the falls and the rest is scratchy class 2 boogie to the road bridge.

ben23's picture

Yeah, head towards Turangi from the Poutu Stream bridge and if you're lucky the gate into the forestry roads will be open, which means you can drive to the top of the track. You can see them all using Google Earth. We found the best way to get to the top of the falls is to go down the track to the plunge pool, and head up from there, especially as the vegetation around the pool has really thinned out over the last year due to flooding at some stage.

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