kayaking around christ church

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Hi i am going to be in christ church for my gap year starting in july. where is the nearest place to go kayaking that is any good. also is the surfing any good out there?

hugh's picture

There is a sieve in this about 1 km from the start. Not everything goes. It gets easier as you get past the limestone country. It gets easier technically but more pushy with flow and hard to scout in places. At sort of <10 cumecs it is pretty bony and you would be walking some bits.

I think Barry B has done it.

When Broken River is on then the Waimak is usually in flood so it's OK. OR; there is a nice road to the confluence that kinda follows the railway line.

bruce.leslie's picture

heard stories, think it was from Garith.

Needs water and once you are in it is pretty continuous 3+/4, with the odd undercut. Also on occasions there are not too many scouting options. No idea how nuch water would be tooo much either.

The paddle out to woodstock on the Waimak will take you a while.

You also need a frendly driver to pick you up, as the shuttle is rather large.

jordy's picture


The best surf in Christchurch is on dawn or dusk with an incoming tide over the hill from Sumner, its called 'Taylors mistake'. The is also s semi-secret surf spot around the peninsula but will leave you to get the one of the locals at Taylors.

In the the christchurch are there are 4 well known reasonable runs. The hurinui's 'Maori Gully' which is graded III (IV), I have paddled it heaps and I would say a III really which is about 1 1/2 hours drive. The Rangitata is south of Christchurch and is a bigger water grade IV-ish which is easiest to get into by getting a shuttle with the rafting company. The Ashley Gorge section is another III-IV run with some drops you should probably look at first, best go with a local even though its not too dangerous. A sort after run is the Okuku a grade IV with some nice drops and good moves, all pretty safe but look before you do them, it needs a lot of rain but if its up there will be many paddlers throwing a sicky to get out there.

However, if you are looking for some more intense paddleing I would advise you to head to the West Coast, it is about 2 and a half hours drive or three (depends how you like to drive) and there is such a full range of paddleing grades I-VI (P). Steep creeks, sweet boulder gardens, various drops but nothing huge. I suggest you get the Graham Charles White Water Guide, there is a new one out now that includes some of our unkknown little runs. Find a crew using the White Water Club, the university UCCC or introduce yourself to someone with boats on their car and you'll be sweet.

Murchison is good for an intermediate paddler with plenty of runs grade II-IV with plenty of play spots and an 11m waterfall for a photo for your phone. Plenty of people head to Murch and the coast for weekend missions so chips in for petrol or offer to take your car and you'll have as much paddleing as you want.

Cheers Jordan

gus's picture

Bruce, you sound like you know the area quite well. Do you have any idea of how paddleable the Broken River is? Grades? I see on the map there is a good distance of gorge from the Arthurs Pass road bridge down to the Waimak, Looks like a big day out. Anyone done it?

bruce.leslie's picture

define good?

Check out as a starting place to meet paddlers.

local beaches like Sumner provide some good surfing check out

River wise depending on rain fall there are a number of rivers withing 1.5hrs of CHCH upto grade 3 at normal flow. If you want to travel then within 4hrs driving there are a wide range of rivers of all grades.