Help identifying Whanganui River Rapids sought

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HI all,

I paddled down the Whanganui River earlier this year, with a camera atop a gimbal for some timelapse phtoography. The first results can be viewed at:

I'm still trying to identify and place all the rapids. The picture attached shows the section between Whakahoro and Ohauora in Google Earth, with the names of the rapids and their positions as best I could determine from both the film and my GPS data. Unfortunately my copy of the Whanganui River Guide omits the names of the rapids from about #105 to #121, although I can reconstruct a number of the names from the text.

If anyone could help me out with the names of the others I would be very grateful. Alsso if my spelling could be checked. If the GPS data would be of any use, I'll put it up on my website as a download. Just ask when it will be available.

AFAICS a number of the 200 rapids between Taumarunui and Pipiriki should have their positions corrected from the data I was able to collect. I should be able to complete this before summer 2019/2020.

Cheers, Lee

SkepticaLee's picture

Hi all,

I got no further with trying to name #109, and by the looks of things it could be a more rapids formed by a landslide.

In any case, the film is now finalised, with all the names I could find and some gadgets to give a sense of direction and the speeds I was doing. Also making an appearance is s whio, which was sitting in the middle of one of the last rapids.

The film can be found on youtube.

Happy paddling

SkepticaLee's picture

Hi Jonathan,

I have a copy of the Guide, but although it lists all of the other 185 rapids, 105 - 121 are not listed. However, as you point out, most of the names can be found by examining the text. This leaves the following rapids without names:

107, 109, 111, 112, 115, 118

All except one of these rapids is named in the report of the Wanganui River Board in the Appendix to the Journal of the House of Representatives from 1899, p 129 onwards (AtoJs). This is also a source of the folklore presented in Guide.

Giving these the current number they are:
107 Taurakawa
111 Kowhaiturua
112 Otawa
115 Otaupea
118 Ohai

Also rapid #108 is called "Otaahau" in the Guide, but "Otahua" in the AtoJs. My Te Reo is not good enough to decide whether either spelling should be preferred.

Also if you watch the film, you'll see that #109 and #116a (Owairua #2) barely qualify as class 0, so it is worth considering whether they are worth naming at all. According to my GPS data, I got up to 9 km/h on both these sections (average rate 5-6 km/h) so the water is flowing there, but perhaps not as fast as some other rapids, where over 12 km/h is not uncommon.

Hope this helps someone, best, Lee

jonathan's picture

Hi Lee

From the Guide to the Whanganui River, edition 19:
* Waipahihi Stream: enters L through a cleft in the cliff.
* 104 Makomako
* Retaruke River enters L.
* Whakahoro Campsite and Bunkroom
* 105 Whakatara
* Wade’s Landing appears L, with old concrete slabs and iron stanchions. Road L is the start of the Mangapurua/Kaiwhakauka track.
* 106 Kaiwhakauka
* 110 Waikoriri
* 113 Haukopai
* 116 Owairua
* 117 Mangapapa Campsite
* Mangapapa Stream ravine can be entered a short distance, as far as a waterfall.
* 119 Wairingia
* 121 Kirikiriroa