Makuri / Makuri Gorge


Put in: 
Take out: 
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NZ Whitewater 4th Edition 2006: 


Nigel P's picture

Ran it on 4 August 2012. Level on the gauge was 1.33 (about 14 cumecs) when we got on and about 1.25 when we got off. I wouldn't want to run it with much less, maybe 1.2 min? Without knowing the river it took us 5 hours, lots of scouting required to ensure the pin risk is minimized. Excellent run when you can catch it, bring your game face.

wellymatt's picture

Ran on the 19th August 2011, (6 in our party) Awesome run, but quite technical and expect to be doing a lot of scouting if you are with no-one who has done it before. The flow was good after almost a week of cold rain and snow melt. There isnt much about this river here so i thought nows the time. Its a great run but demands respect and consequences of a swim can be harsh/ very serious at times.

Head North out of Pahiatua and take a RHT just out of town onto Pahiatua Pongaroa Road, and follow for about 17.3km (About halfway there you will pass signs for LHT for Millers Road, and Ngaturi Road).Stay on Pahiatua Pongaroa Road. Eventually you will come to a point where you pass a farm house on your right with a yellow mail box and then just before the next farm house on the LHS with a braided driveway. you will see a rectangular paddock with tree lined sides on your right just out of the trees along the roadside. park here where there is most likely to be a churned up roadside anyway (when wet prepare to get stuck). You can then scout the get out by scurrying directly south to eventually hit the river (approx 2/300 metres). Its all very muddy so wellies are ideal! if you get to a quarry on your left you have already gone too far.

PUT IN: Park at the junction of Pahiatua Pongaroa Road and the RH fork of Pori Road. Walk with boats down to bridge 50m away.

SHUTTLE: about 4 km

GENERAL: There are a couple of blind corners and drops in the rapids, and expect surprise holes mid rapid. There are a number of drops both narrow and wide which are more easily navigated with a confident boof! otherwise expect swimming or downtime a very likely outcome. A tight roll is a must!

Someway down the river there was a river wide strainer at a braid but flow was slow enough to take the easiest way through river left.

This is not the sort of run you can guess to much, on the move, and if you value your own safety then suggest you air-on-the-side of caution. Near the finish in lower flows someone is likely to dent their boat on a cheeky rock placed awkwardly at the bottom of a shoot (rapid ran river right). There is a great final waterfall before the cruise to the finish, with an awesome waterfall breaking through the cliff wall river right. their are a variety of ways down. We found the cleanest was just right of centre if you have a weak boof!, otherwise boof out far right. (caution there can be a strong hydraulic and their is a chicken run that follows the main river to rejoin the base of the waterfall.

It is a tight technical run which can have high pin potential at too low a flow. It will probably take around 2.5/ 3 hours (you can maybe double this and more if it is everyones first visit). It is a under-used gem of a run that offers loads of variety, and so close to Welly!

For more info see the NZ Whitewater Guide Makuri Gorge.

Also visit this youtube link for some footage of a couple of major rapids.
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And if you keen on getting involved in any paddling south or central north island until end of November, get involved 021520016 Matt