Tākaka / Takaka Power Station to Takaka River Bridge (Lower Tākaka)

Info

Class: 
III (IV)
Portage?: 
No
Level: 
40+ cumecs
Gauge: 
Gradient: 
20.0m/km
Length: 
9.0km
Time: 
3 hours
Put in: 
Takaka Power Station
Take out: 
Takaka River bridge
Shuttle: 
9km
Maps: 
M26
Character: 
Pool-rapid with play holes
Hot tip: 
Take your boat caddie
Tags: 
Rain

The Takaka is one of the most popular Golden Bay runs. It has an intermediate lower run with road access and good play spots. The first few kilometres have the biggest rapids and some good playholes and eddy lines. Boat caddies can drive along the river and deliver the appropriate boat for the ultimate ride. After Sam’s Creek the gradient eases but the surf waves don’t. Surf on down to the bridge.

Check it out and decide for yourself. At 20 cumecs, this is ok if it’s a hot day and you really feel the need to get wet. It’s pool drop style paddling and the drops are fairly scrapey. There isn’t a lot to play in. At 40 cumecs this turns into a great class III play run. Loads of fast waves, a few good holes, and the odd III+ drop which you’ll want to make your lines on. At well above 40 I imagine it would be a lot of fun. There is a fair bit of gradient in some of the drops, meaning it would take a lot of water to drown them out. After paddling: There’s the Wholemeal Cafe in Takaka of course, as well as good newer places like Dangerous.
History: 
Credits: 
NZ Whitewater 4th Edition 2006: 
p120

Comments

riverplay's picture

I recently rafted the takaka @ 140-160cumec from around apple tree flat to blue pools (just downstream of the bridge). It was committing stuff, we scouted the river up to the power station but it would have been very continuous class 4+-5 for at least 1km. As described above the riverbed is steep so the flow was very swift, from where we put in down was a series of bluffs and huge wave trains. a couple of km below there was a long continuous section that started with a 3metre deep wave/maul.

It was high quality white water and any flow between 15-120cumec is well worth the effort of driving up the tarseal road to check it out.

I live in the Takaka valley and am usaually amping for a paddle so if you're in the area and keen to get out txt 0275840039 or email riverplay@xtra.co.nz