Tongariro / Rangipo Dam to Tree Trunk Gorge (Access 14)

Info

Class: 
III-IV
Portage?: 
No
Gradient: 
16.5m/km
Length: 
6.0km
Time: 
1 - 3 hours
Put in: 
Below Rangipo dam
Take out: 
River left, above Tree Trunk Gorge
Shuttle: 
18.5km
Maps: 
T19, T20
Character: 
Even-gradient rapids, plenty of them, fantastic scenery
Hot tip: 
Don't miss the take out

The Tree Trunk Gorge run is the hardest of the three Tongariro sections with steep rapids coming at you fast and furious. The rapid names, like Mother-in-law's Nightmare (The Bitch), Oppat's Ordeal, General Disaster and Kirkham's Mistake, speak of the common disasters that used to occur regularly on this run through the 80’s in fiberglass kayaks. It is a relatively short run, has fun wave trains, banks lined with virgin beech forest, easy access and a short shuttle – perfect! There are three planned water releases each year, otherwise you will have to stay tuned to the website flows during rain events. It is worth the visit any way it flows.

There is a sign in the take out eddy on the left side. Don’t miss it!! Tree Trunk Gorge is immediately downstream and unless you are a world class gnarly dude or dudette you don’t want to run it without scouting!

History: 

The tree trunks that Tree Trunk Gorge was named after, were flushed out in some floods in February 2004. The gorge was then run for the first time in April 2005 by Tobin MacDermott (USA) - a very serious undertaking.

Credits: 
Graham Charles
NZ Whitewater 4th Edition 2006: 
p0

Comments

Sid's picture

Genesis has informed us that:

"The access track from the take-out point upstream of Tree trunk Gorge, on the true left side of the river to Tree Trunk Gorge Road has been cleared of fallen trees over the track."

My advice is that you check the takeout and that it is there an identifiable from river level before committing to the trip. The alternative is paddling tree trunk gorge.

Mike Birch's picture

The take-out has changed in recent floods and the sign has gone.
http://rivers.org.nz/forum/access-touring-hazards/9933