West Akatarawa / West Akas (Akatarawa River West)

Info

Class: 
II-III
Portage?: 
No
Level: 
Any but best if Akatarawa at Cemetary is > 0.9m
Gauge: 

Akatarawa River 0800 220 170

Gradient: 
17.6m/km
Length: 
3.4km
Time: 
1-3 hours
Put in: 
McGees Bridge - Jtn old Karapoti Rd and Three Skulls Rd
Take out: 
At bridge/ford near end of Karapoti Road, off Akatarawa Road, Upper Hutt
Shuttle: 
Walk up old Karapoti Rd or get key to Valley View Forest from Greater Wellington Regional Council
Maps: 
NZMS 260 R26
Character: 
Small volume Class III steep, rocky stream which flattens out after 2km to easy Class II.
Hot tip: 
Be fit.

The West Akas is a lesser known local Wellington kayak run. Unless you have access to the Valley View forest gate key and know where you are going then it is best to bite the bullet and walk the 3km motorbike track alongside the river to the put-in (river left).

The run starts at McGee's bridge and soon enters a series of rock gardens with several nice but small drops. This steeper section culminates in a narrow chute which needs to be scouted for logs. After this the gradient drops away and the river is Class II. The run is not worth the walk at low flows (less than 0.9m on the Akatarawa Cemetary gauge). It is defin itely an option at higher flows and is well worth the walk.

If it's a nice day and the river is up you can float on down to the usual Karapoti put-in on the true Akatarawa River or even continue right down to the Hutt River confluence (Twin Bridges).

 

History: 
Credits: 
Alan Bell
NZ Whitewater 4th Edition 2006: 
p0

Comments

noggins's picture

Ran from McGhies Bridge on the 25th of March 2012 at about 1200 on the Akatarawa Cemetery Gauge. Great boulder garden style run. Shuttle took one hour to walk with the boats. Two hazards of note the first is a river wide log jam about 500m from the put in. This can be run by a sneak route on the true left. Next hazard is a river wide log 1.3km from the put in (photo attached). I would recommend this as a mandatory portage on the true right. Run took 3hrs overall to the Karapoti car park.