The Nth Branch (gauge 1.5-1.8) is a great development trip and stepping stone to more difficult coast runs. The rapids are plentiful and not too hard, the scenery is superb and it is an honest day of paddling by the time you get through the normal Mokihinui run. If you aren’t in a hurry fly in the afternoon, enjoy the top section, drink wine and hang out at the hut then paddle out the next day.
The run begins at the hut only if there is enough water in the tributary otherwise from the Johnson/Allan confluence. Starting at the hut gives an extra kilometre of class IV with an unrun class V+ sphincter tightener. From the confluence the river provides 10 kilometres of continuous class III+ and IV water in a granite gorge. Portaging is not a problem. The first trip took seven hours to the normal Mokihinui take out. It has been done in high flows (2-metre gauge) and is reported at continuous class IV-V water with almost no breaks and only took five hours to the normal Mokihinui take out!
It’s worth leaving a vehicle at the take out on your way through and flying direct from the Last Resort if you are planning to stay in the area a couple of days as it makes the helicopter flight cheaper.
To get to the take out: drive north from Westport for 44km to the small settlement at Seddonville. Take a right turn signposted to Seddonville for 2km. At a junction by the pub carry on straight, following the sealed road for another 1.7 kilometre to a farmhouse and shed. Continue past the shed on to a gravel road for 2.3km, crossing two fords. At the second ford there are good camping sites and an area for the helicopter. If the fords are uncrossable you can be picked up anywhere else, but this needs to be communicated to the pilot. Go down to the river and identify the take out spot.