New Zaeland - Big water on the other side of the globe

Mike Dawson's & co. last adventure's diary

Day one coast

Kokotai was our mission for day one. we left the kaituna at 4pm on wednesday arvo after banging out some topo's for kenny. It was a rushed together mission after a few beers on Mahgretia night at the okere falls store. We drove for 18hrs, to meet Dando at the take out for the river, flying in at 230pm we had a mish, but were taking our time shooting pics etc. The river was cool, with a pumping charging flow down the river, i was super stoked on the scenery, heli ride, and waterfalls, including a huge 80ft slide (brads measurement) with a death pit undercut on the entrance. I got stuck in a chunky little rapid in a boilly hole. visor ripped off but good times. Otherwise it was a primo trip, and tomorrow we're looking at charging into the upper hokitika to run the 2 day section in one day, home in time to have fish and chips on the beach!

Day two

Today, it was to windy to get up the upper hoki. So we opted for a drive to Kakapotahi River just south of Hokitika. Sweet day out.

It is a classy run, 7 stoking drops. Barny and I were charging, I got stuck in the hole surfing next to barny and then laughing at him got sucked under the rock, but ended sweet, then dyl followed us down into the same spot.

Tomorrow we're going to get into the upper hoki.

Epic day 3. Upper hokitiki

The Hokitika is one of the epic trips on the coast, that I have been wanting to get on since I was a little tacker paddling a FJ2 around the toop wave at the wairoa. Today we hit it up. Dando flew us (Jordan, Brad, Dyl, Sam, Kev, Kieth, and me) up into the classic section which had super amazing gorges and some chunky rapids. We charged hard and made it into hoki in time for fish and chips on the beach!

I've got to say Big ups to Mikey Abbot for running Mikey's drop. That is insane. We contemplated for about 30sec before picking up our boats and boosting. The high water level meant the river was pretty juicy, and pushy.

Some of the boily rapids threw us around a bit. The sweetest rapid was close to the start with a classy 5m drop with a crazy lead in that is totally blind, and you actually only see how high it is from the bottom was primo!!


Plus some rocks have moved around making some new cool whitewater! I think the photo's say it all! Tomorrow we're hoping to check out a first D so we'll see what happens with the water level!

The longest day

Yesterday we decided to go as big as we can, after planning on flying up the Arahura as high as possible and running the "shit" up there we ended up flying to the 2day put in above the narl gorges and rapids in an attempt to bang it out in a day, as the Arahura was a little low we reckoned..

The flight was well over 20minutes into the alps at 70 nots the entire way... we were in a long way! Sam and I sat up there waiting as the rest of the group of Brendon Baily, Brad, and Dyl arrived in 40minute intervals.

With none of us having run the river we set off, with boats fill of energy food purchased at the 4square the night before, putting the owner into retirement(we got a lot)

It started relatively mellow for about 50m where Brendon got the first tast of the power of the Whitcombe with a severe beat down. This set the pace, as we bombed big rapids, trying to keep on schedule.

It was a sweet group because everyone was sharp so we could mostly boat scout the narly gorges only getting out when we couldn't see around the corner! Nothing like running the shit blind!

We spent 6hrs or so working our way down the big waterfalls, and cruxy rapids, with endless undercuts and seives blocking out way with minimal portaging before ariving at the start of the normal day trip. We opened up running the normal run in an hour1/2 and only getting out once to scout, because we needed the rest!

Here's some more pics from the day, and what has to be said is one of the sickest whitewater runs in NZ, with some staunch rapids.

After the Whitcombe, we chilled our bodies totally rooted, and then headed north at midday arriving in rotorua at 4am in time to eat breaky and head to work this morning!

All in all it was a staunch trip, knocking off some decent sized rapids, although it has to be said that we'll be back to hammer out Mikey's drop on the Hokitika before long!! Plus some other missions we've got lined up!

Text & Pics by Mike Dawson




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