Saturday, July 27, 2013

West Coast, NZ: The Wangapeka

Think lush, green temperate rainforest. Add recent rain, a hungry-for-paddling team and (finally) some free time... And you have a deal. In March, amongst our busy stretch of teaching kayaking, we managed to escape to the Westport. In all honesty, there are possibly better places to escape, but on the back of some rain and rumours of some pretty fun paddling, we headed over for the day.

Picking up Mr, Matty Coles - our Westport tour guide, and in between driving shifts - we planned our day. A Wangapeka in the morning, a Ngakawau in the afternoon, then back to Murchison that evening.  Too easy! 

The Wangapeka came to easy fruition. It is a short journey north of Westport, and then a short walk (30 minutes or so) along an old mining trail to the put-in. The Wangapeka is a bit of a local staple, keeping people honest and inspired between dry spells. The river needs rain. It's a sweet Class III-IV trip, runnable at a range of water levels and tucked into classic West Coast bush. There were five of us: Matt, Rata, Soph, Daan and myself.

All Photos//Daan Jimmink.

 The walk-in follows an old mining trail.

 At some point during the walk-in, the trail changes sides of the river!

 Everyone needs a local. Enter Matt Coles. We miss you!

 Girls on the mission... Soph and myself.

 Classic West Coast rain-run colours.

 Soph steezin' it up.

Colesy on a hot date with his Nomad.  

Rata... What is that?

The Wanagapeka was a good little mission... Happy days! Jess.