Issue 90

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Issue 90

ON SALE NOW Children Are Our Future - Teach Kids To Kayak

Bula Vinaka! - Kadavu Island

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Issue 90 Spring 2018


Contents adventure equipment

Sea Kayaking 12. Urupukapuka – the Ultimate Hub 18. Bula Vinaka! Kadavu Island 30. The Green Prescription: The Whanganui River Tonic Family 6. 34.

Children Are Our Future - Teach Kids To Kayak Family Kayaking Adventures

White Water 46. The Sea to Sky Corridor - British Columbia, Canada General 41. Rhino-Rack Product Kallista PFD

High Back PFD

Sladek Recreational Cag

EDITOR: Peter Townend, PUBLISHER: New Zealand Kayak Magazine is published four times per year by Canoe & Kayak Ltd. PRINTING: Print Lounge Pricing: At the time of printing the prices in this magazine were accurate. However they may change at any time.

Xipe Touring PFD

Copyright: The opinions expressed by contributors and the information stated in advertisements/articles are not necessarily agreed to by the editors or publisher of New Zealand Kayak Magazine. SUBSCRIPTIONS: Go to: CONTRIBUTORS: We welcome contributors’ articles and photos. Refer to for more details. ALL CONTRIBUTIONS TO: James Fitness, New Zealand Kayak Magazine

Junga Touring Cag

Galena White water PFD

Cover photo: Zefa Fa’avae, Motueka River, Peninsula River By: Nathan Fa’avae

RFD New Zealand Limited 0800 777 009 Auckland Wellington Nelson Christchurch PAGE 4

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04-Sep-18 2

Editorial What will you remember of this summer to come? Will it be doing the same things you have done before or will it be taking on a new personal challenge, that brings with it memories of a lifetime around almost every corner. I find the hardest thing to change are my habits, but some habits such as watching the endless stream of entertainment that rolls from the multiple screens that increasingly dominate my winter life, should be kicked into the bin. When was the last time you did a bit of research into your habits? If it mirrors mine, that winter screen time which sucks up your motivation needs a major intervention. The cure for me is choosing something that demands time and is on the edge of my comfort zone. You know the place, where you are not at all sure that you have what it takes? Try learning a new skill in that area, you’ll also find reserves that you never knew you had. I am not talking about fitness, I mean; I did the teams event on the Coast to Coast, twice, with a few hours training. But I knew my limitations. I run like a snail crossed with a tortoise and cycle like I have flat tires. But a mountain walk/jog got me there (I bumped into a tramper friend and had a cuppa too) I think I took four or five hours longer than the winners. But I loved it and multisporters are the best, supportive people you will meet. I am not talking about throwing yourself off a waterfall or paddling to Great Barrier Island but learning how to enjoy paddling on rivers and to explore islands, the coast and lakes. It will open up a world of adventures that will make every screen look very dull, at least for the summer.

There is a progressive safe and challenging way you can push your limits which is what we do at Canoe & Kayak with the support of the volunteer leaders at the Yakity Yak Kayak Club. If your weekends are filled with the same old stuff, then have a read of some of the amazing adventures available to you. Start stretching your comfort zones with the help of a great bunch of Canoe & Kayak instructors and Yakity Yak Club members and leaders. They will take you to that place that you never believed you could get to. So, go on, make the call and have a bunch of memories from this summer that will never fade and make a truck load of mates along the way. Cheers Peter Townend Editor of the NZ Kayak Magazine and founder of the Yakity Yak Kayak Club, nearly 30 years ago with over 11000 members having been through the club over the years.

Paddle the Whanganui River this summer with us!

Contact : Peter Townend 0274 529 255

Issue 90 Spring 2018


Children Are Our Future Teach Kids To Kayak by Nathan Fa’avae

Matakitaki River, Blue Rock Gorge - L-R Zefa, Jessie, Olivia, Tide, Annabelle (aged between 11-15) Photo by: Nathan Fa’avae

Annabelle, Entry Rapid, known locally as the 'Middle Mataks’ run, Matakitaki River, Murchison Photo by: Nathan Fa’avae

If you keep tabs on the news media, you’ll be able to paint a picture of the state of the nation. One common thread at present is health, primarily focused around the appalling statistics and rates of poor health. You’ll hear or read about obesity, depression, suicide, abuse and addictions. Much of the focus is around youth, children and teenagers, and rightly so, as they are the future of the country and the obvious place to create lasting change. One accepted term that has been used numerous times is that the youth of today have ‘stronger needs’ than the youth of yesteryear. Is that not ironic? When you think about the opportunities that youth have in front of them in 2018, how can so many of them collectively have all these problems? How have they ended up like this? How has New Zealand managed to be a global competitor in so many areas of ill health and wellbeing. Something has gone wrong. It seems the more we advance the more issues we face. We seem to be creating a privileged society that is disconnected and has so many issues. There are many contributing factors, the obvious one is poor diet, too many young people are consuming highly processed ‘junk food’ and sugar products. Some facts: parents are busier, lifestyles have changed, children exercise less, walking and biking to school is no longer the norm, people are living vicariously through social media. People are becoming numbed to poor health and it’s more socially acceptable. Financial stress and limitations create conflict and concern. You could write a book on the causes but it’s solutions that will repair the damage.

own craft, take control of their destiny, it can make them feel mature and responsible, trusted. You see things from a river that you wouldn’t otherwise see, it’s a different perspective and that itself can be enlightening. It can create an awareness of how different things can be when viewed from a different angle. Rivers are humbling places to be, the forces of nature, the scale and grandeur, they can give perspective and significance. It’s a known fact that when people are on a path of self-improvement they feel better about themselves and more positive. Learning to kayak is just that, it is a highly satisfying skill set to learn and attain. People often gain confidence from doing the thing they thought they couldn’t do. Floating down a river, sun shining, water so clear the riverbed metres below moving by in high definition. Fresh air, physical activity, mental

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While it is a global problem in most developed countries, for New Zealand to play to its strengths, I believe a big game changer is ensuring that young people have a strong connection to nature, the great outdoors. To parents or caregivers concerned about the health and wellbeing of their young people but not sure what to do, I say teach them to kayak. Kayaking can teach so many skills, not just skills to get down the river safely, but valuable life skills. Rivers and waterways themselves are a metaphor for life, a journey. On that downstream journey there are rapids, growth, change and challenges. Rapids demand focus and courage, you need to manage the risk, you need a plan and you need to maintain composure. After rapids there are calm sections, places to reflect, rest, enjoy the environment and the satisfaction of being in an adventure. For most young people kayaking is fun, being on the water is empowering. A child in a kayak with the freedom to manoeuvre their very PAGE 8

Issue 90 Spring 2018

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Distributed by Great Stuff. email:


Issue 90 Spring 2018

Photos by Ruth E. Henderson

Zefa, Fluffy Bunnies rapid, trying to see what’s ahead on a world of white water, Matakitkai River Photo by: Nathan Fa’avae


Annabelle enjoying the 8-mile rapid, Matakitaki River Photo by: Nathan Fa’avae



COURSES Sep 2016 QTR LND.indd 1 PA GE 10 Issue 90 Spring 2018

FOR INFO SEE: CANOEANDKAYAK.CO.NZ/COURSES OR PHONE: 09 476 7066 w w w . 28/11/2016 k a y a k n11:31:41 z . c o .AM nz

engagement results in a natural high. The simple things in life are refreshing. I am absolutely convinced being immersed in natural beauty and wonder, regularly, is a massive start in avoiding or dealing with the issues that many young people are faced with today, including social pressures. There’s no fast food on a river, no Wi-Fi, no cyber bullying, the goal is clear, get down the river, be in the moment, forget about everything else for now. The river treats everyone equally. They develop environmental awareness and appreciation.

Jessie, Wairoa River, Tasman Photo by: Nathan Fa’avae

My three children have grown up with water sports, rafting, canoeing and kayaking, paddling of all sorts, lakes, rivers and oceans, they love water and are confident swimmers. Last summer they learnt to kayak white water and even though my wife and I were, once upon a time, qualified kayak instructors, we decided it’d be a better learning environment and outcome if we booked them onto a kayak course. They spent four days with instructors and other young people and emerged with an amazing skill set and passion to paddle. It’s a step in the right direction. Teach kids to kayak!

Jessie, Matakitaki River, Entry Rapid Photo by: Nathan Fa’avae

Issue 90 Spring 2018

P A G E 11

Urupukapuka – the Ultimate Hub By Ruth E. Henderson


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Issue 90 Spring 2018


Every long weekend from Labour Day to Easter hordes of people head north, many with kayaks on their roof racks. Exits along the way - Whananaki, Otamure, Mimiwhangata – are all kayaking mecca’s where you can base camp and one day head south and another north returning each night to all the comforts car-camping brings. But further north lies the probably unchallenged ultimate coastal hot spot of Northland holiday paddling – Urupukapuka Island – at 208 hectares, the largest of the 140 islands that comprise the Bay of Islands. Like the hub of a cycle wheel, with spokes radiating out, as a base this island allows multitude days of exploration from every point of the compass. Every holiday, every week, every weekend it draws kayakers, fishermen, snorkelers, walkers or as most Yakity Yakkers are, an aggregate mix of ‘all of the above’. Coming from the south there’s two main approaches. On State Highway One head to Kawakawa and on towards Paihia and Waitangi, but turning off at Opua to catch the car ferry over to Okiato and onward to the launching site at Rawhiti. Alternatively, for less traffic and more spectacular scenery turn off State Highway One just after Whakapara and head towards Helena Bay and up the coast past the turnoffs to Whangaruru and Bland Bay to Rawhiti. There’re also two recognised places to safely park your cars. The first is on the right past the marae and used a lot by Cape Brett walkers. Look out


Issue 90 Spring 2018

for some hand-painted signs. You pay ‘Auntie’ so much per day…think it’s about $10 now. The second is at the end of the road. Get directions and pay at the campground. Then once you’ve squeezed in the tent, sleeping mat, sarong, solar shower…and the nibbles to share, maybe poking a bottle of wine up the bow and/or stern… you’re off, ready for a time of adventure and camaraderie. The island is administered and managed by DOC who run three basic campsites – the long-drop and tap type, with a two-sided shower cubicle. Cable Bay is the one most favoured by paddlers. To reach it, head in a westerly direction and tick off your first three wee islands, and as you slip between shore and Round Island you’ll spot the remnants of pohutukawa forest, and the camp site. In summer competition for the shade of the trees is fierce, it pays to book ahead! Otherwise you’ll have to be happy with beach front real estate. Maybe bring your own tarp to create your own shade-sail arrangement. Once happily ensconced, explore! A good way to get your bearings is to climb the hill. The panoramic views are superb! DOC has a 7 km easy walking track with interpretation panels along the way, recounting the archaeological history of the place. A 1772 plan of the Bay of Islands made by the French explorer du Fresne shows a village fortified by palisades. Today you can spot eight different pa sites… and scores of alluring islands, beautiful sandy beaches, and loads of interesting rocks along the shoreline to poke about in.

Obviously a must do trip is to circumnavigate Urupukapuka – its only about 10 km and takes you past Otehei Bay made famous by the author Zane Grey’s game-fishing camp, now a licensed café and restaurant. Continue, around and thru the Waewaetorea passage, infamous for some exciting kayaking journeys, around the northern most point. Watch out for the fast ferries and tourist boats as you come back thru the Albert Channel and back to camp. Another 10 km day paddle is to head west to another pest-free island, Moturua. If you’re lucky you’ll have dolphins come to play. The rules say only three boats, and that includes kayaks, are allowed near them at any one time, but no one told the dolphins that and you could have a pod amongst your pod! Take your lunch and drink bottle and walk over the remnants of the Navy’s World War II Mine Control Station, and up the hill for another grandstand view, across to Cape Brett and Piercy Island with its Hole in the Rock attraction. The track goes to the four corners of the bay, dropping down to beaches, then climbing through the kikuya grasslands and regenerating forest. If you stop and listen awhile you should hear the birds that Project Island Song has re-introduced… NZ Robin (toutouwai), saddleback (tieke) and whitehead (popokotea) and on the shore, spot NZ dotterel and oyster-catchers.

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Issue 90 Spring 2018


For a more extensive day, knock off Motuarohia (Roberton) Island. Captain Cook anchored off there in 1769. You can land on the horseshoe shaped beach and snorkel in the wee lagoon or climb up to the trig station for views south west across to Russell and south east to the Orokawa Peninsula. Tucked in behind this peninsula is Assassination Bay where du Fresne and some of his men and many Maori warriors met their end. Maybe on the way home, paddle into the bay, feel the chill up your spine, then escape by portaging over the peninsula’s narrow waist. Alternatively continue around Roberton Island for some incredible rock-gardening. Either way you’ll notch up about 20 kms. On another day, if you’re feeling more adventurous, head north east back up the Albert Channel and around the corner into Oke Bay. This is a great spot for a picnic. One time the fishos amongst us, caught enough fish at the beginning of the day, to cook some in their ‘biscuit and coffee tins’ for us to have hot smoked snapper for morning tea! Hugging the coast north bound, you’ll find a few caves to poke your bow into or to traverse and eventually make it to Deep Water Cove. This is the resting place for the HMS Canterbury, now a popular dive spot, and a place where you can haul your kayaks up if walking to Cape Brett is on the agenda. Book a bed in the old lighthouse keepers hut, and enjoy being on the tip of the Bay of Islands…do some yoga, meditate, marvel at the milky way, and plan your next kayaking trip. Once is not enough for Urupukapuka. PAGE 16

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Issue 90 Spring 2018


Bula Vinaka! Kadavu Island - July 2018 By John Wilson


Issue 90 Spring 2018

Issue 90 Spring 2018


The plan was hatched one weekend in late summer on Motutapu Island. A group of us were having evening drinkies and nibbles when the idea of a trip to Kadavu (pronounced Kan-davu), one of the islands in the Fijian group, was discussed and a plan agreed. This was to be Andrea’s seventh trip to Kadavu. The foundations were laid for a 10 day paddling holiday in Kadavu organised by Tony from Tamarillo Active Travel, paddling between resorts for six nights and


Issue 90 Spring 2018

spending a further two nights with locals in their village. About 130 km of kayaking in total. the group were Andrea, Jill, John, Terumi, Lindsay, Heather, Sandra, (all from Auckland), Ruth (Kawau Is.), Helen (Te Aroha) and Joanne (Nelson). We travelled from New Zealand on various flights and stayed a night in Nadi. Next day we met at Nadi airport and took a 45 minute Fiji Air internal

After landing at Vunisea Airport in Kadavu, we walked 400 m along the beach, wading through the water to the longboats. As the longboats are open, sunhats and sunscreen were a must. With no hat however, Lindsay improvised with Heather’s bikini bottoms. That sparked lots of laughter setting the scene for the days ahead. On the way we couldn’t help but notice the devastation caused by severe tropical cyclone Keni which hit Kadavu in April of 2018. Tony from Tamarillo told us they had lost much of their kava crop, on which their economy depends. According to the Fijians, the best and strongest kava in Fiji grows on Kadavu. A 40 minute longboat ride along the coast saw us arrive at our first resort, Papageno, where the kayaking began. flight to Kadavu Island to the south of Veti Levu. Kadavu is the fourth largest island in Fiji that sits within a volcanic archipelago on the Great Astrolabe Reef which is the fourth largest living reef in the world. A magical place to kayak and dive. This island is one of the most underdeveloped islands in Fiji, having no roads - the only way to get around is by longboat. It’s a tropical paradise with 75% of the island being covered in rainforest reaching right down to the water’s edge for much of the coastline. It is a most relaxing place: no traffic noise, no light pollution, little or no Wi-Fi coverage, and the big plus for kayakers - no jet-skis whatsoever.

Nights 1&2 – Papageno Resort The accommodation at this resort was absolutely stunning. I don’t think any of us knew what to expect. Papageno was styled on island architecture - built often with lashed beams and local timber. Not so much huts, but certainly not the gib board and concrete block creations we are used to in NZ. Much of this charm were the people. The most happy, gregarious and welcoming people we had encountered anywhere, and this was the case

Issue 90 Spring 2018



Issue 90 Spring 2018

throughout the trip. There was constant laughter and chatter as they went about their daily business. Of course, this was contagious. The food was outstanding. Everything is sourced from their large organic vegetable gardens and the sea. Dinner is announced with the call of the lali (Fijian drum). At one stage, we got the offer to beat the dinner drum but politely declined. On the first day we paddled up the coast and left the boats at a village for the night. We were then transported back to the resort by longboat to return the next day. On the first night at Papageno we were treated to a lovo, a traditional form of cooking, like a hangi in New Zealand. We watched the theatre of freshly caught giant trevally, chicken and vegetables wrapped in palm fronds and banana leaves, being pulled from the red-hot coals with bare hands, accompanied by the applause befitting a successful cook. It was such an amazing feast, and this was the quality of food we were to experience for the entire trip. After reuniting with our boats we proceeded up the coast, the plan was to leave the boats at Tiliva Resort for crossing the channel to Ono Island and paddling around to Oneta Resort on day three. The Tamarillo guides were keen to make good ground in the morning, crossing inner reef areas while the tide was high. We hadn’t paddled very far when we found a beach where it seemed the whole village came running down to the water’s edge and called us in. Children shimmied up coconut palms and produced coconuts which, with an expert slash of a machete, became morning tea … Bula Vinaka! So nice and so charming! The kids from the village followed us around to our lunch stop. They had hand crafted fishing spears and had already caught several small fish off the reef - threaded with rope through the eyes.

At this part of the trip we were taken to a location and dropped off with snorkels. Soon manta ray appeared, gliding beneath us. These were magnificent creatures, so graceful, with wing spans between 4-6 metres. We were told manta ray come to the location to get their skin, gills and teeth cleaned by tiny fish. On another wee island we came across the set for the Survivor TV series. The guides did a little physical challenge on the course which was a heap of fun. The set is used by several countries filming the series. A wharf with buildings and other support infrastructure were in the process of being built on the same small island. The next day we left the Oneta Resort and completed the circumnavigation of Ono Island to cross the channel to the Tiliva Resort. Of the seven times Andrea had visited the island, this was the first time the weather had allowed her to cross the channel both ways.

Fruit bats (Samoan flying fox) surprised us, swarming the skies from their roosts in the forest canopy – we thought they were birds at first. The Fijian’s hunt bats, but this was not a dish served to us. After another great evening at Papageno we returned for the kayaks and set off for Ono Island and the Oneta Resort. This was the longest paddle of the trip - 24 kms to Oneta Resort. Half way across the channel, far out towards the reef we sighted humpback whales breaching spectacularly, putting on an amazing performance. The guides told us to point our boats out of the path of the whales, as they passed approx 500 metres from us. Sitting in a kayak you realise how enormous these beautiful creatures are.

27 Flemington Place4— 

Padding around the island of Ono, heavy downpours with thunder and lightning strikes in the distance, prevailed. As the rain teamed down, the sea was remarkably flat; there was an eerie calm that was quite surreal. Some longboats pulled up alongside and offered us boiled eggs. They were surprisingly nice.

Nights 3&4 Oneta Resort This resort is owned by the American actress Liz Moorhead, and her director husband. Liz featured in Terminator 3 and Seinfeld, amongst other TV and films. She certainly was an engaging and welcoming host. Fijian-style bungalows are set among 50 acres of lovely tropical gardens with timber walkways and offer a private bathroom and an outdoor hot water shower.

Issue 90 Spring 2018


Nights 5&6 Tiliva Resort Like some other resorts on Kadavu, Tiliva had been closed until recently. Accommodation income goes to medical ministries and services for people in the villages in Kadavu and Ono Islands. One of the highlights at Tiliva was to paddle through the mangrove swamps. These host the majority of Kadavu’s legendary bird life. We were told to paddle silently and for sure, birds welcomed us in. Thrush, fantails, and parrots could be heard singing in the trees.


Issue 90 Spring 2018

We also enjoyed an island style beach picnic, exquisite food prepared by locals on banana palm leaves with a fire on the beach - great to warm yourself after snorkelling - legendary! Paddling from Tiliva to Vascalea Village, we spent much of the day paddling over colourful coral and fish. We saw clam shells set on the rock walls of islands which are used as navigational aids at night. From time to time, as we paddled along the coastline, we caught glimpses of the exquisite crimson shining Kadavu parrot, endemic to Kadavu and Ono islands.

Nights 7&8 Vacalea Village The last two nights were spent at Vacalea village, the home of two of our guides, Koro and Waisake, who introduced us to their culture and community. There were around 100 people in the village with five churches of different denominations. As we arrived, you could see the village high up on the hilltop. Anthony told us that back in April the village was hidden behind trees, now all gone, devastated by the severe tropical cyclone Keni. Their Kava and crops were ruined. We could see the devastation the storm had caused. Anthony and his crew work in partnership with the village chief, and our stay provided much needed food supplies and fuel. It was very steep climb up to the top. I heard someone comment “it’s like walking the stairway to heaven’’. Our faces told the story by the time we got to the top. The Fijians carried our luggage up (still smiling). Village protocol states you must wear a sulu or long pants that cover your knees at all times. No hats or sunglass and women need to cover their shoulders. The people gave generously of their food and time. Both of which were sensational. It was hard to believe the quantity and quality of the food prepared with such basic cooking resources. As we walked through the village we were invited in for cups of lemon tea which was very pleasant. We attended a village Kava Ceremony with John being nominated as our chief, sitting with the group on a woven mat on the floor in the community hall.


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Issue 90 Spring 2018


Join Join the the Yakity Yakity Yak Yak Kayak Kayak Club Club n now

Come and join us on one of these adventures • • • • • • • • • • • •

Tutukaka Urupukapuka Abel Tasman Mangakino & the Waikato River Northland Explorer Whangaehu / Manganui-a te-ao Kaituna / Wairoa Rangitikei Gorge Section Lake Karapiro & Pokaiwhenua Stream Waihi Beach Coastline Whanganui River Kadavu Island - Fiji

Enrol at /join email: Yakity Yak overseas trip to Kadavu Island - Fiji. Photo by Jill Dyet

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The visiting chief’s job was to call for the rounds of Kava to be served. The kava ceremony has great importance in the village with a number of protocols that had to be followed. Above all, we will remember the steady beat of kava being ground prior to being squeezed through a cloth for drinking. This beat was in time to the music accompanying the singing and went on into the night long after we had retired to bed. We slept marae style which, to some of us, was a new experience. Visiting the toilet and shower often required posting a sentry - privacy was minimal. For all that, everyone had a great time, laughing off the snoring as we decided that, everyone contributed to the chorus, just the volumes varied. Each day our guides took us on amazing snorkelling adventures. Their knowledge of the land and water was invaluable. They knew the best snorkelling places guiding us along deep drop-offs



Issue 90 Spring 2018

and through channels going with the sea currents. The reefs were diverse with beautiful corals and a vast variety of colourful fish. This was a holiday I am sure none of us will ever forget. From the emotion felt listening to the Fijian farewell song Eso Lei, sung with passion and sincerity by ordinary Fijian people, to the beauty of the seas and reef structures around the island. I guess that’s why Andrea has visited seven times.

This was evident in the whole trip and we shared in the pure enjoyment of each other’s company. Would we do it again - you bet!

The other element that made the trip so memorable was the organisation of the Tamarillo group and the involvement of the local people. Tamarillo enjoy a partnership with the local people based on genuine care and mutual respect.

Issue 90 Spring 2018


The Green Prescription: The Whanganui River Tonic By Ruth E. Henderson


Issue 90 Spring 2018

Issue 90 Spring 2018


Adventuring on Whanganui River. Photo by: Harry Martin

Needing a holiday? Do you relish a total change of pace and scenery, a healthy diet and exercise - a holistic experience? Do you want to cut the umbilical cord that ties you to the computer, cell phone, responsibilities, commitments, deadlines - for one delectable, rejuvenating week in the wilderness? The solution could be ‘The Whanganui River Tonic’, a journey of six days and 120 kms from Ohinepane to Pipiriki by kayak or canoe. It could be just what the Doctor ordered. Recommended dosage rate - at least once in a lifetime, or annually if required. Active ingredient - Peter Townend, (Canoe & Kayak boss man), in holiday mode - with an impish sense of fun, great culinary and fire starting skills. Compatibility - recent tests showed no adverse reactions or allergies when kayakers, aged from nine to seventy years of age with adventurous spirits and nimble bodies were mixed together on the river and the riverbanks. Mixing instructions - load Canadian canoes with chickens, corned beef, noodles, potatoes, kumara, onions, apples, oranges, bacon, eggs, porridge, cheese, bread… plus pots, pans, cooking implements, BBQ griddle, and tarpaulins. Load sea-kayaks with personal camping gear, normal river paddling safety equipment, including 20 metres of rope, and a share of the food. Practise ferry gliding and finding eddy lines, then head down river. Recommendations - take along: a good tent, warm clothing, spare warm clothing, wine, friends, potato peeler, book, camera, pack of cards or backgammon set, and a folding or blow up chair. An ability to sing and

enjoy songs, a sense of fun, humour, adventure; and an awe for weeping walls and waterfalls, rata in flower, and billy goat bluffs are an advantage. Skills needed or gained on the trip - rafting up (for chocolate rations), two handed serving spoon dexterity (for dishing up dinner), centipede formation (to carry laden Canadian canoes), firewood gathering (for roaring bonfires), catching (flying corn fritters), walking (to the ‘Bridge to Nowhere’), binocular use (for star gazing), and fishing (for eels). First Aid - On site: warm up wet people with food and fire; cool down hot and sweaty people with a dunk in the river, then give other liquids orally. Off site: for withdrawal symptoms, take another dose of the tonic. Caution - this tonic may be addictive and may result in an increase in weight. First published in 2006 Issue 38. Alas, open fires are no longer allowed.


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Paddle the Whanganui River this summer with us! Contact : Peter Townend 0274 529 255

Issue 90 Spring 2018


Family Kayaking Adventures By Helen Brosnan

Devon, Bella and Helen, Aniwhenua Falls, Rangitaiki River PAGE 34

Issue 90 Spring 2018

Issue 90 Spring 2018


Bella, Devon and Greg crusin' below the put in at Mangaweka Campsite

Summer is fast approaching and we are looking forward to more family kayaking adventures. We had always taken the kids on our local float trip from Taupo Control Gates to Reids’ Farm (now called Hipapatua Reserve) with the stop off at Spa Park hot pools. Canoe & Kayak Taupo operates a float trip on this section of the river. We had done a few rafting trips, but found the raft heavy for two adults to move on and off river. So last Christmas we brought a Gumotex double inflatable kayak from Canoe & Kayak, Taupo. We bought the Twist 2 which weighs only 11 kg which is easy for one adult to carry to the car along with dry bags. The maximum weight range for this kayak is 150 kg, so last year I paddled with the two kids and gear in the inflatable. This Christmas, instead of having one adult


Issue 90 Spring 2018

Devon and Bella swimming in a pool near McLaren Falls

Issue 90 Spring 2018


Towering cliffs on the Rangitikei River below River Valley

in a plastic creek boat as safety kayaker, we’ll get another double inflatable kayak. Perhaps the self-bailing one this time as the non-self-bailing boat can collect quite a bit of water if the Grade Two river is a bit splashy. Our kids were three and five last summer and we have considerable kayaking experience. We found our kids got tired quickly on long walks. However, in the Gumotex we can float down Grade Two rivers, covering considerable distance and getting to remote places with ease. Safety is key with young kids. We wear helmets, life jackets, dry tops or rain coats, wet suits and foot wear. We bought the waterproof, floating Res-Q-link rescue beacon - and hope we never need to use it. We give written intentions to someone as a check in, and ring that person when we get off the river each day. We check and pack maps, split paddles, throw ropes, change of clothes and plenty of food in dry bags. We take a charcoal filter and steripen on the river, so we can UV treat the river water, and that way we don’t need to take a full day’s supply of potable water. We often take soup, tea and a pot to have hot food on the river. We check the flow and weather forecast because kids can cope with some adverse weather but sunshine is always more fun. If the weather isn’t ideal, we modify the plan and do a shorter trip or postpone the trip to another time. You need to be honest about your skill level when you take others out kayaking. There is a big difference between adults who can swim (when they fall out of a kayak) and children who may become scared of the water if you capsize in moving water. We are especially cautious with our children because we are aware of their (limited) swimming abilities so therefore we keep to Grade Two rivers and rapids that we are confident we will not end up taking an unplanned swim. Of course, there are sections of river

Bella and Devon, hot pools at Spa Park Waikato River

Fantastic fishing downstream of River Valley Lodge

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Issue 90 Spring 2018

Cooking noodles for lunch Rangitikei River below Mangaweka

The gem that we discovered was the lower Rangitikei River. My husband and I had kayaked the challenging upper gorge, but never the stunning Grade Two lower sections. Getting on the river directly outside River Valley Lodge, it is advisable to ring in advance to arrange access and shuttle. You can run this trip commercially through River Valley if you want expert fishing guides. There is lots of opportunity for fishing, lunching, scampering, digging and swimming and viewing the spectacular scenery. This section is well worth taking your time over! We got out at Tarata Fishaway and got a shuttle back to River Valley Lodge where there are plenty of accommodation options.

that they do jump in and have a swim down, and others where they know to stay in the kayak. To check out our new gear we did a float trip from Rapids Jet below Aratiatia Power Station on the Waikato River. It’s a good idea to let other river users know that you are going to be on the river, so they will look out for you, so we started from Rapids Jet base. It was raining and splashing as much from the rain drops on the river but the trip was short. We didn’t get the full cycle on the washing machine rapid and got off at the Jet Boat put-in just a few kms down, so we didn’t need to walk far with the gear.

Bella, messy play on the Rangitikei River



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Issue 90 Spring 2018



This summer we want to save our pennies and stay over at Tarata Fishaway and continue down the next day through Mokai Canyon. We also did the Mangaweka float trip. There are different options ranging from one or four hours or more on the river. These can be booked commercially through or you can make your own arrangements. Camping is available at Awastone Camp site and Mangaweka Campsite. The café at Awastone is definitely worth going to before or after your trip.

and sand on the banks, listening to the birds or swimming in the river. We’ve had to learn to slow down and take the day at their pace and just enjoy the trip. I hope you find some fun in the sun this summer on your next family paddling adventure.

Nap time...

We did a run down the Aniwhenua section on the Rangitaiki River (near Murupara). We were impressed to find how much quicker we got on the water with an inflatable kayak, than a raft. We could simply carry the kayak down the track and get going below Aniwhenua waterfall. We also did some short flat-water trips at Ohiwa Harbour, Wenderholm, Lake Mclaren, and Ohau Chanel. There are hundreds of options around the country of easy flat-water trips that are great for exploring with kids. We’ve learnt quite a bit from our kids about play. We’re always fascinated to find what the highlight of the day is for them. Often, it’s the digging in the mud




Issue 90 Spring 2018

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Issue 90 Spring 2018



Issue 90 Spring 2018



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Issue 90 Spring 2018

Paddler: Sam Ricketts, Photographer: Callum Parker Photo Andrew Cornaga

Issue 90 Spring 2018


The Sea to Sky Corridor British Columbia, Canada By Sam Ricketts

Triple Drop, Ashlu Box Canyon Photo P A G Eby 4Maxi 6 Kneiwasser Issue 90 Spring 2018

Issue 90 Spring 2018


British Columbia, Canada is one of the adventure capitals of the world. Its giant coastal mountain range offers an endless list of world class adventure sports. I was lucky to have been born in this part of the world, and although I grew up in New Zealand this is my second home and I have spent the last eight Canadian summers paddling and working on rivers in BC. The one special place that draws me back year after year is the west coast Sea to Sky Corridor, which is a region between Horseshoe Bay, through to Squamish, up to Whistler, a world-famous ski and mountain biking resort town - and beyond. Literally from the sea to the sky, all of the surrounding valleys have clean rivers and boast some of the most classic kayaking runs in Canada, and the world.

Snowy Callaghan Creek, Paddler: Sam Ricketts, Photo by: Sandy Macewan

Rivers in coastal BC are: cold, often go in and out of committing and boxed canyons, have a big hike in or out through thick bear ridden forests, and tree hazards are a very real thing. Very few runs have an exception to this so it's a good training ground for a Grade Five creek boater, you want to be on your top game. It’s always an adventure here, the classic local runs will keep you on your toes and there will always be something new to discover. British Columbia is well over three times the size of New Zealand.


Issue 90 Spring 2018

One of my all-time favourite river drainages is in the Ashlu Valley, just north of Squamish BC. It has a maze of unused forest service roads that lead to the main sections. I have always been taken by the glorious white water and scenery this area provides. Tatlow Creek is at the top of the valley; a paradise crystal blue water run which has 22 waterfalls within two km of river - no waterfall is under three metres tall. If you like waterfalls, boofs and slides you’ll get your fix, all in a tight gorge. Tatlow flows into the Ashlu River, which quickly drops into the ‘Mine’ section which is a serious Grade Five section of water with mandatory portages and steep must-run rapids. The latest BC white water guide book quoted “the mine section, where Grade Five kayakers go to swim!” Below the mine section the Ashlu River has a diversion dam, which drained the Ashlu River about 10 years ago. But since then scheduled recreational releases in the summer weekends have been put in place. It works extremely well, and we’re very lucky to have this section of water released for kayakers conveniently on the weekend. Below the dam is the ‘Mini Mine’ which is a fun Grade Three-Four run which flows straight into the famous waterfall ‘50/50,’ a 15 metre double tiered technical waterfall that falls into the ultra-classic Ashlu Box Canyon. For its extremely committing nature it has also been

named ‘Commitment Canyon’. It is committing yes, but it has some amazingly clean lines and the views in there are incredible. This drainage has tight gorges, waterfalls, smooth granite rock, clean boofs, technical big rapids and epic glacier views. If it isn't on your list, you should put it up there at the top.

Callaghan Creek- Photo by Kieran Brown

Squamish itself is the bald eagle capital of the world in winter because of the warmer climate and the huge annual salmon run. Black bears are all along the river banks, moose, elk, lynx and cougar roam the forests. I’ve seen grizzly bears up in the valleys pushing over trees and snatching salmon from the river. This place is wilderness paradise and has the white water to top it off. The summer months in BC are great for chasing the water, with something unique to run every day if you wanted, not to mention all the multi-day expeditions that come in the fall. For the young white water kayakers, the village of Whistler is always there for a party fix, or to bike on the best downhill mountain biking hill in the world. Hike up to alpine lakes, glaciers, volcanic peaks and enjoy the views. The Sea to Sky is Calling!

Issue 90 Spring 2018


Tatlow Creek- Photo by Jordan Bastin

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