Day 262 on the Road
White Water Rafting with Mohaka Rafting
Today we are jumping on an awesome river journey with Mohaka Rafting in this white water rafting trip in Napier. If you like this video and want more New Zealand bucket list inspiration then just head on over to our epic YouTube Channel & Subscribe!
Today we’re going to be white water rafting. We are going to be seeing rare wildlife, we’re going to be going into gold mines, we’re gonna be cliff jumping, with going to be going through stunning river gorges on the Mohaka River.
Today we are joining the team from Mohaka Rafting for an epic intimate white water rafting grade 3 experience on the Mohaka River.
So just before we left, everybody seemed really worried about Laura being cold because she and quote right here, she looks like a racing sardine.
After getting geared up at the Mohaka Rafting base we jumping in the van on our way to launch point of the river stopping at an amazing viewpoint.
This is one of the geological oddities we hear about on the Mohaka. We call these the organs.
This lookout is just a taste of how gorgeous and dramatic the scenery is around the Mohaka River but now we’re heading tot he launch point where we’re getting started for our grade 3 white water rafting trip.
But yadda yadda yadda we’re having a briefing the one thing that we’re looking at is the couple of blue ducks right in front of us they are super rare birds in New Zealand. In fact, they are such an icon in New Zealand they feature on a New Zealand bank note.
After this awesome wildlife spotting we are now on the river making our way through the beautiful Mohaka scenery.
And because it’s just Laura and I today we ask Bill to give us a crash course on white water rafting we basically want to learn everything about it. We’ve done multiple white water rafting trips in New Zealand but we want to know more. We want to go a bit deeper than just following the instructions of the guide. So he takes the time to tell us all the reasons why we’re getting some orders why we are paddling one way or the other, how we’re approaching rafting and all those kind of things. It’s an amazing way to learn more about white water rafting.
Pretty early on into this trip we realise that this is more than just about white water rafting but there’s a few really fun added extras as well. Like finding this gold mining tunnel which actually there was no gold found here but it has made a little nice little home for native insects like the weta. Which is actually one of the largest insects in the world.
It’s a really cool and slightly creepy place to check out and it is clearly home to more than just the weta as we find a little bird nest in here as well. We get time to take plenty of photos and actually the guys here at Mohaka Rafting are taking photos for us as well which is really cool and then we’re getting back onto the river to start hitting some of those bigger rapids.
After learning all the paddle commands during the really easy mellow section of the river, we are now moving onto the grade 2 rapids. They are not the biggest ones that we’re going to be encountering today since we’re going to go up to grade 3 but they’re still a good taster and a great way to show us that each of our paddle strokes has a massive impact on the boat.
Everything is to be taken into account – the reaction time of the people in the raft, as well as the rapids size on that very day. Because the water level can change from day to day and every single time you get a different group on the raft you’re gonna get different reaction times and different strength for the paddlers.
And speaking of numbers, usually when you book a white water rafting tour if you don’t meet the minimum amount of people to go for the tour the tour is cancelled so if you are you and girlfriend trying to go on a tour and there is no other people that booked the tour on that day then it will be cancelled. However, Mohaka Rafting is the only white water rafting company in New Zealand that will do a tour to run with just tow people and that’s really awesome and speaking of awesome, a thing that I really like about this tour is that all the people which are involved in this company are actually from the area it’s really cool how they know every nooks and cracks of those forests and we’re about to meet one more because we are actually picking up one of their team members which has spent the last three days in the bush hunting and just embracing the elements.
The further down the Mohaka River we’re getting the more dramatic the scenery is getting with towering river gorges covered in native forest and that also means that the rapids are getting bigger too. We are getting onto the section of the river which has a lot of grade 3 rapids which are super fun super splashy and pretty technical as well we really have to pay attention to Bill’s paddle commands and really execute them perfectly.
We also see seashell fossils in the walls of the canyon surrounding us which just goes to show that New Zealand was definitely underwater at some point they weren’t lying when they said that. There’s also fault lines we can see and massive boulders which creates rapids along the way.
It really feels like we are in complete wilderness now we haven’t seen anyone for ages and this just really adds to that backcountry experience that Mohaka Rafting is all about.
Arriving in the heart of the Mohaka Canyon the views are getting absolutely stunning we are surrounded by massive canyon walls covered in thick moss. There is waterfalls everywhere actually even on our faces. It’s so cool and this is where Bill asks us if we want to stop and actually do some cliff jumps and of course we do want to do that.
Bill is giving us a bit of a safety briefing and then we take the leap. Jumping onto the water, I’m going first and then Laura is following me it’s a lot of fun and the water is really deep so it’s absolutely risk free.
I have to be honest with that weather the river is actually stone cold so it doesn’t take us long to jump back onto the raft. Luckily we have awesome equipment to keep us warm we have splash jackets, we have booties we have helmets we have life jacket and obviously we do have a wet suit with a couple of fleece jackets underneath.
But despite all of those layers the ting that keeps us the warmest is the exercise that we are getting. Oh my God, paddling a raft at only two people plus a guide is quite a sport. It keeps us warm as.
if you want to do this trip for yourself, which I mean why wouldn’t you? this trip is only about 45 minutes away from Napier along the Thermal Explorer Highway and there’s different types of trips you can do on this river, there’s the grade 2 trip, there’s the grade 5 trip and there’s the grade 3 trip which we’re doing at the moment and it’s a four hour long trip which you get an all round experience of white water rafting, exploring tunnels, seeing wildlife, amazing scenery and cliff jumping it’s a super awesome trip and we’re super stoked that we chose this option. After hitting a few more rapids it’s time for Robin and I to get in the water ourselves and raft with our bodies.
So there’s a section of the river called the Narrows named because it’s a really narrow canyon, and it’s an awesome place to drift down the river with towering gorge walls above you covered in moss and topped with trees. It’s really picturesque and really awesome.
During these calm sections of the Mohaka River it’s a really good opportunity for Bill to tell us more about the river for instance the history of it. Because there’s a lot of Maori tribes that have used this river for generations after generations for fishing but today it’s more of a popular place for white water rafting.
There are a few more smaller rapids to tackle towards the end of our trip which you know we’re pretty much an expert at now so that’s no problem for us. And then we get onto the last leg of the Mohaka River to where we are getting out of the river and meeting back with the team from Mohaka Rafting who are going to be taking us back to the Mohaka Rafting base. But first, that’s not without some hot drinks, some snacks and getting ourselves changed for the drive back so we can keep nice and warm.
All in all, this has been an awesome all round river experience on the Mohaka River.
Today there’s actually going to be three different Narrows sections. I just reminded myself of Doctor Evil. “Narrows”. We’re going through the “Narrows”. Right Mini Me?Would you like some “Chocolate Ass Cream”? Anyway.