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Packrafting Ruamahanga River Grade 2+ Cleft Creek to Mt Bruce

This is a mint little gorge that needs a bit of homework and weather watching to get the perfect packraft flow. Walking into Roaring Stag Hut and sitting out the rain is one option or you can do a day trip after watching the weather and crossing the fingers you catch the recession of a decent rain event.

The 130km Ruamahanga River rises in the north east of the Tararua Ranges on the eastern flanks of Banister and Dundas, makes an n shape bend south to join Ruapae Stream near Roaring Stag Hut (DOC). The river heads south for 3.5km to join Cleft Creek through pristine virgin forest, before turning ninety degrees east to flow through the narrow Ruamahanga Gorge that exits the ranges 9km later at Mount Bruce into open farmland. The headwaters have excellent water quality. From Mt Bruce the Ruamahanga flows south, then south west through farmland, before emptying into the Cook Strait.

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