Packrafting Explorations

Expeditions and Education redefining tramping and paddling as inspiration to explore

Mohaka River Packrafting

Mohaka River Packrafting
From $299

Orongorongo River Packrafting

Orongorongo River Packrafting
From $299

Packraft Rolling Courses

Rolling your packraft upright is an essential skill all packrafters must learn through structured rolling courses
From $75

Packrafting explorations

What is Packrafting?

In a nutshell packrafting is a combination of hiking and paddling. Packrafts are small and light enough to pack inside your backpack when you go hiking. Yet when inflated they become fully functional river rafts.

Packrafts allow us to undertake journeys that were once impossible — we explore rivers that are too remote, or too shallow for traditional kayaks.

Our aim is to explore in a way which preserves the natural values which have brought us there. Our small groups never exceed six people, and we operate under the principles of Leave No Trace so that our wild places remain just as we found them.

 

Packrafting isn’t exactly new.

Small, portable rubber rafts have been used in expeditions since the mid-1800s. But there’s been a spike of interest in the durable one-person crafts that can be carried in your backpack. More and more people are tapping into the trend with guided trips that involve hiking to and rafting down some of the world’s most remote waterways. If you’re looking to really get away, sign up for a trip or get equipped with the knowledge and supplies you’ll need to plan your own excursions. Here’s where to start.

 

Packrafting with SNM

We specialise in packrafting tours in New Zealand. The company’s day trips will see you paddling various grade 1-2+ rivers. Longer trips will take you deeper, covering more miles of rugged wilderness, crossing alpine lakes and camping on sandy beaches and isolated islands. Or you can sign up for a safety and skills course and head out on your own for as long as your heart desires.

 

Our packrafts are tough!

We use quality New Zealand made Packrafts from Koaro. With big tubes of air on all sides and a low centre of gravity, they are quite simply as stable as a table. We’ve taken them through class 3 rapids and they performed perfectly. Needless to say we had a fantastic time.

Another benefit of their airy design is that they can be paddled in very shallow water. This is handy for Zealand’s braided rivers which frequently fork out and re-connect downstream. Compared to a plastic kayak our rafts can head much further upstream, deep into the mountains.

We give them a hard life and they just don’t seem to die. On the off chance that something does happen, we’ll be carrying a repair kit which does an easy, bomber, on-the-spot fix.

 

Our packrafts fit in your pack!

Each boat rolls down to the size of a sleeping bag, and weighs a measly 2.5 – 3kg. This makes it easy to carry the rest of your gear at the same time. And our paddles are built for walking too. They break down into sections and strap securely to the side of your backpack.

 

Inflation is easy.

With a genius little inflation bag, anyone can inflate our rafts just a few minutes. You won’t be left cursing at an awkward pump, nor passing out from hyperventilation.

Best Packrafting destinations and seasons in New Zeland

It’s the beginning of a new year and like us, you are probably starting to plan which trips to take and which meet ups and events to attend.

In New Zealand, you can packraft anytime of year, indeed winter is cooler, but sometimes dry rivers are now running higher!

Middle of the winter for the Northern hemisphere means summer is in full swing down South. The warmer season is Summer and extends as much as October through to April. NEW ZEALAND is a prime packrafting destination.

Packrafting trips in NZ can be anywhere from a few days to several weeks. It is pretty much packrafting paradise.

During a multi day packrafting trip, the sparsely populated South Island of NZ has massive backcountry areas where you can hike and packraft for days and weeks without seeing any sign of civilization.

 

What’s So Cool about Packrafting?

Combine land-based and water-based activities into one. Take your dog, your partners, kids or take it hunting and take your game back with you. Access more remote rivers without a classic 20+kg plastic kayak, rather a packraft weighing only 2kg! They are stable, cheaper than a white water river kayak, more user friendly and more comfortable.

 

Other packrafting trips we run:

Motu

Whanganui River (Ohintonga rd. > river > town)

Waioeka

Lower Tongariro River

Waitara River

Akatarawa River

Waikanae river

Rangitikei RIver

Ngaruroro River Boyd Hut to Kuripapango

Otaki River

Waiohine River

Kauaeranga River Coromandel (Puketui rd. > Totara Flat Campsite > Town)

Tairua River )Totara Flat Campsite > Puketui rd.)

 

Check out our booking tab, click the book now button or make a trip enquiry.

Need something special? For an introduction to possibilities; contact our consultants for a world of bespoke. 

Get help booking. Have questions? Click our FAQ’s, call a specialist (0800 76 62 66) or message one (support@snm.nz)

Packrafting Exploration Credentials

NZOIA
SNM are NZOIA qualified guides and members.

Promoting excellence in outdoor instruction and guiding through qualifications for professionals since 1987. Our instructors can organise, instruct and lead multisport kayaking on flat water and moving water up to and including class II. Our team have awards in both whitewater and multisport instruction.