Multi Day Rafting Expeditions
Our wild and scenic Mohaka River offers an unrivalled opportunity for deeper immersion into New Zealand's wilderness via multi day rafting expeditions. These iconic two or three day trips are the perfect opportunity to say goodbye to the modern world, and step back into an environment which in many places remains unchanged for millennia.
The scenery on these expeditions comprises deep valleys and gorges lined with native bush, forests and remote farmland. The birdlife and wildlife along the river's edge include wild goats, sika and red deer, and the rare and endangered blue duck. Coupled with the flora and fauna is the history and legend of the river. Hawke's Bay, New Zealand boasts a rich and colourful Maori and settler history of partnership, pioneer spirit, and painful bloodshed, subjects which your guides will be keen to share with you on your river odyssey.
On these expeditions we provide transport, food, qualified professional guides, all rafting equipment, a night's accommodation at Mountain Valley, and the great Kiwi outdoors at its best. See our prices in the tariff section of the site.
2-day expedition (Grade 1 & 2)
Setting off early from Mountain Valley or your accommodation in Taupo or Napier, Hawke's Bay, the adventure begins with a 60-90 minute scenic drive through the rolling hills and farms of the Hawke's Bay hinterland, and eventually leaves the comfort of the sealed roads for the gravel access road to the edge of the Kaweka Mountain range.
On the drive in you will begin to appreciate the remoteness of this large tract of rural New Zealand, and hear more of the history and stories of the region from your driver and guide/s. Your raft guide/s will brief and prepare you for your trip on the drive in and beside the river before setting off from Pukaututu bridge, close to the confluence with the bubbling Ripia river.
The river on this 40km section is rated as Grade 2, which involves a mixture of gentle paddling and calm water, interspersed with small rapids and rock gardens en route.This relatively inaccessible stretch of the river is particularly favoured by keen fishermen who relish the opportunity to land some of the Mohaka's renowned fighting rainbow and brown trout.
Dependent on your thirst for the wilderness, you may opt to camp beside the river under the stars, sleeping in a bivouac or tent provided by your support team on the river, or to continue to Mountain Valley for a hot shower and a meal in the restaurant at the end of the day. The time spent on the river will vary according to conditions, but averages 6-7 hours.
The second day continues on the second 6-7 hour leg of the journey past Mountain Valley and on into the more open farming country of the Mohaka valley. On the way you will pass the picturesque Pungahuru Falls, before rafting under a 50m viaduct over the vertical walls of a gorge, supporting the main highway between Napier and Taupo. Towards the end of the day, stunning views of the Maunguhururu range open up on one side of the river, with native bush on the other.
This final section of the day navigates the horseshoe, a perfect oxbow feature of the river, overlooked by the remarkable 'Organs', a rocky outctrop sculpted by the elements into what look like a giant set of organ pipes. There are ample opportunities on this second day to swim, take photos, or just gently paddle through the spectacular rural scenery and gorges of this unfolding landscape.
The journey ends in a quiet eddy beside the river, where your driver and transport will be waiting to transport you back to Mountain Valley, or from your original pick up point in town.
3-day expedition (Grade 1-3)
Those with a thirst for an exciting climax to their expedition may opt to take part in our three day journey. The first two days share the same itinerary as already described in our two day expedition. At the conclusion of the second day's rafting, you will settle into a riverside bush camp prepared by your guides and enjoy a meal cooked on the camp stove. On cloudless nights the lack of obscuration in the sky reveals a staggering array of constellations, and leaves you with a sense of privilege and awe – a far cry from the busy, clamorous world we spend most of our lives embroiled in.
Day 3 covers the final 20kms (5-6 hours) of Grade 3 water described in our white water rafting section, including ten rapids and the locally renowned Te Hoe drop. This offers a fitting finale to the expedition, and some real excitement to round off the trip.The one hour transfer to Mountain Valley from Ngatapa bridge, close to the confluence with the Te Hoe river, follows the river back to the main Napier/Taupo highway where the option exists for a final night with us, or a shuttle back to town.