Paddling the Waimakariri Gorge

Important Note: Every summer many paddlers get themselves into trouble in the Waimakariri Gorge. Our Guided Trips exist so you can train safely. We highly encourage you to utilise this service for your own safety, enjoyment, and skill development. Be sensible and know your limits.

  • Check river gauges for the Waimakariri River: Esk / Otarama / Gorge. All three gauges must be showing a falling trend.
  • Check Waimakariri River gauge at Otarama is under 150 cumecs and falling.
  • Check rainfall gauges at Arthurs Pass & at Carrington. Both must show no recent rainfall within the last 24 hours.
  • Check weather forecast for Arthurs Pass. There must be no rain forecast here during the time of you planned trip as this rain can cause flows to rise suddenly.
  • Check weather forecast for Canterbury High Country. This shows paddling conditions. Ensure wind at 1000m is less than 50 km/h. Exercise conservative decision making during north-westerly wind forecasts.