Waimakariri River

The Waimakariri isn’t really used by the white water kayaker but it is very popular with multi-sporters and has been used by a number of races including the Coast to Coast, the Arawa Waimak Classic, the WWCC Brass Monkey and the Mt. Cook Bloody Good Race. The Waimak Gorge from Mt. White Bridge to Gorge bridge is the section used in the Coast to Coast and makes a good two day trip for white water kayakers. The section used for the Brass Monkey is close to Christchurch and is popular for race training, it also makes a nice easy trip for less experienced paddlers.

Flows: This river is paddleable all year round, even at the height of summer but channels can get a bit scratchy around 30 cumecs or less. 40 cumecs is too low but navigable, 60m to 80 cumecs is ok, 100 to 200 makes for a good quick time in the Brass Monkey but over 200 cumecs the races tend to get cancelled.

Run: Woodstock to Gorge Bridge    Grade: 2       Length: 13km (2 hours)
Waimakariri River Level

Put in / take out: Put in at Woodstock on the left bank and take out below the Gorge Bridge on the right bank (toilets at the take out).
Description: Open braided river with a few gravel chute type rapids. A pleasant day out for even beginners. Watch out for willows and jet boats though.

Run: Pylons to State Highway One Bridge (Brass Monkey)    Grade: 2       Length: 12km (1.5 hours)
Waimakariri River Level

Put in / take out: Drive up Macleans Island road and turn down the gravel river access track just before the stop bank. Take out below the State Highway One bridge, access from the north bank off the Marshland Road / Old Main North Road (the road to Kaiapoi).
Description: This is the course used for the WWCC Brass Monkey races. Open braided river with a few gravel chute type rapids. A pleasant day out for even beginners. Watch out for willows and jet boats though.

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Brass Monkey Race on a sunny winter’s day.

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