3 days Wilderness Experience
The Packrafter Experience
Packrafting is an unique way to experience the very essence of New Zealand’s wilderness and combine hiking and paddling.
Welcome to the ‘real’ world of packrafting! This standard 3 night trip will give you a first hand glimpse into what these boats make possible. It is a one way journey from Te Anau to Manapouri and offers a great mix of both river and lake paddling. We’ll cruise down the Waiau river into lake Manapouri, paddling our way across the lake and its stunning islands for an ascent of the iconic Monument, staying each night either classic kiwi huts or making camp on pristine sandy beaches. This trip is suitable for first time packrafters!
Note: Our biggest concern as packrafting guides is client safety. As part of this, we reserve the right to alter the itinerary if weather conditions and/or group ability warrants.
Want MORE? We have a second three day itinerary available for repeat customers or more advanced paddlers that takes in the first half our or six day expedition--a journey through the heart of the Darran Mountains via the Hollyford River in Northern Fiordland to the remote and iconic Martin’s Bay, and includes a fixed-wing flight from back to Milford sound, an amazing way to end an amazing trip. Contact us with inquiries.
After coffee in town we’ll head to the start of the Waiau River, a few short minutes from Te Anau. We’ll spend the morning learning about the boats and doing some training in the calmer upper sections of the Waiau to make sure everyone is comfortable in the packrafts. We’ll have lunch on the river and run several easy but fun rapids as we make our way to the secluded shallow bay where we’ll either camp or stay in the quaint hut of the same name. Beach combing, bonfires, and swimming are all evening possibilities!
Across the lake! We’ll mix walking and paddling today as we make our way from one side of the lake to the other, exploring islands and isthmuses and white sand beaches as we go. You’ll get a good chance to see what the boats are all about today as we’ll be utilising them fully, with several transitions between water and land. Our goal by the afternoon is the Monument, an iconic pinnacle thrusting up out of the lake. For those keen enough (and without a fear of heights) we’ll take a trip to the top to marvel in the view, before finishing the day with a short paddle to Hope Arm and another hut or beach campsite.
Day three involves a gorgeous forest walk along classic kiwi trails back towards Manapouri where we’ll pull out the packrafts one more time for a final crossing of the the river.
Trip includes :
- All specialized boating & Camping equipment
- All meals on the trail are included
- Transport from Queenstown can be arranged at extra cost
- Group meeting the night before in Te Anau
- Trip photos free on website
- All National park and camping / hut fees
- All DOC ( Department of Conservation fees )
- If no hut stays ( Tents are included )
Standard equipment supplied by Expedition x :
- 3/2 mm Wetsuit
- NRS Foam PFD
- NRS Helmet
- 2 split aluminium paddle
- Alpacka rafts
- NRS Spray tops ( if needed )
- Drybags for ( Sleeping bag, Camp / spare clothing )
- Backpack inliner
Extra equipment can be hired or purchased ( e.g. our light 4 split Werner carbon fibre paddle )
For you to bring :
Please ask us for rental options if you do not have the items below.
- 65l - 70l backpack
- Sleeping bag
- Sleeping mat
- Head torch
- Personal hiking gear
- Personal sleeping gear
PLEASE ALSO SEE : FITNESS REQUIREMENTS
Rates & Dates - The Packrafter
- A booking form and a $250 deposit per person is required to secure your booking.
- The balance of payment is to be paid four weeks prior to your departure date.
- For cancellations prior to your departure date the following refund applies:
- Within 3 weeks = no refund applies
- 3 – 6 weeks = deposit non refundable, 80% of balance paid refunded
- 7 – 12 weeks = deposit non refundable, 100% of balance paid refunded
- More than 12 weeks = full refund including deposit
- Once your trip has commenced no refund applies due to any circumstance.
WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND that you arrange personal travel/medical insurance at the time of booking to guard against loss of fares paid caused by any eventuality necessitating cancellation of your trip within our cancellation period. Cancellations could be due to reasons beyond your control such as: falling ill prior to your departure / a sprained ankle whilst partaking in another activity / a family bereavement / missing a flight and therefore, missing your departure etc..
The weather in Fiordland can be very unpredictable and change dramatically, very quickly; the close proximity of towering mountains and the ocean makes for conditions and temperatures that can vary markedly during the course of a day. Fiordland is one of the wettest places on the planet.
Summer months average around 20°C but the evenings can be a little cooler. Winter temperatures average around 10°C on the coast with the evenings much colder.It is not unusual to experience both summer and winter conditions and temperatures on the same day!
It is important to be prepared for the worst conditions carry the appropriate clothing at all times. In the event of extreme weather, your safety is our priority and parts of the day may need to be changed. Any decision to do so is a professional decision made by your guide, please respect their decision as it is based on experience and with your safety in mind.
Regardless of the conditions you experience, sun, rain, a combination of the two, or anything in between, your experience on the Hollyford/Pyke Loop will be a memorable one.