Manapouri Expedition

Focus: A Beginner-Friendly Journey Through Pristine Waters

Manapouri Expedition

Embark on the Manapouri Expedition, a 3-day odyssey that offers a perfect blend of river and lake paddling. You’ll navigate the iconic Waiau River (of Lord of the Rings fame) and Lake Manapouri (voted one of NZ’s most beautiful lakes), exploring hidden beaches and untouched isthmuses, topping it off with an optional climb to the top of the Monument. Spend each night unwinding in cozy kiwi huts or under the stars on sandy shores–the choice is yours on this one-of-a-kind self-guided expedition.

Is this Expedition for me?

  • You are an outdoor person
  • You have done a few overnight or multi-day trips
  • You can swim
  • You can read the weather
  • You have a reasonable fitness
  • You want to see what packrafting is all about

As this is a self-guided Expedition you do need some outdoor skills to enjoy those days

The Route

The important things to know

Expedition Cost per person: Nz$399 / per participant

Most of the trips run between Nov to March but can run them all year round. Min number of participants we need is 2.

  • This is a self-guided expedition
  • We can run this all year round if you are brave enough
  • It includes a minimum of half-a-day of prep and instruction from qualified guides
  • Maximum 4 people per expedition departure date
  • Suitable for confident outdoors-people, with limited paddling experience
  • 3 day, 2 night trip
  • Includes both river and lake paddling
  • Overnight options are tents or huts
  • We supply a trip guide book to help you with getting organized for this 
  • All specialized packrafting gear (boats, paddles, PFDs, etc) is included
  • Accommodation before and after your trip is optional (extra cost)
  • Walking and hiking clothing (for all seasons)
  • Camping and overnight clothing (for all seasons)
  • Personal kit (incl. backpack, sleeping bag, sleeping mat, head torch, water bottle etc)
  • Camping gear (incl. a tent, cooking gear, cups/cutlery etc)
  • And whatever else you normally take on outdoor adventures (sunglasses, bug spray, sunblock etc)
  • Because this is a self-guided trip and conditions in Fiordland can change rapidly, even when forecasts are favorable, you will need to be reasonably fit and possess moderate to high water confidence in order to safely enjoy this experience. 
  • This expedition is best suited for reasonably fit people and/or adventurous families wanting to experience the packrafting expedition lifestyle first-hand in one of the most stunning environments imaginable!
  • All participants (young and old) should be strong and capable enough to handle their own Packraft efficiently.
  • You may choose to stay with us the night before you head out into the bush or when you come back out
  • Stay with us and book your accommodation in our Packrafting NZ Eco Village – basic, glamping-styled tenting, shared facilities, and epic views. Available for the night(s) of your course dates. You can choose the option to stay with us when booking. 
  • Our Eco Tent site has very basic cooking facilities with USB charging stations for your mobile phone. Usually, you share a 4-meter bell tent with someone else

  • There is also a composting toilet and a basic shower available.

  • Everything here works on solar power and is as environmentally friendly as we can.

We’ve been in the industry for a while and we’ve noticed that sometimes there is a disconnect between what we’re offering and what people think they are getting. The idea of ‘adventure’, especially in the tourism space, has been pretty watered down. Our trips–at least those that require a short face-to-face catchup, are actual adventures. Whether guided or unguided, they demand a certain level of fitness and resilience from participants to be both enjoyable and safe.  While we can (and do) simply outline this in our written material, trip descriptions, etc, we’ve found that unfortunately this often fails to land as it needs to. In some cases, people don’t even seem to be aware of what they’ve signed up and paid for!

In an effort to make sure that our trips are a good fit–to give us (and you!) confidence that at the end of the trip, you’ll be not just exhausted, but smiling too–we reckoned a quick face-to-face does wonders.

So there you go–that’s why we put faces to names. You’re a person, a partner in these trips–not just a client. We like to know who we’re dealing with, and want you to feel comfortable with who you’re dealing with too! We look forward to meeting you!

–The Packrafting NZ team.

Arno, Owner of packrafting nz

We started this Expedition back in 2018 not realising this is such an awesome secluded spot for our customers. Lake Manapouri must be the most underutilised Lake in Nz. We love this tour so much that we are doing it ourselves at least once or twice ever season.

Arno, Owner of packrafting nz

3-days of solitude down the Waiau River & Lake Manapouri

View from the Monument

Perfect for beginners and/or confident packrafters

Sunset on the Lake

Maximum 4 people per expedition departure date

Lots of great Camp sites

Secluded ``secret`` beach

Explore the Track

If you find it, don’t tell anyone

Calm Lake early in the morning

Explore the Track

Make use of the calm morning hours to cross open sections of the lake

Optional Accommodation and transport

  • You can book yourself into our Eco Tent Village before and after your adventure (extra cost)
  • If you’re staying with us, you will need all your own kit, including:
    • Sleeping bags, toiletries, towels, etc
    • Anything else you need for the length of your stay before and after the expedition
  • Any gear not needed on the expedition can be stored with us during your time in the bush
  • Transport from town (Te Anau) to our base can be arranged (complimentary) 

Booking process Manapouri Expedition

  1. Fill in the expression of interest for your preferred departure date. We will get back to you with either a confirmation that your date is available or a list of alternative options near your preferred dates. Please make sure you include a spare day or two in your plans to allow for adverse weather conditions. It’s Fiordland!
  2. We will organise a short 15-minute online conference call. (Why is this important?).
  3. Have a chat with us online. Ask questions and let us know a little about you and your experience. If this trip isn’t a good fit for you, we’ll suggest some alternatives. If it is, go to step 4!
  4. We’ll send you a confirmation for the agreed-upon dates and your invoice. Pay either a deposit or in full ( please refer to our Terms and Conditions )  and get ready to have an adventure!

Note: We recommend to book as far in advance as possible to avoid disappointments.

Impressions from the Tour

Expression of interest

Keen? Sound like your cup of tea? Fill out the following form and we will get back to you.