From your first paddle strokes to leading trips, we've got you covered!


  • Our instructors are International Packrafting Instructor’s Association, or IPIA certified.
  • Participants must be at least 15 years old and able to swim
  • We offer courses at multiple locations around New Zealand.
  • Most Level 1  (beginner) courses run are held over a weekend (Saturday and Sunday).
  • We can provide a course in your location if minimum participation numbers are met. Get in touch for details.
  • Course attendees become part of the Packrafting NZ Family and get good deals on continued education and packrafting gear!
From your first paddle strokes to leading trips, we’ve got you covered! Our range of courses are taught by qualified instructors, cater to a wide range of abilities, and focus on the skills you need to progress in your packrafting.



Level 1 is our beginner course designed to get the new or novice packrafter comfortable paddling moving water up to grade II. Participants will learn critical skills such as basic paddle strokes, how to read a river and assess hazards, self rescue, and more.


Most popular way to get started! This option allows all of the learning from our level 1 course to be put into practice as right after the course we head out to tackle NZ’s ‘Holy Grail’ of packrafting, the Hollyford-Pyke loop. Give us a week, we’ll make you a proper packrafter!


This small group or private offering allows you to ‘continue your packrafting education’ once you’ve mastered the skills presented in our Level 1 course. It is highly customizable and we’ll be happy to tailor the content to best suit wherever you may want to go as a packrafter.


  • When you book a spot in a course or on a trip, or reserve a rental boat, we require a 25% deposit of the total cost. This secures your spot or reservation.
  • The balance of payments should be paid no later than four weeks prior to the departure/rental date unless other arrangements are made. If you don’t do this, we may cancel your booking or reservation, so make sure to keep track of time as your trip is getting nearer.  If this happens, you won’t get your deposit back.
  • If you need to cancel your trip or reservation after you’ve paid, you’ll get a refund based on how far in advance of the trip you cancel.
  • If it’s more than 12 weeks out, we’ll refund the entire amount, including the deposit, but minus the 1.9% fee which we’ve had to pay to the booking system (sorry!).
  • If it’s between 8 and 12 weeks until your big adventure, you’ll lose your deposit, but get back all of the rest.
  • Between 4 and 8 weeks you’ll lose the deposit, and get back 80% of the rest.
  • Within 4 weeks no refund applies.
  • Once your trips, rentals or course has commenced no refund applies due to any circumstances.

GOOD NEWS!  If you do need to cancel, we’re happy to honor your booking or reservation by moving it to another available date, whenever possible.  We’ll extend this courtesy for up to a year from the date of your original trip or rental reservation, so just get in touch.

WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND that you arrange personal travel/medical insurance. This will protect you for any loss of fares if the trip gets canceled due to unforeseen circumstances out of our control.


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 and carry the appropriate clothing and gear at all times. In the event of extreme weather on courses or guided trips, your safety is our priority and parts of the day may need to be changed at your guide/instructor’s discretion. 

Regardless of the conditions you end up with–sun, rain, or most likley a combination of the two, if you’re prepared then we are confident your experience packrafting will be a memorable one.

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