North Island PackRafting

Store your boat in the car, on your bike or in the student flat – pump her up and explore some of New Zealands remotest places with ease as you pack it in and float it out. Sounds easy! And it is… but its not without its risks and challenges and some basic information from experienced river runners can help you to stay safe in your new chosen sport.

Learn the basics of packrafting on an Intro to Packrafting course, inflating and caring for your boat, recognising hazards and how to avoid them, self rescue technique and how to read the river are all covered in Awastone’s Intro to Packrafting courses.

Why learn at Awastone

  • Relaxed and fun atmosphere

  • A Safe and fun Grade 2 learning environment right at our doorstep

  • We are experienced river runners and instructors of river rescue and riversport

  • With our very short travel times we can squeeze a lot out of a day here at Awastone.

  • Our café right at the waters edge provides an ideal base for river adventure

  • We have a hot tub!

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Grade II Certification

Start your multisport  kayak journey here

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Shuttles, Clinics & info


Intro to PackRafting


A welcome to the sport of Packrafting. This day will introduce you to the sport from the very beginning and is perfect for those either wanting to get into packrafting or simply as a days activity on the river.

We use the grade 2 sections around Mangaweka, starting right on the steps of our riverside café at Awastone.

We meet at 9am and over a cup of coffee have a couple yarns about the day ahead, what you are wanting to get out of it and where you intend to go packrafting in the future.

We have a couple different packrafts for you to look at and talk about some of the gear you will need (or want!).

Then its down to the waters edge, the inflation of boats and the basics of water entry and boat loading. An introduction to paddle technique and what to do if the inevitable happens and you bail from the vessel.


We will then break for a hearty lunch at the café before our afternoon river trip. During the trip we cover:

  • Reading the water

  • Rapid swimming

  • Ferry Glides

  • Eddy catches

  • Throwbagging

$395 plus 50% off Gear Hire ( boat, paddle, helmet, pfd, wetsuit, splashjacket, booties)

Includes: Coffee/tea on arrival, Lunch, afternoon tea, all transport from Awastone, Hot Tub and hot showers.

Guided Trips

No experience is required on our guided trips. The trips range from 1 hour to 3 days and are offered on a calendar basis.  Contact us for more information.

1 1/2 hour Papa Gorge $105 plus 50% off gear hire

2 ½ hour Sandstone Gorge $155 plus 50% off gear hire

Experience the spectacular Mokai gorge. Multiday trips from 2 days $725 plus 50% off gear hire. Includes all food, transport, tent, sleeping mat, experienced guides.


Packraft hire

Our packrafts are available to hire for those that have completed a Packrafting course or are participating in a Packrafting course. Where you can take the packraft will depend on your level of experience and needs to be discussed with Awastone staff before hire.

Single Packraft (Recon Self bailing 8 kg) From $85 per day

Single Packraft (Nirvana Self Bailing 4 kg) From $105 per day

Double Packraft (Blue Duck Adventure racing 320) From $105 per day

Pick up and drop off only at Awastone