tiki tour (New Zealand) 1. a sight-seeing journey with no particular destination in mind. 2. taking the scenic route to a destination 3. to wander aimlessly
caravan (British) 1. a vehicle equipped for living in, typically towed by a car and used for vacations
McCarthy (Irish) 1. Mc - a vernacular form of Mac meaning the "the son of"; Carthy derived from Cárthach meaning "loving" in Gaelic 2. an Irish clan originating from Munster, an area they ruled during the Middle Ages
Amy (English) 1. derived from the Old French name Amée, a vernacular form of the Latin word amata meaning "beloved"
Forrest (English) 1. Derived from the Old French "forest", (Late Latin "forestis", a derivative of "foris" meaning "outside"). 2. someone who lives and/or works in a forest
Arctocephalus forsteri (Latin) 1. New Zealand fur seal 2. one of seven species in the Arctocephalus genus found primarily in the Southern Hemisphere and more closely related to sea lions than true seals
Waiau-toa (Clarence River)
tramping (New Zealand) 1. a recreational activity involving walking over rough country 2. trampers often carry a backpack and wet-weather gear, and may also carry equipment for cooking, sleeping and packrafting
The approach up George Stream is a great introduction to cross-country travel in New Zealand; the bushwhacking is minimal, but the cobble walking is plentiful.
4400 Porter Pack (American) 1. ultra-durable, ultralight backpack designed to function perfectly and become a seamless extension of the adventurer who uses it 2. constructed of waterproof Dyneema® Cuben Fiber fabric by Hyperlite Mountain Gear (HMG)
George Pass; the trickiest part is choosing which gully to ascend at the top.
The put-in at the confluence of Jam Creek and the Clarence. Note the clear, clear water.
Waiau-toa (Māori) 1. wai - river; au - current with rapids; toa - brave, bold & victorious 2. Clarence River, one of New Zealand's longest navigable rivers
BAKRaft (American) 1. weighing just 7 pounds, it's the lightest self-bailing packraft of it's kind 2. the ultimate backcountry boat.
Snowgrass Hut (New Zealand) 1. a standard 10 bunk hut near the Carence River 2. a welcome refuge from rain and sandflies
Overnight the Clarence River rose from 3 cumecs to over 30!
Kaikouras (Māori) 1. two parallel mountain ranges separated by the Waiau-toa or Clarence River located in the northeast of the South Island
feral (English) 1. in a wild state, especially after escape from captivity or domestication 2. resembling a wild animal
Golden Bay (New Zealand) 1. golden - colored or shining like gold; bay - a body of water connected to an ocean or lake, formed by an indentation of the shoreline 2. a shallow, paraboloid-shaped bay at the northwest end of New Zealand's South Island.
Kiwi (New Zealand) 1. flightless birds native to New Zealand, in the genus Apteryx and family Apterygidae. 2. a New Zealander
My next lap around the sun was off to a great start! We celebrated with a delicious homemade apple pie, that fellow Antarctican Janet Huddleston has made on all seven continents.
Wharariki (Māori) 1. mountain flax, coastal flax, Phormium cookianum - a native plant similar to New Zealand flax, but with shorter drooping leaves. 2. Found throughout Aotearoa/New Zealand, from coastal rocks and cliffs to mountain slopes.
beach (English) 1. a pebbly or sandy shore, especially by the ocean between high- and low-water marks 2. a place that may as well be heaven in disguise
natural arch (English) 1. a rock exposure that has a hole completely through it formed by the natural, selective removal of rock, leaving a relatively intact frame
Cape Farewell (English) 1. cape - a headland or a promontory of large size extending into the sea; farewell - an act of parting or of marking someone's departure 2. the most northerly point (40.5° South) on New Zealand's South Island, named by Captain Cook as he left New Zealand
baton (English) 1. a thin stick used by a conductor to direct an orchestra or choir 2. the name of a river in the Tasman District of the South Island of New Zealand.
maruia (Māori) 1. mā - by way of; rū - shake, earthquake; ia - current, flow 2. the name of a major tributary of the Buller River
freedom camping (New Zealand) 1) freedom - the state of being free or at liberty rather than in confinement or under physical restraint; camping - the activity of spending a vacation living in a camp, tent, or camper 2) where camping is done in a location without facilities and is not a designated campground
The best packrafting trips often include both fantastic hiking and paddling. Accessing the upper Waiau River via the St James Walkway certainly meets those criteria.
The St James Walkway starts at Lewis Pass (2,835 ft), the northernmost of the three main passes that cross the Southern Alps. “Discovered” by Henry Lewis and Christopher Maling in 1860, the pass had previously been used by the Ngāi Tahu Māori of Canterbury to transport Pounamu (greenstone) from the west coast.
Nothofagus (Latin) 1. a genus of 36 species of trees and shrubs native to the Southern Hemisphere 2. Southern Beech
swing bridge (New Zealand) 1. a flexible walking track bridge which "swings" as you walk across
Legend has it that the Ngati-Tumatakokiri tribe trapped chief Pakeke and his party from the Ngai-Tahu tribe and killed its members in the Cannibal Gorge. Afterward, the Ngati-Tumatakokiri tribe celebrated with a feast, at the expense of the Ngai-Tahu tribe.
Department of Conservation (New Zealand) 1. the public service department of New Zealand that manages crown (public) lands that account for 44% (6,547,800 hectares) of the South Island 2. encourages citizens to get involved in conservation and to get out and enjoy outdoor activities 3. protects native plants, animals and habitats 4. maintains huts, tracks, and campgrounds
Ada Pass Hut (New Zealand) 1. one of 950 huts maintained by New Zealand's Department of Conservation (DoC) 2. a 14-bunk hut along the St James Walkway 3. a great place to stop for lunch
Ada Pass (New Zealand) 1. the divide between the Maruia and Ada rivers located 3,307 ft above sea level
Christopher Hut (New Zealand) 1. a spacious 14-bunk hut near the Ada River 2. a perfect place to spend the night
On the morning of our second day, we launched our BAKrafts on the Ada River.
Want to keep your wife happy when packrafting? Get her a dry suit.
Several kilometers below the confluence the Waiau River enters the first of many limestone gorges.
The most difficult sections of the gorges are often at the entrance where Class 3 and 4 rapids hinder entry.
With the notable exception of the infamous "Narrows" most of the whitewater on the gorges of the upper Waiau are class 2 and 3 in flavor. Depending on flows, there are a few Class 4 drops that can be easily scouted and/or portaged. Though it involves some epic bushwhacking and sand flies, any sane packrafter will portage around the first kilometer of the Narrows.
For the most part, the delightful limestone canyons provide mile after mile of fantastic Class 2 and 3 whitewater.
According to a Maori legend, the Waiau-uha (Waiau) and the Waiau-toa (Clarence) were respectively male and female spirit lovers living in the Spenser Mountains. For some reason they were transformed into rivers, the sources of which were not far apart. When warm rains melted the snows and caused floods, it was said that the parted lovers were lamenting and that the rivers were swollen with their tears.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.”
- J.R.R. Tolkien