• Paul Clark

SUP NEW ZEALAND (week two)

We have covered some miles over the last week. From paddling a SUP-support multi-day on the wilderness section of the Whanganui River on the North Island to road tripping across the west coast of the South, we are on a whirlwind journey in paradise.

The Whanganui is spectacular. A river granted human rights, it is a cultural icon for the Maori people. And it's a destination for canoe trips. We may have been the first to paddle board the 60mile section with gear tethered to the boards. I'd recommend it. It's a perfect river with amazing scenery and placid rapids. 

View video: Whanganui River SUP

Afterwards, we headed to Wellington for a quick shower and laundry before catching the 2am ferry to the South Island.

We drove three hours to the Abel Tasman National Park for some time in the sun and sandy beaches. Hard to leave such a beautiful area in so short of time, but we are in a river mission.  

Off to the Buller River and the west coast. We stopped in Murchison to have a chat with the whitewater outfitter Ultimate Descents. Hopefully on the way back north we can rendezvous with them gor a raft-support run down the Buller.

West coast. Winding double lane highway overlooking the ocean. Pancake rocks. Port towns.  Mountains on the horizon. Driving deeper into paradise we hit the Haast River. Blue water clean from snow melt cutting an ancient path through mountains heavy with hanging glaciers. Stunning beauty. Fun paddling.

No road trip along HW6 along the Makarora River would be complete without a walk down to the Blue Pools. We decided to run the river to the pools. Yes, please, and thank you very much.

The week has concluded at the resort town of Wanaka where we had a quick session on the Hawea Wave at the Wanaka whitewater park. Fairly low water when we stopped by, but what a blast.

Watch video: South Island

Off to Queenstown now. See you next week for the updates.