longest waterfall details

This page will leave plenty of stuff out. Some of it will be filled in as we get closer to the event date. An email communication will be sent to all participants roughly a week before the race. If you have questions before then, just ask 'em.

Schedule: This is still a work in progress but here is the general idea--

    • Expect to meet somewhere Friday night (possibly the Last LIght Cafe and Campground, but maybe Te Anau) for a pre-event brief.

    • Drive your vehicles to Rarakau car park (start and finish).

    • Start time will be early--probably around 7 am. Maybe before.

    • Finish time is up to you!

Cost: TBD, but somewhere around or under $50 pp. Pretty cheap really, as we're not providing anything other than trackers, maybe a pre-event meal if we end up in Tuatapere, and possibly beer/crisps/pies at the finish.

Categories: Doubles and Singles. Don't let this confuse you--you NEED TO PARTICIPATE IN PAIRS at least. Doubles refers to folks utilizing a 2 person packrafts. Singles refers to a pair who each are in their own packraft. Honestly, there should only be about an hour difference river times for the different categories.

Recommended gear:

    • a GPS with spare batteries (per pair)

    • a head torch with spare batteries (per person)

    • space blanket or equivalent bivvy sack (per person)

    • Personal locator beacon (per pair)

    • suitable clothes (including spare insulating layer)

    • enough food for 24+ hours

    • basic first aid kit (including any necessary personal medication)

    • firestarting gear suitable for starting damp wood (piece of bike tube, etc)

  • Whatever else you think you need...don't take our word for it that this is enough!

Risks management: There will be no volunteers on the course. We *may* have a tail end charlie with a satellite phone, but this is dependent on a number of factors, so don't count on it. We will communicate to the jet boat companies and both will be able to assist if we have an emergency on the river, once we are able to get in contact with them. There are huts for sheltering at Teal Bay (before the start of the river), the river's takeout, and at Port Craig.

The main way we manage risk is through requiring pair participation and ensuring each team has both a PLB and a tracking device that allows two way communication.

The river: The Wairaurahiri really is called the longest waterfall in NZ. it is a great river for packrafting and should be good runnable for at almost any level. Although it is only class II, it should not be taken lightly, and participants shouldn't be wondering whether they have the paddling skills to manage it. It traverses nearly 30 km of wilderness, so it isn't a good place to realize you are in over your head.

The ocean: From Port Craig, depending on the tides, weather, and the swell, it may be possible to paddle across Te Waewae bay rather than walk/run the last 15 odd km on sore feet. We will let you know whether this option is open at the pre-race meeting, but please understand that our 'allowing' teams to paddle if they want to does not in ANY WAY indicate that said paddle is safe. Anyone who decides to venture out into the Southern Ocean is ultimately responsible for themselves, and should only do so if they have the confidence and skills to do so safely.

Post race: The race will finish (tentatively, hopefully) at Rarakau car park. We might be there to congratulate you and give you a cookie (literally). We might not. Either way your car should be there. We'll communicate any finish line instructions in a pre-race email to participants.

Tracking: We hope to offer live tracking during the event so that friends and families can follow your progress.

FAQs: We'll add questions and answers here as we get them.