Grade: I - II+
Grade: II - II+
The Waiari Stream flows in a deep ravine outside Te Puke. Access on and off this pristine stream is via private property and needs to be arranged in advance with the land owners. The rapids are challenging enough for most novice paddlers but its the pristine water and untouched gorge that has seasoned paddlers returning to this section of water again and again.
Mangakarengorengo is a tributary to the Wairoa River and a darn good one. Only really paddled in flood conditions it delivers a solid IV - IV+ depending on the water level. It's one of the most classic flood runs in the Kaimais and a favourite of many.
All the bigger rapids can all be scouted / walked if need be. As with any river its helpful to know whats coming up. If you're running it for the first time we suggest hopping on with a local. If the rivers really high watch out for the take out on the left bank above McLarens Falls. There's 500m of continuous class IV before the river plummets over McLarens. You'll see the McLarens Falls road bridge a ways off so make sure you get out as this is a burly drop in flood and not one you'd want to swim.
In 1975 The Kaimai Canoe club fought the Kaimai hydro-electric power scheme on the grounds that it would destroy fishing, sport and recreation on the river. A compromise was reached allowing 26 release days each year. The club sets the dates at the Annual General Meeting. The usual level for the release is about 14 cumecs and flows from 10am-4pm. The river can also be paddled when there has been plenty of rain, allowing for some grade V boating.
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