Three Magic Days in the Headwaters

The headwaters of the Rangitikei River on the central North Island of New Zealand can be a magic place.

From the 16th to the 18th of December I got to experience it once again.

Headwater trips always inspire me, and leave me wondering how I can soon repeat the experience.

The mix of crystal clear water, fun rapids, no people (and this is becoming harder to find everywhere), comfortable campsites, all set in the midst of stunning scenery is a recipe that is increasingly rare.

No multi day rafting trip is complete however without good company. In this I also considered myself lucky.

Rangitikei River Headwaters trips do not happen often. The season is relatively short – only over the warmer months of late spring and summer. River flows can be an issue in particularly dry summers.

Add to this is these trips are not cheap. The main driver of price is the amount of helicopter time involved, with a 15 minute flight into the start point.

However, once you get past these issues, a trip in the “Headwaters” is unique, special and so so worth it.

Brian Megaw

Ryan and crew in the middle of Jigsaw Rapid in the Headwaters of the Rangitikei River, New Zealand.