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Whitewater Rafting Guide To River Trips

Mohaka River

Location: North Island of New Zealand near Taupo and Napier

The Mohaka River drains the north face of the Kaweka Range mountains, eventually flowing into Hawkes Bay, on the North Island of New Zealand. Rafting trips on the Mohaka are generally run out of Taupo, and sometimes out of Napier.

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Level of Difficulty: Class III, IV-V / Beginner & Intermediate

Rafting trips on the Mohaka River can actually cover a whole range of difficulty, as the river is broken up into several sections. The Te Hoe section offers an easier day of Class III rapids, whereas the lower Mohaka gorges provide Class IV-V whitewater and trips lasting one to four days.

Scenery: Dense Green Forest and Limestone Cliffs

During almost the entirety of its journey from source to sea, the Mohaka River flows through densely forested, precipitous country. In its higher Class IV and V reaches, the Mohaka cuts a series of deep gorges through mudstones and limestone, creating spectacular cliffs sometimes as tall as 150 meters above water level. The whitewater in these gorges is defined by high volume class IV and V rapids with large drops that are broken up by house-sized boulders in the center of the river channel. The river’s name reflects its bouncing course, as Mohaka is a Maori word that translates to mean “a place for dancing.” On overnight trips through the Mohaka’s upper wilderness, there are also great opportunities for fishing and hunting. During the Class III Te Hoe section, the river runs amongst the green rolling hills of the Hawkes Bay area, and the rapids have big fun rollercoaster-like waves with little worries about consequences.

Season: Year-Round

Rafting trips on the Mohaka River are conducted year-round.