Escape’ to the North Island’s exciting East Cape region for the thrill of whitewater adventure.

It’s New Zealand’s best kept secret – a paradise for nature lovers with abundant tracts of wilderness, golden beaches, sparkling lakes and tumbling rivers.

Locals will tell you that this is the ‘Real New Zealand’ – the way it used to be. East Cape is the first place in the world to greet the morning sun. Here is a treasure trove of Maori tradition, including Mt Hikurangi, the highest non-volcanic mountain in New Zealand.

Here too is the ‘Mighty Motu’. Our first gazetted Wild and Scenic River. The Motu River rafting trip is our premier whitewater wilderness journey in the North Island. It winds 100 km through remote, mountainous country in the Raukumara Range. Commercial rafting companies based in Rotorua and Auckland run 3 – 4 day expeditions on the Motu. The scenery in the gorges is breathtaking and the feeling of remoteness and isolation here is tangible. Rare birds such as the kokako, blue duck, kaka, parakeet, kiwi and falcon can be seen or heard.

The put in is on Waitangirua Station below Motu Falls, which is reached via Matawai on S.H.2. The take out is below the bridge on the Pacific Coast Highway. Summer time is recommended for a multi-day trip, when Grade 3 water can be expected. Flood conditions can boost the level of difficulty to Grade 4 or 5.

The Waioeka River runs alongside S.H.2 (Opotiki to Gisborne) for some distance offering pleasant Grade 1 – 2 rapids. The put in is at Wairata, and just below the Wairata Stream junction is Hell’s Gate, a long rapid that can reach Grade 4 in high flows and drops 2 metres. Below Hell’s Gate the river runs in a consistent flow over a shingle bed and is ideal water for beginners. Take out before the settlement of Matahanea. The Lower Waioeka is picturesque with virgin bush lining the river and clear trout pools at intervals.

Take time to discover the beauty and peace of this very remote region. East Cape has many hidden treasures in the remote valleys of the Raukumaras.