Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Just some photos of my cool as little duckling Killa. I found him at the bottom of the Abyss probably after being swept away from his mum. He was a New Zealand Scaup (Papango or Aythya novaeseelandiae) which is a small diving duck endemic to NZ.

Not afraid of anything...

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Tiki Tour Final Installment - Toharoa Canyon

After three solid days of boating on the Whitcombe and Waitaha rivers we decided on a day of rest hanging out at Fatty's bach in Punakaiki. Yup we must be getting old.

Bit of recreational couch burning

Mean view to wake up to camping at lake Mahinapua

The next day we were feeling rested and refreshed so following Daan's suggestion we headed to the Toharoa river. The Toharoa was our only viable option as we had run out of money for helicopters. Daan told us that it was about a 3 hour walk up a tramping track to a big slip. Once at the slip we would be able to access the gorge. The gorge should contain around 3 hours of mostly runnable whitewater before we ended up at the top of the regular run. 3 hours of walking for 3 hours of paddling sounded fair enough.

Just follow the orange markers...

Knowing how South Islanders have a penchant for walking fast and paddling slow we allowed 4 hours to walk in to the river and 3 hours to paddle to the takeout. We started walking at 11am finally put onto the river at 4.45pm then reached the takeout at 7.45pm...

Finally reached the slip!

Fatty, stoked as to finally be going with the gradient

Super sweet rapids make it nearly worth the walk in

Beautiful gorge, super clear water

The Toharoa Canyon contains some sick whitewater and awesome scenery, its definitely worth getting in there!!! Especially if you love carrying your boat up hills for extended periods of time.

After we finished up on the Toharoa we had run out of money and rivers to paddle so we headed back to the Kaituna to see if we all still had jobs after randomly disappearing for a week.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Andy Duff Memorial Race

Big ups to Douglas McCormick for organising and running the Andy Duff Memorial Race last weekend! The race consists of 5 back to back races. The classes are: Short Boat, Long Boat, Tandems, Sledgers/Swimmers and Rafts. Mass starts on every race always ensure heaps of competitive carnage so this even is always a good laugh. This year we had two work teams from Kaitiaki, one boat with the >30 guides and one boat with the <30 guides, our rafts came 3rd and 4th overall with the under 30s team stoked as to beat the old boys yeyah!

Short-boats: Kenny Mutton, Toni George
Long-boats: Sam Sutton, Toni George
Tandems: Kenny and Zack Mutton
Sledges: Joel Flamank, Geni Walters
Rafts: Rotorua Rafting
Best in Show: Sam Sutton and Ryan Lucas

Also huge thanks to all the people who helped out with safety: Evan Freshwater, Scott Fitzgerald, Kate Fitzgerald, Tim Duff and Matt Duff, Rotorua Rafting for the use of their raft; House of Elliot in Rotorua for donating hair product to the winner of the women's longboat race, Sarah Uhl at the Okere Falls Store for supplying good beer and great music (Swamp Thing), and Tim Pickering helping out behind the scenes. Super sick day!