After our 2019 pack raft on the Arthur River in Tasmania Siouxsie & Brett mentioned the Clarence as the next pack rafting adventure.
A little morphing and it soon turned into a a bike rafting adventure from Kaikoura New Zealand along the Inland Kaikoura Road, over Blind Saddle Road in the Clarence Reserve and down to the Clarence River. A little hill in the middle and a bit of logistics was our only real obstacle.
We started our adventure from Christchurch with a very scenic train journey to Kaikoura. This was a perfect prelude to our adventure.
Our first night was at the turn into the Clarence Reserve along the dry Kahutara River bed. Lucky for us there was a clear spring stream running along the edge off the river past our camp.
The second day started our climb over Blind Saddle, 1,100m in 9km. This was definitely going to hurt but we we’re heading into some spectacular country. Lucky for us we scored a vehicle to carry our gear over the Saddle into our next camp.
Once over the Saddle it was all downhill to the Clarence River. Nineteen river crossings following the Seymour River into the Clarence River.
Our second nights camp was at Quail Flats in the Poplars along the river. We collected all our gear from the Hut and rode down to our camp.
Day three we packed up the bikes and strapped them to our pack rafts and headed down the Clarence River. Weather was perfect. Next stop Gooseflats Hut.
Goose flats Hut was the first of the two huts we stayed in.
Day four we got off to a late start after a hot breakfast and a perfect morning. A long days paddle and lots of rapids we arrived into Snowgrass Hut.
Day five found us paddling into a strong headwind. The scenery was just spectacular along the Clarence. Camp was near Gibson Hut on a River inlet. A little rocky but a great spot.
Day six would be our last day heading East. Our last nights camp was just before we Started heading South.
Day seven the river took us South to the township of Clarence and the sea. The rapids were fast and furious to the last.
We arrived into Clarence at lunch and were picked up by Clarence Rafting. A perfect end to a perfect trip. Back to Kaikoura for steak and wine.