Saturday, November 25, 2006

Landsbourogh River, NZ, 3 day trip

The view on a sunny day looking up from camp one.

Last weekend and in the past week I had the opportunity to get out on a couple three day trips on the Landsbourogh River with Queenstown Rafting. On the first trip when we first headed out there we were hoping for a clearing of the weather and on the second trip it was clear till almost the take out. The week before last the river had surged up to 6m on the gauge, which was one of the highest levels in ten years.

The Landsborough River originates from the hills of Mt. Cook National Park, before meeting with the Haast river in South Westland. We arrived on the other side of Haast to meet up with our helicopter pilot. Morgan and his dad have Heli Ventures in that area, awesome pilots. We had a couple of gear loads and clients on the first, and just one gear load on the second trip.

With beautiful landscapes and fun rapids, excellent food this is a great three day trip. Though sometimes things don't go exactly as planned. On my first trip down we spent the first and second day at camp one waiting for the river to go down, eating lots. Then paddling all the way out on a high flow on day three. The second trip was broken up by more as we spent two days on the river, though it was about a meter lower at the top and almost two meters lower in the gorge. I have included some photos of the trips. Enjoy and if you are in the area and are looking for an adventure trip on the wild New Zealand west coast check this one out.

The heli pick up point where the Haast and Landsbourogh rivers meet.

A rainy day at camp one when the first heli load arrives.

A nice sunset on the first rain filled trip. The third day was beautiful. High water and Sun.

The gang enjoying a bit of sunshine.

Did I mention the food? Tasty au d'oeuvres each evening.

Beautiful Waterfalls abound.

The camp setting.

Keeping a close eye on the fire and staying warm at night. Alarm clock.... sandflies at 6am.

On clear days snow filled peaks and glaciers are viewed up and down the valley.

On the days with rain and some sun keep eyes peeled for rainbows.

Tony at the oars through squeeze rapid, Landsbourogh River.

The rafts lined up at the bottom of Hellfire rapid. The one portage for the rafts on the river.

Safety Kayaker David Prothero paddling down through Hellfire. Photo care of Lou McInnes.

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