Order calendars via zakshawphotography@gmail.com or the secure Paypal option below.

Order calendars via zakshawphotography@gmail.com or the secure Paypal option below.
My 2014 calendar was entirely photographed on the western side of New Zealand's Southern Alps. "Land in the West" is printed at a size of A4 with twelve calendar month pages displaying stunning outdoor environment photographs. Take a look at my Facebook page to view all twelve 2014 calendar images! Order here via Paypal or email me at zakshawphotography@gmail.com if you would prefer to pay with online banking. Thanks for your support!
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Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Koranga/Waioeka River flood trip

Koranga Stream, Moanui Valley to Wairata

A few years ago, with a couple of mates we had rafted the run at low water, descending the 28km in seven long hours, at one point we had to reverse ferry the raft back off the lip off a drop that piled into wall, we just made it, by latching onto sharp rocks with outstretched arms and backpaddling for ever against current that wanted to take us.
It had been several years since that trip and with three times the flow in the river I was curious as to what would be instore for us.

There’s not many paddlers in the East Cape, some shuttles are long and its remote, gravel roads to put in
spots limit hitching, rainfall is regular but like all rain dependent rivers its all about timing!
As it worked out, 120mm rain, two keen shuttle drivers and a good stash of food, a more than capable younger brother and Wa La it was on!
Elby and I had paddled alot after work the week of this trip, heavy persistent rain from the north had the soil sodden and then the final 120mm whilst we were in the catchment I guess just kind of finished it off!
The first day was good technical class 3, nothing major just, enjoyable continuous whitewater down past the Forks Hut and the Te Kahika stream confluence, we continued on to The Nikau Flat Hut to spend the night.
With only 8km to finish the trip off on day two we agreed on a good sleep in, predicting only two hours on the water and some more class 3, down to the take out.

The rain continued to fall all night by morning the level was huge, big flood level, the kind most people stay at home for!
With a good breakfast down the hatch we pushed off into a brown heaving rollercoaster at 10am.
Making the first eddy downstream on river right we suddenly became aware of the power of the river and what consequences lay instore should one of us blow a line.
Logs floated past at regular intervals as we negiotiated massive recirculating holes, folding waves off the gorge walls.
Sitting on the edge of our pants we constantly moved about the river side to side with flying stroke rates to avoid the next hazard! Just the stuff that’s so much fun when you make it through!

Finding kiwi

Late in the NZ summer I spent a day with a local DOC worker Jo Waikari, we crashed through the bush for most of the day trying to find an adult male north island brown kiwi called “Mack”.
Only 30 minutes drive from home the Whinray reserve is home to a kiwi recovery project whose mission is to save the dwindling numbers of weka and kiwi in the area.
Equipped with aerial in hand we approached the northern boundary first as this was Mack’s last known location a week earlier.
For the first three hours we climbed and surveyed the rim of the reserve but could not pick up a signal.
Changing our tactics in the afternoon we searched along the river and managed to finally receive a faint beep from Mack about 2km away up in the middle of a steep rugged face. (transmitter can receive a birds signal 5km away line of site)

The river was in flood so we had to return to the swingbridge upstream and access the area where Mack was via a well worn bench track.
Jo suddenly veered off track we headed down a sharp ridge, across a creek over a few dead trees and up a steep bank. We paused on a small terrace briefly to check our signal strength before moving on. In and out of two more small gullies and then suddenly earlier than expected we were suddenly “right on top of him”
Once we located the burrow we moved much more cautiously, being careful not to startle Mack from the hole. We spent an hour digging him out, then replaced the transmitter which was about to fall off! Every twelve months the transmitters are replaced on the leg of the kiwi.

It was cool to be up close, holding a bird that not many people ever see in its natural environment. His beak was huge and feathers felt more like hair than the soft textured feathers they appear to be.

Definitely a good day out.