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, September 16, 2008

The Munamuna rapids, smooth papa and East Coast quality! quality....

"The Albatross has landed" Paddler - Elby Shaw, Where?? how many people would like to know that!

Ben Jackson is a talented man. He runs a blog and keeps me honest. http://www.jacksonoutdoors.blogspot.com/
Take a look at his most recent post “East Coast Representing”

Point 1 - My navigation is flawless. Lost - Never... just not 100% on current location.
Point 2 - Sometimes in order to lure your paddling mates into carrying their kayaks through mud, blackberry, in heavy rain, on slippery clay uphill for three hours you have to "sell it" well and leave out detail.
Something thats certain - Greg McKinnon (farmer who hooked us up with the shearing palace) is an absolute legend.
Point 3 - It is flat in the gorge for about 30m. But it is a pool then its class 4-5 again.
Point 4 - After a day like that driving 1.5 hours for liquor is mandatory.

Ben Jackson doing the hard yards during our recent mission into the "Upper Rooks"
Image - Zak Shaw
Bens post represents our recent week of kayaking and springtime exploration. It sheds light on our adventures out east, my middle of the road brilliance and images of whitewater unlike anything else in New Zealand.

Going back a few years now.... 1994 - I held on with my toes. Smooth papa stone underneath my bare feet gave me grip as I edged forward and peared over the waterfall. I was thirteen and the waterfall seventy-five metres tall. That day we jumped for over an hour into a teacup, a deep Californian look alike teacup on the verge of a massive falls.
Time then passed until three years ago. Based on my teenage teacup memory my father and I walked four hours and re visited the papa cauldron’s and the secret "Munamuna rapids" No longer thirteen and looking through the eyes of a kayaker I saw amazing drops, not aged granite but smooth East Coast papa!

Elby and Ben take a break from mud and blackberry.
Image - Zak Shaw
On Sunday Ben and I finished running a river safety course, picked up my brother Elby and made tracks. I’d been watching the river levels and weather forecast for weeks to ensure our timing was perfect. We spent two days enjoying the juicy flows in the Ruakituri’s Papunui station section before heading deeper into the Urewera National Park. We walked with our boats for three hours before arriving at the base of our secret falls.

Wedawhakrwei?? Matawai boy Elby Shaw having an adventure close to home.
Image - Zak Shaw

How cool is that! yep its NZ, slides, drops. East Coast represent! Elby finds the line.
Image - Zak Shaw
Paddler - Ben Jackson
Image - Zak Shaw

No mission is complete without at least two flat tyres. Ben and Elby deal to puncture number two. Location = Somewhere on the 95km section of gravel near Lake Waikaremoana, Urewera's. Time to mechanic or tyre repair shop = two days walk.

The following images were taken on the Ruakituri's Papuni section.

Paddler - Ben Jackson
Image - Zak ShawPaddler - Elby Shaw
Image - Zak Shaw

High water Ruakituri, possibly the highest level its been run. Ben Jackson comleting the final gorge move.
Image - Zak Shaw
New to slides, Elby finds out what all the rave is about.
Image - Zak Shaw

Team "Upper Rooks"


  1. Beautiful stuff Zak. Good to see you and the Beej out enjoying yourselves in "the bush".

    Nepal is weird right now... post-monsoon water... some big stuff, but haven't run a single really technical drop yet. Can't wait for the bigger missions in November. Know anyone that has run the Arun?

    When do you leave for the Shackleton land?

  2. Hey D!
    I'll ask around and see if I can find someone to give your a heads up ie the Arun.
    Nov 15th off to Antarctica.
    go well bro - z

  3. Yeah some nice bush Davey.. we like to call it "farm boating" its pretty sweet seeing sheep on the river bank! as you can imagine we get pretty excited about it!