Saturday 12 January. Leader is Sam Brens.
We will go down the Waikato River from base of Karapiro Dam to Hamilton. It is approximately a 1 hour paddle from the dam to Cambridge boat ramp where we will stop for lunch, then another break at The Narrows. It is then approximately 3 hours paddle to Hamilton (depending on the exit point and river flow). Exiting at Hamilton Gardens might be nice as there is free parking there and a cafe. There is the opportunity to wander round the gardens after.
Hazards - the river is very much a Grade 1 River which basically means flat moving water. There are two small rapids on the section from the dam to Cambridge, but you just paddle straight through them, they are not difficult and are quite manageable by confident novice paddlers. From Cambridge to Hamilton it is flat moving water but through The Narrows it can get a bit swirly. People unfamiliar with moving water would get coaching and support from more experienced paddlers.
The put in point is a little awkward with boats being needing to be walked down a flight of stairs and entered via a rocky river side. This will take organising of people and boats one at a time.
Exiting will be easier, we will just have to walk the boats and equipment up to the cars and trailer. Take a trolley if you have one. There are good public toilets at the exit.
This trip is suitable for confident beginners wanting to try moving water. It is all downhill with the current to assist which is always nice. Hire kayaks are available and the trailer will be going. We will see who is going closer to the time and organise car pooling.
9am meet at Hamilton Gardens main car-park to travel to Hydro Road, Karapiro Dam and set up a car shuttle.
Dinner somewhere before we head home.
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