Opotiki & Motu
The Opotiki and Motu Virtually on Track gem offers grade 2 rafting on the Waioeka River.
The Waioeka river twists down a bush-clad valley south of Opotiki with SH2 running parallel to it for most of the way. Between the entrance to the Waioeka Gorge and Oponae, the river is a mix of grade 1 and 2 rapids with stretches of flat water. The start point is 34km from Opotiki. Plentiful car parking is provided on the roadside opposite the river access. The first 11km stretch to Graham’s Bridge offers the best rapids. This stretch is divided roughly into thirds by BOP Regional Council’s Cableway water level monitor and the historic Tauranga bridge. Further down, the valley opens out and the river slows down. Starting at Graham’s Bridge 25km from Opotiki and using the angler access 19km from Opotiki as pull out or starting point for the Waioeka gorge mouth, 11km from Opotiki as a final exit are other options. There is no cellphone coverage in the Waioeka Gorge and no toilets or shops, so ensure you are well prepared before setting out. The cableway monitor reports live data on-line and is a great way to check the river conditions before you leave home – the range from 1.6m-1.9m provides great paddling.