Hutt River Te Awa Kairangi Whitewater Festival

The Hutt River Te Awa Kairangi Whitewater Festival was a huge success this year. It truly was a whitewater festival including kayaks, rafts, duckies, and packrafts. The events raised over $100 for Whitewater New Zealand and a few dollars for the Hutt Valley Canoe Club.

One whitewater kayaker crashing into another kayaker

The kayakers raced down the gorge on Saturday, and while the races were happening in the gorge, the packrafters took on the lower grade 2 section to avoid all those mischief-making hardshells. Following on from the races everyone got together at the HVCC clubhouse for a BBQ in the afternoon and then moved the party to Kaitoke Regional Park.

On Sunday a large social group bought all the river crafts together for a social float through the gorge. We sent the racers down first who then waited for the social paddlers at the finish line so everyone could paddle out together.


After the races were all done, we hosted a prizegiving back at the HVCC Club Rooms. The HVCC has been hosting this event for over 50 years. 1971 is the oldest date on the trophy but there is reason to believe it has been going on longer than that. Congratulations to winners below will have their names added to the trophy:

Team Event: “All Over the Show” John Snook, Dai Edwards, and Warren Cheetham for winning Saturday’s team race.

Women’s individual race: Dina Fieman

Men’s Individual race: Liam Hopkinson

Team of four men standing together holding trophy shield they have just won  Two men holding trophies and celebrating together outside

Thank-you to everyone that volunteered and made donations including:

  • Hutt Valley Canoe Club and Marty Naplawa for organizing the team race and BBQ.
  • Nigel Parry for securing a no-take at the Kaitoke Weir with the Wellington Regional Council.
  • Martin Robertson for organising the packrafters and securing camping.
  • Georgia Bailey for her amazing guitar, mandolin, and singing skills at the bonfire.
  • Wellington Rafting Company for helping with safety.
  • Double Vision Brewery for donating some prizes.
  • Todd Henry for organising individual races.
  • All of the volunteers, racers, and participants who helped with safety, organising, BBQing and everything else. We could not have done it without you.

Mark it on your calendar for next year Fri. 30 Sept. – Sun. 2 Oct. 2022.

Thanks to everyone that came out and I hope to see you there next year.

Todd Henry


These photos and more from the day were taken by Mike Birch and can be found here.