The Wairaurahiri River is one of New Zealand’s most remote and untouched rivers. It is 27km of rugged, rock-strewn, Grade 3 white-water rapids that drops 520ft to sea level. It is commonly described as New Zealand’s “longest waterfall” or “steepest river”, and you can actually see the drop as you look back up the river. The native bush extends to the water-line, and is alive with native birds.
The river is fed from Lake Hauroko, New Zealand’s deepest lake, and one of the ten deepest lakes in the world. At 482 metres deep, it’s bed is well below sea level. The water in the lake is so dark, due to the tannin from the beech forest, that nothing grows below a few metres depth.