Mohaka

Mohaka is a wonderland of spectacular land formations and breath-taking distant views. Enjoy one of AUCC's most scenic, mysterious, and remote trips we offer to the club, travelling to New Zealand's east central region of Hawke's Bay, to the Mohaka river. 'Enchanting' is the word many describe about this mysterious destination during the descent down the river. While kayaking or rafting, you will feel connected with nature as you have full view of the awe and beauty of the New Zealand remote land formations which surround you all the way which is sure take your breath away.

Come down and see a part of New Zealand most people only dream or read about. This event offers you the chance to travel, camp, kayak, raft, huddle around a campfire, laugh, sing, eat smores, all that fun stuff and more. It's an incredible event you really don't want to miss!

Testimony by Sophie M

'The Mighty Mohaka'

Weather Report: Hawkes Bay was great, everywhere else is terrible. A good start to another awesome Easter Trip. The majority of us head down on Thursday, with a few exceptions of those who sneak in a cheeky run of the Wairoa. Just to let everyone know, our car- me, Ally, James and Jeremy- wins car with most Mohaka attendances (22), beating Speedy’s car and Campbell (who has been in the club longer than most of you have been alive).

On Friday we paddle the mighty Mohaka grade 2. A few rescue beers are gained, but there’s not too much carnage. Prez Ally and Richard "F yeah" Provo takes down half the beginners and the rest of us gather the leftovers. My group is so pro that we do one of the hardest rapids twice and paddle one backwards (not to be encouraged). The only swimmer we have is Simon who tries to show off his paddling skills by paddling his kayak like a gondola- resulting in a booty skull.

Friday night celebrations start off relatively normal but slowly get more drunken and absurd. The best part of the night is when a giant glowing stick figure appears and does these crazy 2D dances to music blasting from a car, dancing on top of the car and turning on and off in time with the music. We all feel like we’re on acid. Thanks to Hippy Jeff for the awesome show. The rest of the night involves fire dancing, a light display and fireworks. Later that night Nicole passes around condoms she got from Amsterdam which have animal figurines on the end. Crazy Rachel and others chant for someone to try them on. Drunkenness ensues and Simon gets nominated by Captain Isaac who pulls down his pants. Quote of the night: ‘you pull his pants down, I’ll put the condom on’. Time to go to bed.

The next day the sun comes out and we set off for a run of the grade 3. When we arrive at the get-in someone has forgotten to do a head count and we end up with too many rafters. Ally kindly offers to take the extra people to do some kayaking skills. The rest of us get on the river at the usual AUCC time of midday. I’m a bit nervous because I’ve got the tiniest boat on the river, but end up having a sweet run. Who said playboats can’t do hard stuff?

The most epic line is taken by Captain’s raft at the Steps- straight into the biggest hole in the river where it’s stuck surfing for 3 whole minutes. The raft bounces in and out of the hole, with everyone on it gathered on the high side and clinging for dear life. Captain unintentionally abandons the raft and swims to the side of the river, luckily managing to pull the raft out of the hole. We all cheer but stop as we watch the punters heading straight for a rock minus their raft guide. Thankfully they avoid getting stuck again and we’re relieved to see everyone coming out safely at the bottom.

Saturday night is another boozy night. A few people decide to do Scrumpy/wine hands. There is talk of a journey to the pub but we’re all too lazy to follow it through. My car has meatballs for dinner, made by Ally, with red wine and herbs. AUCC certainly knows how to do luxury camping.

Sunday morning we wake up and find that the Easter bunny has delivered us Easter eggs outside our tents. Today we manage to be super-organized and cater for all levels of activities- a few people head to Napier for a chilled out day of wine tasting; others go for a hike, or do a Bridge Swing (which was soon shut down by the police). We have people kayaking or rafting every section of the river. Baby raft is taken down the grade 4 by James, Ally and Jono- a section which hasn’t been rafted since Mohaka Multisport 10 years ago (that’s a story for another time!) Luckily the carnage is kept to a minimum. Big thanks to the shuttle bunnies for the grade 4- it’s a very long drive!

That night is the first dance party I’ve seen at Mohaka. Mark sets up his van to blast dance music all night long. There’s even a strobe and poll dancing. The best looks were Isaac dancing in his gumboots, Erica dancing with her torch dangling from the crotch of her pants and the dance off which Ladia won with a dirty secret move. Monday we’re all up early and head home in the first rain we’ve had all weekend. Ally decides to take us on a detour to avoid traffic and our route is very scenic- involving gravel road (‘nice one Ally’- James), a Weka who has probably never seen a car before, and a footpath in the middle of nowhere. The funky wave-shaped bridge made it worth it in the end.

All in all, it was an awesome trip. Huge thanks to Simon for organizing the whole event, and to Ally for making sure the Easter Bunny didn’t forget us. Thanks to all the instructors for ensuring most of the carnage stayed off-river, and to everyone who came along and made the most out of their long weekend. Happy Easter!

- Sophie M

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AUCC is a whitewater club affiliated to the University of Auckland. We are one of the oldest canoe clubs in New Zealand, tracing our history back to 1949.

Incorporated Society Registration Number 222220. Charity Registration Number CC53093.

2017 Runner-up Sports club of the year

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