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Punakaiki Canoes. For many, the essence of this gorgeous region can be understood by a paddle up the Pororari River, just to the north of the village. Glide silently through the dark yet clear waters between huge limestone cliffs, studded with nikau and giant rata trees, with Punakaiki Canoes. Pretend you're in the movies—The Hobbit cliff scenes were filmed here. Or head down the estuary toward the coast, where the waterway opens out into a more playful area. These trips are suitable for all abilities and ages, and ever changing with the tides and the rainfall. They are dependent on the state of the weather and the river. State Hwy. 6, by the bridge, Punakaiki, 7873. 03/731–1870. www.riverkayaking.co.nz. NZ$40 per person for up to 2 hrs; guided tours from $70. Family rates available.
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