Upper North

The main areas for Canyoning in the Upper North Island in the volcanic rocks of the Waitakere Ranges near Auckland, and the Kaueranga Valley near Thames.

The Waitakere Ranges have a number of canyons, but unfortunately the Auckland Regional Council Bylaws prohibit both off track tramping, and abseiling anywhere other than an approved site. This means that anyone found Canyoning can be fined. In particular, Glen Esk Canyon in Piha is in a high use visitor area, where park rangers actively patrol the Canyoning ban. Several people have been issued hefty ($500) fines!!

However if you are keen to Canyon in the Waitakeres, there are two companies which have permits to guide trips there.

The Kaueranga Valley is characterised by very steep streams, with some large drops (80m plus!) carving through Rhyolite. The streams are more open, but still are inescapable in sections. Sleeping God Canyon is commercially guided and a courtesy call to the operator (www.canyonz.co.nz) will go a long way to keep relations between Guides and Recreational canyoners smooth.

The Kauaeranga valley road suffered damage from the storms and has been closed for repairs during the 17/18 summer.  Visit the DOC website for up to date information on the road status.

View Upper North Canyons on Interactive Map

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Click the pin check boxes to hide/show different catagories of canyons.


View Upper North Canyons in a Table

Click on headings to sort the canyons / Search for canyons within this table.

AreaCanyonGradeStarsTimeMax drop
Coromandel RangeWentworth Riverv4a2I104hrs40m
KauaerangaSleeping Beautyv4a2III106hrs55m
Far NorthOkahu Streamv4a3III106hrs50m
KauaerangaKauaeranga Gorgev2a3III207hrs05m
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