HydroPhobia v4a2III**

Max drop approx 26m

Public access


Steep stream with numerous medium length abseils, quite slotty and scenic. One of the classics of the Kauaeranga valley, followed by heaps of jumping and swimming in the main Kauaeranga gorge. A great and varied day out.

Guidebook update:

Page 97, ‘Approach on foot’

About 15 meters before arriving at the Hydro Camp (there’s a huge DOC sign saying “HYDRO CAMP”), there is a junction with very large track markers.

Take the left hand ‘flood route’ which takes you to the foot bridge over the stream. Enter here.

First descent (6/10/2013) – Pete Smith , Antoine Chabanis & Alain Rohr
Survey & Mapping (2/11/2013) – Pete Smith & Peter Harrison.

Images provided by Tomas Adamek.

14 Trip reports Log your trip

  1. Rick, Ange & Medhi says:

    First time at Hydrophobia.
    Used the words “epic” and “holy sh!t that’s.. (insert.. cold, slippery, steep, epic..)” way more than usual. Had a great time!
    Sling, bolts, anchors, all looking good.

    • Date -06/01/24
    • Water level -normal
    • Anchor conditions -All in good condition
    • Group size -3
    • Time: approach/descent/return (eg: 1hr/4hrs/3mins) -7.5+ hrs car to car (A lot of playing and photo taking)
  2. Paul Siratovich says:

    Epic spring day out on election day!
    Changed the sling (TL) on the 1st rap to the tree right behind the previous anchor (the old anchor tree is indeed wobbly) and it is good to go.
    Everything else in great condition and the swims/jumps out were even more fun than I remember.

    • Date -14 OCT 2023
    • Water level -normal
    • Anchor conditions -All in good condition
    • Group size -4
    • Time: approach/descent/return (eg: 1hr/4hrs/3mins) -(1/3/2) 6hours car to car
  3. James Judd says:

    The tree on the first pitch (TL) has become unstable. Would recommend the next group down finds another option and removes the webbing from the unstable tree

    • Date -7 Oct
    • Water level -normal
    • Anchor conditions -next group needs to do repair/replacement
    • Group size -
    • Time: approach/descent/return (eg: 1hr/4hrs/3mins) -
  4. David Le Pelley says:

    A great trip and a cool canyon. All gear in good condition, including slings on the first two trees. We ended up linking 2 pitches in the middle as we just couldn’t see the bolts, but I’m sure they were there somewhere . With a 60 and 30m rope that was a fun 40-odd metre rappel! There was plenty of water as it had rained heavily the previous night, but not too much to make an problems, despite our lack of experience.

    • Date -10042023
    • Water level -high
    • Anchor conditions -All in good condition
    • Group size -2
    • Time: approach/descent/return (eg: 1hr/4hrs/3mins) -7hrs car to car
  5. Walk smile talk says:

    Fun day out! All jumps/slides bypassed on the way down Kauaeranga, cause late start and trying to get out quickly! Definitely come back for them.

    • Date -12/3/23
    • Water level -lower than normal
    • Anchor conditions -All in good condition
    • Group size -2
    • Time: approach/descent/return (eg: 1hr/4hrs/3mins) -6 car to car
  6. Dan Clearwater says:

    A great day out! The main rappel section is basically one HUUUUGE pitch down a narrow canyon, great views accross valley and back up at your mates on all the pitch heads!

    It was very low flow (less than normal) and a warm day, so I was comfy enough in thermals and a spray jacket. About 3 compulsory swims which cooled me down!

    Then the Kauaeranga main gorge; I forgot how many jumps and swims you can do! Only a light wetsuit needed on a hot day, amazing how much warmer the water is in the Coromandel compared with Otago!

  7. Matt Clark says:

    Great little canyon
    Anchors all in good shape
    Very low water conditions

  8. Erwan Coq says:

    We did the canyon is normal/higher water conditions. Was fun! Slippery canyon but really fun to do in beautifull native forrest.

    Webbing was in good condition. All bolts were in good condition.

    Maybe a handline before R4 or R6 (cant remember) would make it saver to reach the bolts. We used a peron as an anker to reacht the bolts so that works to. The rest of the canyon is well bolted! thanks for that!

  9. Paul Siratovich says:

    Brilliant day out in the Coromandel.
    All anchors in good condition. Sling and ring on TL for Rap 1 in good shape, Sling and ring on rap on TR also in good shape but probably need changing by end of summer. All other anchors and bolts in good condition but always a good idea to have spares in case things change for the next mission!
    As Tomas said last year, the approach was very slippery. Moss creek exit is very obvious on TL with big shoal and DOC triangles.

  10. Tomas says:

    Beginning of the walk from the bridge to start of the canyon is very slippery (algae) – second down climb (before first abseil) is bit tricky now – better to downclimb with rope via stream then trying the super slippery rock on true right (nothing to hold on and there are some bigger boulders under the rock now).

    All webbings and anchors are in a good order – we had a lovely trip!

    P.S. I’m not sure if the topo is right, first two abseils suppose to be from the tree but I think it’s only the first one, second is bolted – or we missed something… Everything below is still correct…

  11. Oli says:

    Exit route out of the Kauaeranga gorge has changed slightly, continue downstream past the egg shaped boulder eventually coming across the swing bridge over the river. Exit TL along well marked DOC track (Moss creek track) that climbs over the small ridge and joins the main track back to the carpark after about 10 mins.

  12. Josh says:

    Webbing looked good, a few of the rapides on the bottom few abseils are looking a bit manky and rusty.

    1. Pete Smith says:

      Thanks for saying – I imagine that you updated the ‘manky’ maillons for some new ones. If not perhaps spare a thought in future towards taking spare maillons and webbing to upgrade worn parts – This is a collective responsibility that we all share.

  13. Dan Clearwater says:

    On behalf of Pete Smith:

    December 2014;

    “Do take some webbing to replace the one worn webbing who ever visits next please. Bolts in place are 12mm x 100mm x 2 at each anchor. Anyone that descends these canyons should inspect all webbing before use and replace it if needed. Take spare (new) rated webbing with you.”

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