A canyon is ‘in season’ when the water flow is at a suitable level to allow a descent and the air/water temperature is suitable for going canyoning.
Timing for the Canyoning season varies considerably, depending on the location, the altitude and the nature of the canyon.
All things considered, the majority of areas are in season from December through March, with the best time of the year from late January to early March.
The canyon season is almost year round in the upper north island, whilst in Fiordland even in the driest months of summer, the water levels may be too high.
As NZ gets most of its rain from the west, canyons on the western side of the island will have generally higher water levels and shorter seasons.
Below is a general guide for the canyoning season based by region.
Canyons at higher altitudes will receive more rain and also be subject to cooler temperatures than lower elevation canyons. Canyons that are high for thier region will have later starting and shorter season than others in the area.
Nature of the Canyon
Canyons with larger catchment areas will hold more water for longer and therefore have a later starting and shorter season. Also, the shape of the actual canyon will effect how much water is suitable for a descent. A wider, less steep canyon may still be descendable with higher flows when a narrower, steeper canyon with the same catchment may not.