Whirling Water v5a6V ****

Possibly the most famous canyon in New Zealand.

Whirling Water is in the Waitaha Valley, on the West Coast of the South Island.

After 3 successive seasons of exploration, the first full descent of this incredible canyon was completed in March 2024.

First Full Descent 20/3/24

Richard Bramley, Leo Garnache, Reto Bubendorf, Troy Watson, Andrew Humphreys, Adrien Paris, Leo Tregret, with JV on the Rim

Lower Section FD Jan 2021

Richard Bramley, Justin Venables, Keith Riley, Phil Palzer

Middle Section FD Feb 2023

Pete Choate, Sid Tinney, Jason Bilsborow, Charlotte Mason, Leo Tregret

Upper Section FD March 2024

Leo Garnache, Reto Bubendorf, Madie Garnache, Leo Tregret

As the grade suggests, this is a very technical and very high-flow canyon, suitable only for expert canyoners.

This Instagram reel by Andrew Humphreys @v7andrew reached more than 2.9 million accounts as of June 2024, with 3.4 million views.

“Best canyon I’ve ever been in; hands down one of the best quality canyons I’ve ever laid eyes on.” – Andrew Humphreys

Watch this space for more information: we’ll keep this page updated as more info is provided by the first descent teams. Images below courtesy Richard Bramley.

Submit a trip report

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *