Blast in the Haast!
Makarora Meetup

Wonderland Makarora Lodge

Friday 10 to Sunday 12 February 2023

What is a NZCA meetup?

A NZCA meetup is a weekend for members to turn up in one spot, meet old friends, make new ones and organise your own canyoning trips.

We arrange a central hub, and usually, a social gathering on at least one of the nights, but there are no organised trips, workshops, raffles and other fancy stuff like at our bi-annual festival.  

 A meetup is for independant canyoners, who can look after themselves in a group canyoning trip.  You organise your own food, gear, transport, mates, trips, ropes and so on.

It is vital to be honest with others about your canyoning experience and abilities. 

Check out the Facebook event to chat to other people attending!

A few FAQ...

If you have questions which aren’t answered on this page, please contact 

To join the meetup you should be self-sufficient in your canyoning ability.

This means you are able to look after yourself while in a canyon. You should be able to judge which canyons you can safely do, and whether the water levels and canyon hazards are within your ability.

You are welcome to organise trips with other more experienced people to learn more, but this is something you need to do yourself, and you should at the minimum know enough basics to keep yourself safe. There are plenty of places to do courses in New Zealand if you would like to up your skills or just get started.

If you’re coming solo, its a good idea to try to connect with people ahead of the event via facebook. 

Many will organise to go with mates, but if you do not know anyone going, chuck a post up well in advance of the event to see if someone will let you join their trip. 

It will be up to each individual to decide what is acceptable or not. As this is a casual meet up, you are free to do what you would normally do.

If it REALLY rains you’ll find us at the pub having a beer and telling stories ;0) 

Please visit the page and give the whole website a thorough read.

NZ canyons are much more aquatic and can be technical. Also, be aware of Didymo: learn what it is and what you need to do

Blast in the Haast is FREE for NZCA Members

NZCA events are for members only.  

Any NZCA event fees only cover the expenses to run the event. For the Blaast, its FREE for members.

The link below will explain all about membership and invite you to join.

In 2022, NZCA brought in a membership fee, so if you went to the Tairua festival, you’re probably already a member.  If not, please join up below. If you’re unsure, email

Event terms & conditions

All NZCA events are for current, paid up NZCA members only. Any registration fee covers the actual costs of running the event only.

Members agree that they participate in NZCA activities at their own risk, and agree to take responsibility for their own safety during those activities. Members agree to hold blameless the event organizers, the NZ Canyoning Association, its executive and its members for any loss, or damage, caused by negligence, act or omission whether consequential or indirect, as a result of participation in any NZ Canyoning Association event.

Members agree that they have enough personal equipment to keep themselves safe/warm and enough skills/experience in aquatic canyons in New Zealand to look after themselves in normal conditions.

You must be at least 18 at the start of the event to participate.

NZCA events are not a cheap guided canyoning experience. They are events for self-sufficient canyoners who at least:

  • have the ability and judgement to manage their personal safety in a canyon.
  • have the suitable equipment to keep themselves safe and warm when canyoning.

We expect each group to have the minimum group safety equipment of first aid kit and emergency communication (PLB or InReach).

It’s ok if you can’t rig pitches, or need someone to make leadership decisions or help you learn a few extra things along the way. 

We just don’t want people who need constant supervision to stop them hurting themselves, folks who need their descender rigged for them, or who rock up in boardies, Teva’s with an ATC and no helmet… 

If you’re unsure if you have enough skill/gear/experience, please talk to us, we’re pretty friendly 😉

We generally won’t offer refunds on registration fees.

Bear in mind the registration fee is set to cover any budgeted event costs. The organisers could be booking venues, buying consumables/food etc, we really don’t want to be refunding people who are just changing their minds…   

If you are genuinely unwell please do not attend: we will give you a full refund. Contact


The Canyons

Check out all the local canyons at


An awesome weekend in perhaps the most popular canyoning destination in New Zealand!

The Arthur’s Pass meetup is the weekend prior:  why not take some time off and make it a 10 day canyoning extravaganza?


Friday 10 Feb 2023

  • From 6 pm: meet and greet at the meetup hub, details below
  • Organise your own canyoning trips for the following day

Saturday 11 Feb 2023

  • Day time: Go canyoning!
  • After the canyon: CHECK, CLEAN, DRY bring your own tub: we’ll try to bring a few more plus extra detergent!
  • 6pm: Come have some nibbles at the meetup hub and stick around for dinner.
  • Organise your own canyoning trips for the following day

Sunday 12 Feb 2023

  • Day time: Go canyoning!
  • Drive home tired and stoked.
  • Before the next canyon, CHECK, CLEAN, DRY

Accomodation, meetup Hub and food

Accomodation and meetup Hub will be at Wonderland Makarora Lodge.

It is your own responsibility to book accomodation: Wonderland has many options from chalets to camping..

Wonderland does have WiFi, but there is no phone reception from Hawea to Haast. 

There are also DOC campgrounds at Cameron Flat, which need to be booked in advance online. 



Normally Makarora only has one location offering food (pub meals) which is Wonderland lodge, however, they are not able to give a definite indication at this stage whether they will have an open kitchen or not for this summer season. 

We will update this space when we have more information, which could be just a few weeks from the event date. The bar should still be open however, but again, will update closer to the date.

Wonderland does have a communal kitchen you can cook in if you are staying there and some chalets have basic facilities as well. 

So at this stage be prepared to bring all your own food!  

Safety Documents​

  • Each group must fill out an activity sheet and sign out at the meetup hub / with the sign out person at the end of each activity.
  • Each group will be expected to have the minimum safety equipment: PLB*, First Aid. 

*cell phone coverage is non-existent between Haast and Hawea.