In the midst of the coffee-coloured flood waters tumbling over the 24-metre high Wairua Falls white water kayaker Cullum Parker rides a wave of adrenaline.
The 22-year-old Waikato University student successfully made the massive plunge along with two of his mates, Brayden Simmons and Oliver English, during a recent action-packed weekend in Northland.
The trio from Waikato ventured into the land of the Taniwha following some heavy rainfall in the hope they would get a kayak ride of their lives.
At one time the Wairua Falls, 24km west of Whangarei city, off Mangakahia Rd, were referred to as the "Niagra of New Zealand" because of a resemblance, on a smaller scale, to the famous falls on the Canadian and US border.
They were not disappointed.
"Conquering the waterfall and the free fall feeling are why we do it," Parker said after the plunge.
He has been kayaking and white water kayaking for eight years and rated the Wairua Falls as one of the best he had paddled.
After an initial reconnaissance, the trio established a clear path down the river and the best spot to go over the falls.
"I lined it up and went for it. It's a simple lip at the top and you just had to paddle and go for it. I pencilled at the bottom so it's not much a hit on your back," he recalled.
Water flows were higher than normal due to heavy rain, but made the paddle easier.
"You have to get it at the right level where it's not raging too bad but so low that the rocks get in the way."
Prior to tackling Wairua Falls successfully the Mooloo lads used Purua Falls, near Ruatangata, as a warm up.
After getting a local farmer's permission they lugged their kayak to the smaller, but exciting torrent of water with two waterfalls.
The flow was faster and the area of the falls smaller but the faster water almost fired the paddlers out over the river.
"It was definitely worth the adventure to Northland. We'll come back for sure."
The adventurers captured the paddling expedition using a drone and have put together an amazing footage and posted on the Stezzy Kiwi facebook page.
"One of my main driving factors for the videos is to show people our amazing outdoors, and how much exploring there is to do in our beautiful country," Parker said.
"I hope they motivate people to get outdoors and enjoy it for themselves."