Member / Vendor Login

Plan My Trip

White water Rafting

Country
New Zealand
State
New Zealand (General)
City
Queenstown
Type of Location
Adventure Spot
About Location

From a quiet drift through the forested wilderness to a white-knuckled, wide-eyed journey down turbulent rapids, rafting covers the full adventure spectrum.

The mountains of New Zealand's interior feed a myriad of fast flowing rivers that run through the forests to the sea. Grade 1 rivers offer relatively tranquil waters, while Grade 5 is regarded as an extreme sport. Trips ranging from a couple of hours to five days are led by qualified rafting guides who comply with established safety codes. All gear and special clothing is provided. Due to safety reasons, some operators may apply an age restriction.

Rafting rivers in the North Island are mostly found in the central east coast areas of the Bay of Plenty and Hawke's Bay. In the South Island, you'll get the chance to try rafting around the resort town of Queenstown, on the West Coast and in Canterbury, a short drive from Christchurch.

Some operators offer a combined helicopter and rafting experience. You can also try black water rafting through underground caves. New Zealand offers it all!



Advertisement

How to Reach

By Air

All major New Zealand airlines provide scheduled daily air services services to/from Auckland and Christchurch. Flight time (non-stop) from Auckland, the North Island's gateway, is 1 hour, 50 minutes. Flight time (non-stop) from Christchurch, the South Island's gateway, is 45 minutes. Air New Zealand offers connecting services throughout the country to Queenstown via an initial stop in Auckland or Christchurch.Non-stop international flights are available year-round from Sydney, Australia and during winter from Brisbane, Australia.

By Coach

Daily services to/from Christchurch, Dunedin, Invercargill, Te Anau, Milford Sound and the West Coast.

Self Drive

Allow at least 5.5 hours from Christchurch, 3.5 hours from Dunedin, 2.5 hours from Invercargill, and 5 hours from the West Coast glacier region, plus any additional time desired for stops. Major international and all national rental car and campervan companies have offices in Queenstown.

Key places to visit
Shotover River, Kawarau river, Landsborough Valley, Skydive


Advertisement



Places to Visit

Shotover River

Take the winding road up into Skippers Canyon, famous for it's incredible twists and turns, tight corners and exciting cliff edges. The journey into the canyon is part of the whole experience as the road has hardly changed since the days when the canyon was mined for gold. The Shotover River runs through Skippers Canyon and was one of the richest gold bearing rivers in the world.

You will then meet your river guide before beginning your white water rafting journey through the spectacular Skippers Canyon. Rafting from Deep Creek over peaceful waters at first, you'll head towards the exhilarating rapids of the lower canyon. The adrenalin pumps as you paddle Rock Garden, Sharks Fin, Toilet, Pinball and Jaws to name but a few. Raft the 170m Oxenbridge Tunnel before shooting Cascade Rapid to complete your adventure. Before returning to Queenstown, enjoy a sauna, hot shower and snack at Cavell's Rafting base.

Kawarau river

The Kawarau river is ideal for first time rafters or suited to those looking for a more relaxed rafting experience. There’s plenty of white water action, but also time to sit back, relax and enjoy the spectacular New Zealand scenery. Keep an eye on the other rafts though, as there’s a good chance of a water fight.

It’s the Kawarau River that starred as the River Anduin in Lord of the Rings. The grandeur of the canyons imparts a feeling of paddling through the heart of Middle Earth. Whether you are a Lord of The Rings fan or not, this rafting trip offers an insight into the beauty of the New Zealand wilderness.

Enjoy the unforgettable 400m long Dog Leg rapid. New Zealand’s longest commercially rafted rapid.

Landsborough Valley

Paddling and camping your way down the magnificent Landsborough Valley, you will glide past 10,000 ft mountains, hanging glaciers and through dense rainforests. A perfect mix of tranquility and pure adventure. Perfect for those looking to combine an adventure before or after their Milford track walk or Routeburn Track hike.

The Landsborough River is unique, running 60kms parallel to New Zealand’s Southern Alps before meeting the sea at Haast in South Westland - a World Heritage Area. Its upper reaches are protected wilderness and provide spectacular glaciers, bush, river and mountain scenery.

This three day, two night trip will give you incredible views of the stunning New Zealand scenery, there is something new to look at around every corner.

Skydive

Combine two amazing adventure activities in the one day, Freefall 9,000ft with Nzone Skydive and top it off with an adrenaline fuelled white water rafting adventure on the Shotover River.

Skydive- Experience the ultimate adrenaline rush of a 9,000ft tandem Skydive over the stunning views of Queenstown. ‘BE BRAVE- even if you’re not, pretend to be. No one can tell the difference.’

Right Time to Visit

January - May

Temperature

June - August -> 0(°C) - Spring
January - March -> 20(°C) - Summer


Advertisement



View Map