New Zealand is renowned for its surging, powerful rivers banked by lush green wilderness, making them ideal for white water rafting adventures for thrill-seekers of all levels.
The nearby Tongariro River provides pristine, clear waters and a ride through native flora alongside dramatic volcanic cliffs. Rafters see abundant wildlife including lots of trout a well as the endangered native whio whio or blue duck. There’s an option to walk up a side stream to jump off the hidden Puketarata waterfall into the river below.
Professional river guides will lead the adventure and provide transfers as well as top-quality river apparel including a wetsuit, fleece sweater, life vest, swimming shoes and a helmet. Private tours are also available on request and include a gourmet Huka Lodge picnic hamper.
For more experienced or courageous rafters, the Tutea Falls on the Kaituna (Okere) River near Rotorua is the world’s highest commercially rafted waterfall, dropping an almighty seven metres. There is plenty of time to build anticipation and practice newly acquired skills in the rapids with two smaller waterfalls to descend before the big drop.
There’s a reasonably high chance of the boat flipping at the base of the waterfall, however the rapids are followed by calm water, so there is ample time to right the boat and get all the rafters back in! Safety is paramount and ensured by expert guides. This tour is best suited to active travellers 13 years and over.