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South Island

River Rafting

Our most recommended South Island River Rafting

Queenstown: Kawarau River Rafting and Jet Boat Ride

1. Queenstown: Kawarau River Rafting and Jet Boat Ride

Raft the Kawarau River, perhaps better known as the River Anduin in Lord of the Rings, for a great half-day activity in Queenstown This is a perfect introduction to whitewater rafting for first-timers. There will be plenty of rapids action plus time to sit back and enjoy the spectacular scenery. Catch the free shuttle from the centre of town out to the raft base where you will be fitted out with all your gear. From there, head back into the heart of Queenstown to catch your jet boat transfer. Take on the beginning 22 km of the Kawarau river at 95 km/h with thrilling 360-degree spins as you arrive at the rafting station. Your rafting adventure covers 8-kilometers of the river. Take on grade 2-3 rapids and perhaps the occasional grade 2-4 rapid, when there are higher water levels. These are usually easier to navigate and there is less risk of falling out. Enjoy flat stretches of river between the rapids where you have the opportunity to race your friends on the other rafts or jump out and swim. Keep an eye on the other rafts, as there is a good chance of a water fight. Conclude your adventure by rafting the longest commercially rafted rapid in New Zealand, the Dog Leg. This is a 400-meter long and grade 3/4 rapid. Add some extra excitement by joining in on the optional cliff jumping section, or sit back and watch your friends take a leap.

From Queenstown: Shotover River Whitewater Rafting Adventure

2. From Queenstown: Shotover River Whitewater Rafting Adventure

Start the tour with a fun drive to the rafting take-off point via Skippers Canyon. The 4x4 drive is an experience in itself; the narrow dirt road hugs the canyon's sheer cliffs and offers spectacular views over the river you'll soon be soaring down. At the rafting base, get fitted in all your gear and listen to a full safety briefing.  Begin your whitewater rafting adventure from Deep Creek. Cruise over peaceful waters before heading towards the exhilarating rapids of the lower canyon. Feel the adrenaline pumping as you paddle through the rapids and into the darkness of the historic, 550-foot Oxenbridge Tunnel before shooting over Cascade Rapid to complete your adventure.

Frequently asked questions about South Island River Rafting

What are other things to do than River Rafting that are worth visiting in South Island?

The other unmissable things to do in South Island are:

What are the best South Island River Rafting?

Which South Island River Rafting are taking additional COVID-19 precautions?

These South Island River Rafting are taking additional COVID-19 precautions:

Other Sightseeing Options in South Island

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What people are saying about South Island

Overall rating

4.9 / 5

based on 9 reviews

Fantastic rafting experience, great guide, although they were light hearted they all knew what they were doing. Good briefing great fun, jet boat was good but the rafting was brilliant

had a great time and really enjoyed both the jet boating and rafting. loved the photos being free and part of the package and not being an extra that you have to buy!

Great experience!

Well organized and friendly staff! Jet boat ride was cool, but rafting was amazing! Would definitely recommend this to a friend! A must!

it was very fun. The speed, power and intensity were all the best.

Very well organised with great attention to safety procedures