New Zealand’s mountains feed the many wild river systems that flow through forests, foothills, plains and even caves, giving some very distinctive options for the rafter. Firstly ‘Blue Water Rafting’ for those interested in easygoing, scenic drifting, through peaceful rainforest settings. Then there is the recent phenomenon of ‘Black Water Rafting’ usually achieved onboard a tractor inner tube while drifting through various caving systems experiencing underground formations, eliminating the need for the abseiling (rappelling) etc usually required to explore the subterranean environment - Waitomo and Greymouth are the main locations. And then there is the ever-popular ‘White Water Rafting’ moving quickly over rapids that are found on most rivers in New Zealand. Trip durations range from a few hours to awesome multi-day camping adventures.

 

North Island Rafting - Rafters mainly operate in and around what is known as the central or volcanic plateau in the center of the North Island. The highest peaks here are three volcanoes and two of these provide a significant water catchment that feed those rivers and lakes that surround the Plateau. They are Mt Ruapehu (2,797 metres) and Mt Ngāuruhoe (2,287 metres) with the small lakeside towns Rotorua and Taupo being the most recognized departure points. Also popular are the east coast area’s of the Bay of Plenty and Hawke's Bay.

 

 

Black-water rafting is a roller coaster ride on an inflated inner tube following subterranean rapids taking you down into the bowels of the Earth. The sport started back in the late Eighties in Waitomo.

 

The Nelson/Tasman District has one river that fills all criteria and offers great rafting for all ages - The mighty Buller ticks all the boxes for those seeking both thrills and stunning scenery. This is one of the country's longest and most scenic rivers. 

 

 

There are a large number of rivers that cut through the Canterbury Plains, but only three that are actually commercially rafted, but these three rivers are crackers. The Rangitata, Waimakariri and the Clarence River.

 

 

‘The Coast’ as its known to locals, by nature is a wild place of rivers, rainforests, glaciers and big bold geological treasures. The active tectonics of the Southern Alps have produced truly uniquely wild rivers that deliver a 100% pure rafting experience.

 

Queenstown the so called ‘Adventure capital of the world’ situated in Central Otago has two awesome white water rivers the beautiful Kawarau and Shotover rivers.