Glaciers in New Zealand
Maori children
Northland, New Zealand
Queen Charlotte Sound
Routeburn Track
Boating in Taupo
Tongariro, New Zealand
Wellington, New Zealand

New Zealand Rafting and White Water Rafting

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

Tourism Activities: Rafting | Blackwater Rafting | Whitewater Rafting

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!

Send a rafting related E-Postcard to your friends.

Great Rafting Locations:

Rafting rivers in the North Island are mostly centred on the central East Coast areas of the Bay of Plenty (near Rotorua) and Hawke's Bay. In the South Island, the main areas are around the resort of Queenstown and on the West Coast.

North Island Rivers:

Rafting on the Kaituna River in Rotorua, New Zealand Blackwater rafting in New Zealand
  • Wairoa River (grade 5)
  • Kaituna River (grade 5)
  • Rangitaiki River (grade 3 - 4)
  • Motu River (grade 3 - 4)
  • Tongariro River (grade 2 - 3)
  • Rangitikei River (grade 4 - 5)
  • Wanganui River (grade 5
  • Mohaka River (grade 2 - 5)
  • Mangahao River (grade 4 - 5)
  • Otaki River (grade 2 - 3)
  • Hutt River (grade 3)

South Island Rivers:

  • Karamea River (grade 5)
  • Buller River (grade 2 - 4)
  • Gray River (grade 4)
  • Hokitika River (grade 3 - 4)
  • Clarence River (grade 2 - 3)
  • Whitcombe (grade 5)
  • Perth River (grade 5)
  • Whataroa River (grade 4)
  • Landsborough River (grade 3 - 5)
  • Waiatoto River (grade 4)
  • Arahura River (grade 4)
  • Whanganui River (grade 3 - 4)
  • Waiau River (grade 2 - 3)
  • Hurunui River (grade 3)
  • Rangitata River (grade 5)
  • Shotover River (grade 5)
  • Kawarau River (grade 3 - 4)

Grading

So, what's all the grading all about? Rivers are graded on a scale from 1 - 6, based on difficulty:

  • 1 = Easy
  • 2 = Medium
  • 3 = Difficult
  • 4 = Very difficult
  • 5 = Extremely difficult
  • 6 = Unrunnable

Cost

On average a rafting trip may cost between NZ$90 and NZ$200 each. Most rafting companies supply; thermals, wetsuit, booties and woollen socks, gloves and thermal hat, spray jacket, helmet and a lifejacket.

Send a rafting related E-Postcard to your friends.

Tourism Activities: Rafting | Blackwater Rafting | Whitewater Rafting

Featured

 
Relaxing Journeys

Relaxing Journeys

Choose from over 500 New Zealand tours

New Zealand Coach Tours

New Zealand Coach Tours

The largest range of escorted & small group tours

Boutique touring itineraries designed for you

Specialist NZ Tours

Boutique touring itineraries - designed for you

New Zealand self-drive tours

NZ Self-Drive Tours

Explore NZ on a custom self-drive package holiday

Bluebridge Ferry

Bluebridge Ferry

Cross Cook Strait and enjoy Kiwi hospitality.

World Nomads Travel Insurance

Get Travel Insurance

Travel insurance for independent travellers.

Featured

 
Relaxing Journeys

Relaxing Journeys

Choose from over 500 New Zealand tours

New Zealand Coach Tours

New Zealand Coach Tours

The largest range of escorted & small group tours

Boutique touring itineraries designed for you

Specialist NZ Tours

Boutique touring itineraries - designed for you

New Zealand self-drive tours

NZ Self-Drive Tours

Explore NZ on a custom self-drive package holiday

Bluebridge Ferry

Bluebridge Ferry

Cross Cook Strait and enjoy Kiwi hospitality.

World Nomads Travel Insurance

Get Travel Insurance

Travel insurance for independent travellers.