1. The Kawarau River: Kawarau River is perfect for people who are ardent adventure lovers. This river is big and deep just enough to make you experience the best kind of water sports like water rafting and water racing in it. It is not like the usual white knuckle ride, but the water here is suitable for the first-timers. The rapids are graded 2-3 and when the water level is high they are graded till 2-4. If you would like to enjoy the river with your family and children and even for people with mixed abilities, the Kawarau river is the perfect spot for you. People also go there to experience Cliff jumping and Rapid swimming.
Kawarau River is also the longest commercially rafted rapid river in New Zealand. It is 400 meters long and the launch site for the river Kawarau is located east of Queenstown. You need to travel 25 minutes via historic Arrowtown to get to the starting point. The adventurous side of the Kawarau River is at the Shot Over River which is a 40 minutes drive from Queenstown, but becomes inaccessible via road during Spring and helicopters are used to get to the location. All in all, you can enjoy the beauty of Kawarau and Shot Over River throughout the year.
It will be a half-day tour. All the equipment and gears you will need for safety and protection will be provided by the tour guides. It may differ from company to company, but they will provide you with a wetsuit and life jackets for rafting. You will also get to experience hot showers and a sauna after you have done rafting.
Location: 37 Camp Street, Queenstown
2. King River: King River is one of the best places to have white water rafting in Queenstown. You will get to soak in the beautiful views of the rainforest as soon as you reach the location. While you are rafting at the King River, you will also see old mining relics placed around the river, making it for a stunning backdrop. The rapids will give you an exhilarating experience with the chilly water underneath and gorgeous background.
The King river starting point is located at the North-East Murray catchment of the Murray-Darling Basin. It is 1460 meters long and the river is mostly used for irrigating because of the elongated length. You will have a stunning view of fields, dams, and other lush green surroundings while you raft in this river.
The tour to the king river comes to an end with hot showers followed by a tasty lunch. The children under 12 need the supervision of their parents and guides if they are participating in this activity. It is mostly the responsibility of the tour guide to provide everyone with the safety gear, and he will ensure that you are having a safe yet memorable trip.
Location: 22 Esplanade, Queenstown TAS 7467, Australia
Price: Adults $300 Children $240 (10 - 15 yrs)
3. The Mohaka River: Located in the east-central region of Hawke’s Bay, Mohaka River is one of the best places in New Zealand to experience white water rafting and is graded 2-5 for rafting.
When you take this less-traveled route of The Big One, you will experience the gorges escapades at North Island. These gorges are as steep as 200 meters and will give you all the grandeur feels while being there. This is why the spot is also famous for cliff jumping at Mohaka River. Rafting in Mohaka river along with being adventurous is also an amazing experience of exploring the exotic life in the water. The end of the river is the most challenging, but yet the most exhilarating part.
You can spot the endangered blue ducks in the areas with fewer currants. You can also site see the Te Kooti, the site of the fight with the Britishers.
The upper side of the river is used for fishing and hiking, the center and the end of the river is mostly used for commercial rafting and kayaking.
Location: 3408 State Highway 5, Napier 4182, New Zealand
Price: The cost is NZD 185 adults and NZD 175 children under 12 years.