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Queenstown Kawarau River White Water Rafting

  • White-water rafting on the Kawarau River
  • Power through grade II to III rapids as your expert guide gives you rafting tips
  • Take in the breathtaking New Zealand scenery surrounding the river
Queenstown Kawarau River White Water Rafting
From USD 155.17
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  • Overview
  • What to Expect
  • Important Information
  • Reviews
Select Date and Travellers
1pm DepartureMost Popular
Departs at 1pm
USD 155.17
8am Departure
Departs at 8am
USD 155.17
This Queenstown rafting trip on the Kawarau River takes you on a thrilling ride over Class II and III white-water rapids. You’ll learn paddling techniques from an expert river guide who leads you down the scenic river, which drains Lake Wakatipu. You may feel like you’re in Middle-earth, as the Kawarau River starred as the River Anduin in ‘The Lord of the Rings’ movie trilogy. After, warm up with a sauna and hot shower. No experience is necessary of this half-day tour, suitable for all fitness levels.
What to Expect
Rafting down the Kawarau River may feel as majestic to LOTR fans as entering the The Gates of Argonath, since the aqua-blue river featured as the setting for the twin pillars in the movie trilogy. 

Departing central Queenstown for the Kawarau River, an approximate 25-minute drive away. On the riverbank, don a provided wetsuit and life jacket, then receive a full safety briefing with paddling instruction from your guide.

Push off and hold on tight as you experience the adrenaline-charged thrill of white-water rafting down twists and turns through Class II and III rapids. Your guide expertly navigates the river rapids so you have time to watch the South Island’s gorgeous alpine scenery pass by.

A sauna and hot shower are your well-earned reward at the rafting base in Queenstown. Your 4.5-hour adventure concludes here, with hot chocolate, beer and snacks available for purchase from the licensed bar.
Reviews (31)

1 - 5 of 6 reviews

Reviewed 29 January 2018
Bit Tame

Took this option as we thought that Shotover may have been too much but wish we had taken the plunge. May be it was the time of year but it was all very leisurely apart from a couple of brief bits. Opportunity was given to...More

1  Thank Steve G
Reviewed 21 January 2018
Such fun!

This was so much fun! We had not done rafting before - so level of rapids was a good start and testing enough for beginners, but not too easy. Guides were very friendly and helpful, but knew exactly what to do. Rafting was great fun...More

Thank iam5695
Reviewed 19 January 2018

We had a great time with our kids. All the guides, instructions and gear were excellent. I want to mention particularly our guide Jack, cool guy, very friendly and enthusiastic. He helped us a lot enjoy and make the most of the trip!!

Reviewed 10 January 2018
Great guides and gorgeous ride!

Having done the Shotover some time ago I was keen to take the kids white water rafting (teens, actually). Kawerau is Grade 2-3 (vs Shotover 3-4) so it is not as wild but there is also less paddling between rapids, which is great on a...More

1  Thank Robyn M
Reviewed 15 December 2017
Forward, Hold on, Get Down!

Haiz, it ended just when we are having so much fun. It was our first rafting for the family and we chose to go for the Kawarau river instead of the more adventurous Shotover river. On hindsight, we should have gone for the Shotover river....More

Thank AnthonyChng
QueenstownRafting, Front Office Manager at Queenstown Kawarau River White Water Rafting, responded to this reviewResponded 2 January 2018

Hi Anthony, Yes! Glad your family has caught the rafting bug, that is the aim of the game. Happy to hear you all had a great time, and next time we'll need to get you out on the Shotover!