Departing from central Queenstown or Wanaka, you’re transferred on an approx. 45-minute drive to the mighty Kawarau River. You’ll go white-water sledging — aka riverboarding or hydrospeeding — on a half-day adventure like no other.
After beginning with a safety briefing, your expert guide teaches the required skills and demonstrates how to use the high-flotation sled or riverboard, purpose-built for buoyancy in highly aerated water.
When ready, don your provided wetsuit, life jacket, helmet and booties, and rest your chest on the sled while tucking your arms into each side handle for good grip and control. You’re also equipped with fins for propelling and steering to help you navigate the exhilarating waterway.
Then it’s time to hit the water. The Roaring Meg section of the Kawarau River covers 3.7 miles (6 km) of high-volume rapids that are graded 2–3. Your instructor guides your small group down the river, choosing the best route to maximize your white-water sledging experience.
Just when you think it’s over, you’re taken back to the start point to run the rapids again, returning to Queenstown or Wanaka as a fully qualified white-water sledger.