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Book by 7 April 2017 to save 10% off our previously offered price! Travel dates valid from 1 April to 30 September 2017.

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.


  • 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
  • Perfect for first-time rafters
  • Warm up after rafting by relaxing in the sauna

Why Our Insiders Chose This Tour

River rafting in New Zealand is a must-do experience, and this particular white-water rafting tour is good for everyone! It's exciting but not too high of a class of rapids.

What You Can Expect

Queenstown Kawarau River White Water Rafting

Queenstown Kawarau River White-Water Rafting

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.

Customer Reviews

sungkeun l

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2017

Good experience

Mei Leng N

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2016

The only complaint I had.. it was too short!!! We enjoy so much and just wouldn't want to leave...Too fun and hope to do it again

Joyita B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2015

It was snowing the day we rafted but the wetsuit and jackets were very warm. I wish they had provided gloves though. The guides were very good. I'd never done whitewater rafting before and was quite nervous but they made the experience enjoyable and thrilling without the fear factor.

paul k

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2015

This tour was amazing!


5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2015

Rafting is great fun. The staff are excellent. They ensure your safety throughout the journey and make the atmosphere enjoyably and friendly together

Yuanqian X

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2015

This tour was amazing!


5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2014

Excellent, beautiful, thrilling, professional and fun!

Nathaniel B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2014

Did this on our first day in New Zealand. What a great way to start our vacation. Guides and staff were wonderful and everybody had a great time! Parts of the river ran slowly enough to allow us to fall out of the raft for a short while and float along with the river! Highly recommended!

Josefina B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2013

Kawarau River whitewater rafting was upgraded to Shotover, it was indeed unbelievable. Esteban, our guide was superb. I was nervous at first but he made it so enjoyable. Highly recommended.

Sheree H

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2012

Best experience in Queenstown - well organised for an exciting day,

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