Experience the adrenaline-pumping rapids of the Shotover River, which runs through Skippers Canyon. Start your half-day trip from Queenstown with a coach drive into the steep canyon via historical Skippers Road, famous for its gold-mining past. The tranquil waters of Deep Creek soon give way to exhilarating white-water rapids, but rest assured you’ll be rewarded with a sauna and hot shower afterward.
Raft the 3-5 graded Shotover River rapids on this exhilarating tour from Queenstown
Wetsuit and safety equipment is provided
Use of hot shower and sauna facilities
Shuttle bus from our Queenstown store to the Rafting Base
Full wetsuit, rafting clothing and all safety equipment
Extensive safety briefing
Shuttle bus to Deep Creek via Skippers Canyon Road
Option to upgrade to a helicopter transfer
Rafting on the Shotover River
Hot showers at Rafting Base
Return shuttle to downtown Queenstown
Food and drinks
Hotel pickup and drop-off
Departure & Return
35 Shotover Street, 35 Shotover Street, Queenstown 9300, New Zealand
Go Orange Shop, 35 Shotover Street,
This activity will end right where it started.
What To Expect
Start your half-day tour at the rafting base in Queenstown, where you’ll board a coach for the scenic drive into Skippers Canyon, a gorge renowned for its steep walls and shear drops. Your experienced driver-guide follows Skippers Road, a historical gold-mining trail that boasts majestic scenery all around.
When you reach the shores of the Shotover River, you’ll receive a safety briefing and learn paddling techniques from your licensed river guide. Then put on your provided wetsuit and life jacket and let the fun begin.
Your rafting trip starts from Deep Creek, gliding over tranquil waters before you reach the white-water rapids of the lower Skippers Canyon. Hold on for an unforgettable ride as your raft bumps over Rock Garden, Sharks Fin, Toilet, Pinball, Jaws, Sequel, Oxenbridge Tunnel and Cascade Rapid.
Back on firm ground, you’re returned to Queenstown where you can relax with a sauna and hot shower at the rafting base.
Meet the coach at the Go Orange store to begin your trip.
20 minutes • Admission Ticket Free
Confirmation will be received at time of booking
Water confidence is essential
Rafting while pregnant is prohibited
Rafting with any heart condition is prohibited
Minimum weight 40kg
Maximum weight 120kg
Minimum age is 13 years. Children aged between 13 and 15 years must be accompanied by a guardian
All travelers between the age of 15 and 18 years require a waiver to be signed by a guardian if they are unaccompanied
You must bring a swimsuit and towel
You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.
For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.
This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.
Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews
Reviews by Viator travelers
Showing 1-10 of 83 reviews
My adult sons and I went on this...
deavila303, Feb 2018
My adult sons and I went on this rafting trip and had an excellent time. The guides were so knowledgeable and so much fun. People in other boats got thrown out but the backup system was so amazing, that you really wouldn't worry at all. We ended up talking to one of the guys and he was from Montana like we were - what are the odds of that happening. From the driver to the guides to the rafting trip itself, all I can say is book it and have a great time. We went in November/December and the weather was perfect. I wish I could remember the guides name cuz we had a blast with him.
Great value for money considering you...
Kathryn M, Feb 2018
Great value for money considering you get 2 hours on the water. Probably our favorite activity in Queenstown
Awesome adventure. Grace was our guide...
Travis B, Feb 2018
Awesome adventure. Grace was our guide for the boat and she was very professional but fun to talk with. A few good rapids made it exciting. Even some time to jump out the boat to float. Hot showers at the end definite bonus!
Great experience! This activity is...
Nathaniel K, Jan 2018
Great experience! This activity is dependent on the water level and the path the river forges. Call ahead of time if you're wanting a particular white water grade 1-5. The day I went was grade 2-3. The 45 min drive from the rafting co. to Shotover River was both intense and entertaining. Skippers Canyon Rd is a narrow road with drop-off cliffs: intense. Thanks to Morgan, for her stories and corny jokes it's all good, kept us entertained. At the river, the rafting orientation was very helpful. Many thanks to our raft guide, Darryn, he is awesome!!! He was knowledgeable and experienced. He was able to instruct us, both at the novice and expert levels we had both. His calm demeanor instilled a confidence in his abilities as well as our own. I particularly appreciated that Darryn reiterated throughout our trip, safety first while helping us navigate the river. The white water parts of the river were exhilarating. We made it thru without losing a man/woman overboard. This is a must do activity. BTW: I am the 63 yr old novice.
Very professional, friendly and fun. We...
Karen H, Apr 2016
Very professional, friendly and fun. We really enjoyed the fact that NZ outdoor activities are not so over-the-top with safety restrictions as in Australia.
So much fun, the trip over Skippers...
jamesnisbet24, Feb 2016
So much fun, the trip over Skippers pass is a treat in itself, one of the ten most dangerous roads in the world, so glad we were not driving. Th crafting trip was excellent, the experts made it a laugh while still making sure the safety elements were well covered in the briefing. My wife went out of the boat more than anyone else, it was her first experience of white water rafting and she thoroughly enjoyed it!
One of the best trips we have been on...
Annice5, Jan 2016
One of the best trips we have been on the water was high with all the rain and this made it more exciting. The whole afternoon ran like clockwork all equipment provided and was effective. The guide was great giving information, great instruction and very safety conscious. I cannot remember his name but he was from the South Island he was friendly and supportive throughout. The rapids were great and everyone in our party of 12 thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
Loved the white water rafting! I was so...
nicola a, Feb 2015
Loved the white water rafting! I was so nervous as im not very fit but I had an amazing time and didn't fall in! Worth every penny!
Great activity. Beautiful surrounds in...
Kathleen Y, Jan 2015
Great activity. Beautiful surrounds in the Shotover river! Experienced guides. Unfortunate accident (dislocated shoulder) to another boat in our group - but handled extremely well, complete with helicopter retrieval of the injured person. The rest of the trip had enough exciting moments. Wish the water level was just a bit higher/stronger but I guess for our level (somewhat of a newbie), it was perfect. It's facing the possibility of true danger that makes it quite exhilarating.
The bus ride to the put-in point was...
Kelly B, Mar 2014
The bus ride to the put-in point was completely frightening! We should have fallen off the cliff a dozen times! The raft ride was good - probably not enough water in the river to make it excellent, but that's no one's fault. Our guide was terrific - a young woman whose name escapes me. Safety was considered a priority with this group, so that was much appreciated. I would do it again if I was in Queenstown again.
We did this trip with 2 young teenage...
The Birds, Feb 2013
We did this trip with 2 young teenage boys and they want to go again!!! Our leader was Michelle, he looked after us really well and made sure we had a spill at the end!! This was really well organised and we felt safe at all times even though the river was high... The drive to get there also provided some great scenery and some hair raising moments. We will do this again if ever we are lucky enough to be in NZ again.
The water rafting was excellent on...
Angela R, Feb 2013
The water rafting was excellent on massive rapids and the guides were all fantastic even the bus ride there was entertaining and extreme.
Awesome and informative trip. Ride to...
Rufiath Y, Dec 2012
Awesome and informative trip. Ride to Skippers canyon was exciting given there are no barriers on that road. Guides told some interesting background stories about the location and during the rafting. Rapids were enough of a challenge and still provided a relief when we made it past them.
Guide was fabulous and made the day...
Smokescreen, Jan 2012
Guide was fabulous and made the day worthwhile even though the actual river ride was less extreme than I expected....the river was too low at this time of year. Nevertheless I would recommend to anyone.
Wasnt as exciting as I wanted it but...
Althea Tan, Dec 2011
Wasnt as exciting as I wanted it but the guide was really safe and gave very clear instructions.
Really well organised. Coach ride to...
Philip G, Mar 2011
Really well organised. Coach ride to gorge along Skippers was awesome - not sure I'd like to drive it myself even in a 4WD let alone a coach towing inflatables. First part very pedestrian but gave guide chance to 'train up' the crew. Never done rafting before but lack of experience no prob. Most rapids tame but the level 4 bits were good fun. The guides really seemed on top of everything in case of any misfortunes but there weren't any. Most of the time it was a very pleasant journey down the gorge. Would like to do some more rafting now.
This was a fantastic tour. Our guide...
pegasusnites, Nov 2010
This was a fantastic tour. Our guide, KC, was very experienced. Everything that you need was provided. The drop off location is right in the middle of town, so close to accomodations.