The Ultimate Whitewater Rafting Experiences in Queenstown


Prepare to get slapped in the face with water as you paddle down rapids in the most scenic part of the country. Whitewater rafting in Queenstown is the ultimate extreme adventure activity and the best way for thrill seekers to experience the Kawarau and Shotover rivers. RealNZ turn up the good times with summer whitewater rafting in Queenstown. With two experiences to choose from, one being a scenic introduction to rafting and one being more thrilling, there’s a whitewater rafting adventure to suit everyone. 

If you love combining breathtaking scenery with action-packed activities, whitewater rafting in Queenstown is a bucket list item for you. The rapids in this part of the world and unlike any other, so feed your keen sense of adventure with a paddle, an experienced guide and a bunch of other like-minded people. When you discover the crazy adventures that take place on these Queenstown rivers, there’s no going back.

1. Rafting on the Kawarau River

Swim, paddle and cliff-jump in one of the most scenic spots in the world. The Kawarau River rafting has you navigating through grade 2-3 rapids, including the famous 400-metre dog leg rapid – New Zealand’s longest commercially rafted rapid. This route is ideal for beginners or those looking for a more relaxed rafting experience, without compromising on the thrill.

Add a jet boat ride with RealNZ to pack in even more adrenaline! The option to add a 30-minute jet boat ride along the river to get to the rafts is the ultimate extra.

2. Rafting on the Shotover River

To experience true New Zealand wilderness and nature, embark on an adrenaline-filled rafting adventure on the Shotover River. It all begins in Skippers Canyon, with a coach ride along one of the gnarliest roads in the South Island. The canyon feels remote, with undisturbed, steep cliff edges and picturesque valleys of water. The Shotover River, with its grade 3-5 whitewater rapids, promises an exhilarating ride through breathtaking canyons. Paddle your heart out as your guide navigates you through the rapids and the famous 170-metre Oxenbridge tunnel.

3. Safety and inclusivity

One of the best parts about a RealNZ experience is their commitment to delivering a well-rounded experience. This includes prioritising safety without dampening the spirit of adventure. All RealNZ whitewater rafting trips include a comprehensive safety briefing, top-quality gear, and the assurance of rafting with experienced guides. Whether you’re a seasoned rafter or a first-timer, the RealNZ team is dedicated to providing an unforgettable and secure rafting experience.

4. A top Queenstown adventure activity

These whitewater rafting experiences are on Queenstown’s doorstep, so they’re easily accessible for travellers. Remember to bring along togs (swimsuit) and a towel, and leave valuables behind for a worry-free adventure. The total experience time for both rivers is around 4.5 hours, so you’ll have ample time on the water to soak up the exhilaration and the scenery. 

Queenstown, with its stunning landscapes and wild rivers, is the perfect place to try whitewater rafting. The RealNZ rafting experiences on the Kawarau and Shotover rivers offer an unmatched opportunity to immerse yourself in the beauty and excitement of this part of the world.

This article was created in paid partnership with RealNZ.


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