Feel the full force of a grade 3 rapid on epic whitewater rafting excursions in the heart Westland Tai Poutini National Park.
Work as a team to tackle the torrents, currents, and obstacles as you take on one of the world's most exciting whitewater rafting routes in the heart of the Southern Alps. Learn how to dodge mighty rock faces and hold on tight as you speed downriver superhighways on this all-action adventure into the unknown.
Situated in the village of Fran Josef - part of Westland Tai Poutini National Park, the iconic home of the Franz Josef and Fox glaciers stretching from the sea into the mountains, this tour operates in a 1-hour radius of two glacial rivers - Whataroa River and Mikonui River. The 2 meeting points for whitewater rafting are located on the main N°6 highway in small towns and are very easy to find (Whataroa and Ross).
Operating during the summer season, each activity will be organised based on the condition and grade of the river. Varying from grade 2 to grade 3, choose from family-friendly half days, full days and scenic packages starting from groups of 4. Commencing with a safety and equipment briefing, groups will float down a flat water section before entering the canyon - navigating huge limestone gorges, whitewater drops, and big volume rapids. Based on the full day or half day option, you will either return to the main highway or travel downstream for lunch and a second, more daring section of the Whataroa River or Mikonui River. All the higher grade rivers have walk around options and jumps are recommended but not essential.
Conditions & river grading
Grade 1: Flatwater generally unobstructed passage.
Grade 2: Small to medium sized waves and a few obstacles.
Grade 3: Fairly high waves and the passage may be difficult to recognize from on the river.
Grade 4: High, powerful, irregular waves, with the passage often difficult to recognize and negotiate.
Grade 5: Very difficult rapids, High-powerful-irregular waves, difficult to negotiate, the extreme for commercial operations.