Shotover River White Water RaftingA high-octane white water experience outside Queenstown.
A Challenging High Level Rafting Rush
Travel time from Queenstown: 1 hour
Rapid Grades: 3 - 5
Adrenaline-pumping white water rafting experiences are the name of the game on the Shotover River – it’s a section of rapid waterway that flows into the greater Kawarau River that is dotted with numerous rapids and fast flow areas, making it the ideal location for some intense rafting adventures.
The river itself is fast and furious, with six separate sections of rapids that you will encounter during the average rafting trip, as well as the long shadowy distance of the 170 metre long Oxenbrige Tunnel and finish it all off with the thrilling Cascade Rapid that caps off the experience with one last challenge.
The main section of the adventure area of the Shotover River is called Skippers Canyon which was once one of the richest gold-bearing rivers in the world and the cause for being the focus of a bustling gold mining industry during the 1800s. Skippers Canyon itself is famous for its twists, turns, tight corners and thrilling cliff edges all contained within a region that mixes rugged rocky outcrops and canyon walls with breathtaking alpine scenery.
Some of the rapids within the Shotover River are among the most challenging and difficult within the scope of legal rafting courses in the world, with level 5 rapids that can sometimes be encountered (during specific seasons owing to their weather conditions) and thus at least a reasonable level of experience and familiarity with the activity of white water rafting is advised for those looking to take up the challenge – first-timers are typically advised to set out for an adventure on the Kawarau River instead.
Lastly, bear in mind that the temperatures in Queenstown and the colder months of New Zealand can be very chilly, so even with protective clothing you should be prepared to stand up to some cold splashes and weather conditions.