White Water Rafting in New Zealand – Tongariro River

Thinking of where to get your first white water rafting experience? You need to read on.

My first white water rafting experience happened in New Zealand. Of all the places around the world, this is one of the most gorgeous place to raft at. There are plenty of white water rafting spots in North Island but I zoomed in towards the Tongariro River since we were doing a road trip around North Island.

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Being a freshie to white water rafting but with a love for water sports, my natural instinct went toward the Grade 3 Tongariro River adventure by Rafting NZ. I did some research online and found the company to have one of the best trip experiences by adventurers. To top it off, they have won a couple of tourism and safety awards. It was in the middle of winter but was assured that the wet suit would do its job of keeping warm. We chose the meet-up point at Turangi as our rafting base.

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It is a 4 hrs base to base journey with about 2- 2.5 hours on the river. 

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We started off in the hanger-lookalike warehouse to change into our rafting suit. It came with hot showers and heated changing rooms.

There was an area to safe-keep your belongings. At this point, bring only what you need during the rafting trip with you such as a GoPro camera. Each raft is assigned to a license rafting instructor and they did a great job in ensuring the team members coordinate their moves well.

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A mandatory group shot!

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During the bus ride to the river, the guide gave a good history of region, including some very interesting mountain tales.

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Gorgeous scenery along the way

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Halfway through, we came to a spot where we were able to ‘cliff jump’. The water was cold but I thought to just try since we it was my first time rafting. I could not forget the feel of cold water rushing into the suit! Freezing good! Shortly after, we took a break along the river. We were given some River Dog (hot dog) and hot chocolate, what a perfect combination to keep us going!

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Spot the heaps of people lining up for the jump!

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Navigating through rapids was the fun portion of the rafting trip. 14kms of 60+ rapids.

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Row, Row, Row your boat. Gently down the stream.

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Plenty of rest stops along the way for selfies like this

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Thanks for Luke at Rafting NZ for making this adventure possible. This is definitely my first rafting experience and not the last! As always, all opinions are my own to provide my readers unbiased content.

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Bryan is a 20-something postgraduate and writer. He shares his travel writings and photography with individuals from all over the world. He travels for food, culture and view of the world. His favourite travel philosophy is 'Travel for the Journey, not the Destination'.

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