Glacier Heli Rafting, whataroa river grade 3-5
Activity provided by
In Ross, West Coast, New Zealand
The best in the West and one of the top 3 in the country! Perfect for seasoned rafters and first-timers this river has plenty of action, awesome scenery, and over 22 rapids (option to walk around the bigger rapids). 4-5 hours on the water with optional abseiling/rappelling, portages, canyoning, rapid swims and cliff jumps. Unlike the other rivers in NZ the Whataroa is glacial fed and always holds its volume so if the water level drops when the weather is dry the excitement doesn’t. This river has deep schist canyons and flows between towering mountains with a glacial backdrop view. We believe this river is the best in the country, it is so good rafting companies from all over New Zealand come to this river for their end of year company trips. It has the perfect combination of scenery and white water and the added attractions of the canyoning, portaging, cliff jump and swim rapids. Free photos and video clips, lunch and snacks provided.Show less
Please book at the Information/DOC centre on the main road in Franz Josef, or contact us directly by phone or email. We raft over 16 different rivers across the coast, so our meeting location varies from day to day. Our most popular river is the Whataroa, found 25 minutes North of Franz Josef. Direction as follows. Drive North from Franz Josef-Drive through the township of Whataroa-approx 5 kms after Whataroa you will see the Whataroa River. BEFORE you drive over the bridge you will see a right hand turn down a gravel road marked as ‘tourist attractions’. Take that right and drive 1 km down the gravel road to the car park. Easy to find!
- State / Region
- West Coast
- Zip / Postcode
- New Zealand -43.386782 170.181981
We start the day with a helicopter briefing as we get into our rafting gear. We fly up river in a Hughes 500 Chopper—designed as attack helicopters in Vietnam, very fast and maneuverable and the pilots love to duck and dive and execute sharp turns and twists. You can opt for a more scenic style flight if you dont want the rollercoaster ride. Once
we’re into the mountains, and at our start point, the guides pump up the raft and give a comprehensive safety briefing and paddle training. We start off easy, while learning to maneuver the raft and hold on through the waves, the further we go down the river, the bigger the rapids get. There are 2 deep canyons on this trip and a few easy portages around big un-runnable rapids, one that includes a short abseil. This river has plenty of rapids with a few grunty ones. If anyone does not want to run the big rapids they can walk around them and watch their friends go through. We stop for lunch at a side stream and go for a walk to explore a waterfall in a side canyon and swim in some of the clearest water in New Zealand.
We have options to walk around the big rapids.
This is our most popular and frequently run trip, and is a huge crowd-pleaser. We frequently get guests coming back for a second trip (we offer super special deals for return business) thats how good this trip is. Dont believe us? See our photos. This river has limited numbers of people allowed on it per season and only 1 raft trip per day is allowed to guarantee you a real wilderness experience. The scenery is amazing. With over 22 rapids this is possibly the best value for money raft trip in the country.
Lunch, snacks, photos and video, all rafting equipment, helicopter ride.
Minimum age 14 and must be able to swim. No previous rafting experience necessary.
If cancelled up to 2 days before date of arrival, no fee will be charged. If cancelled later or in case of no-show, the entire activity price may be charged.