1. New Zealand
  2. Otago
  3. Queenstown
  4. Kawarau River

Queenstown: Kawarau River Rafting and Jet Boat Ride

Product ID: 185378
Is it your first time rafting? The Kawarau River is ideal if you are looking for a more relaxed rafting experience. Enjoy a scenic, playful, and fun adventure including a thrilling jet boat ride to the launch site.
About this activity
Duration: 4.5 hours
Printed or mobile voucher accepted
Instant confirmation
Live tour guide
Cancellation policy
Cancel up to 2 days in advance for a full refund

Select participants and date:



  • Experience the thrill of whitewater rafting on the beautiful Kawarau River
  • Enjoy plenty of whitewater action and time to soak in the spectacular scenery
  • Take on New Zealand's longest commercially rafted rapid
  • Discover stunning scenery used as film backdrops in major motion pictures
  • Start your adventure with a thrilling high speed jet boat ride
  • Challenge yourself with heart-pumping optional cliff jumps
Full description
Raft the Kawarau River, perhaps better known as the River Anduin in Lord of the Rings, for a great half-day activity in Queenstown This is a perfect introduction to whitewater rafting for first-timers. There will be plenty of rapids action plus time to sit back and enjoy the spectacular scenery.

Ride in a jet boat to the rafting start point. Here, you will be fitted out with all your gear and benefit from a full safety briefing. Your rafting adventure covers 8-kilometers of the river. Take on grade 2-3 rapids and perhaps the occasional grade 2-4 rapid, when there are higher water levels. These are usually easier to navigate and there is less risk of falling out. Enjoy flat stretches of river between the rapids where you have the opportunity to race your friends on the other rafts or jump out and swim. Keep an eye on the other rafts, as there is a good chance of a water fight.

Conclude your adventure by rafting the longest commercially rafted rapid in New Zealand, the Dog Leg. This is a 400-meter long and grade 3/4 rapid. Add some extra excitement by joining in on the optional cliff jumping section, or sit back and watch your friends take a leap.
  • Roundtrip bus transfer between Queenstown and the rafting base
  • 40-minute jet boat transfer (optional)
  • 2-hour rafting experience on the Kawarau River
  • Experienced rafting guides
  • Extensive safety briefing
  • All rafting and safety equipment including wetsuit, wetsuit jacket, spray jacket, paddle, helmet, wetsuit booties, and life jacket
  • Hot showers
Not suitable for
  • Children under 13 years
  • Pregnant women

Prepare for the activity

Meeting point

Please note, this tour meets at different meeting points depending on the date. Oct 1 – Oct 21, 2019: Go Orange Shop, 35 Shotover Street, Queenstown Oct 22, 2019 – May 31, 2020: 37 Camp Street, Queenstown. June 1, 2020 – September 30, 2020: Go Orange Kiosk, Steamer Wharf, Queenstown

Open in Google Maps ⟶
Important information
Know before you go
• This activity is not suitable for pregnant women, those less than 13 years old, those less than 40-kilograms, or those with a heart condition or taking heart medication
• All participants must sign a waiver form
• Rafters under 16 years old must have a guardian travel with them and all rafters under 18 years old must have a waiver form signed by a guardian
• Rafters must be water-confident, able to swim in fast-moving water, and agree to carefully follow instructions from the guides
• Participation in rafting activities involves a degree of risk and the rafting operator cannot absolutely guarantee participants' safety
• The rafts are large enough to carry six or seven people plus your rafting guide
• The rafting operator reserves the right to refuse participation and cancel or amend any trips due to river, road, or weather conditions or insufficient numbers in the interest of all rafters’ safety
Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 11 reviews

Review summary

  • Service
    4.8 / 5
  • Organization
    5 / 5
  • Value for money
    4 / 5
  • Safety
    5 / 5
Sort by

Great fun!

Very well organised and safety a high priority. All staff were friendly and knowledgable. Arrived, signed in and taken by bus to be kitted out; wet suit, wet suit jacket socks, boots and gloves. Also waterproof jacket, life vest and helmet. At jet boat given buff, beanie hat and goggles, so no problem with staying warm. Jet boat great fun. White water rafting was so much the highlight though and included optional cliff jumping and swimming down the more gentler rapid. Staff have your safety as their priority at all times. Paddling through the rapids was brilliant fun and would highly recommend.

Read more

July 5, 2019


If you do one thing in Queenstown, go white water rafting! Don't be scared of the cold, they give you all the gear you need to keep warm. It was honestly an amazing experience and my favourite part of my trip. The Go Orange team was amazing (Tuscany was our guide and he was awesome), and my friends and I had so much fun. Do it.

July 1, 2019

Fantastic rafting experience, great guide, although they were light hearted they all knew what they were doing. Good briefing great fun, jet boat was good but the rafting was brilliant

February 29, 2020

Organized by

Go Orange

Product ID: 185378