White Water Rafting Reviews

Hi there,

My name’s Andy Newman. I’ve lived in New Zealand for the past 10 years and over that period I’ve had the opportunity to go white water rafting a number of times across a number of different locations and different rafting companies.

Recently, I thought it might be worth taking stock of the number of times I’ve rafted and some of the experiences I’ve had whilst doing it. I also noticed that the prices for similar trips can vary wildly by location and perhaps distilling some of my experiences might help direct people to a rafting experience that they can really enjoy.

As such, I’ve gone through the rafting experiences which I’ve previously documented, and those that I hadn’t previously documented and tried to write a lengthy review of them.

I have then provided a rating of my experience with each company based on 5 criteria:

  1. 1.Adventure - did the experience offer anything to differentiate it from a generic rafting experience? Have the rafting company tried to make the most of their environment to make the trip as entertaining as possible. This could be anything from opportunities for rock jumps, raft stunts or anything to make the trip slightly unique and give it a point of difference.

  1. 2.Guides - the quality of your guide can make or break a trip. Often, rafting guides can be a bit of an acquired taste. Usually livewires with ‘special’ senses of humour, it can be easy to overlook the expertise and knowledge they have. Also, it is well worth asking your guide for the ‘special’; particularly if you’re in a raft with a bunch of friends or experienced rafters. Guides commonly have little tricks or methods to make a trip more exciting. Keep your guide on side!

  1. 3.Excitement - This is all about the quality of the rafting experience itself. Was the white water thrilling? Was there continual white water or were there long stretches of unexciting flat water with barely anything to look at?

  1. 4.Value For Money - As I said, the price of a trip can vary massively. Tourist hotspots like Queenstown, where thrill-seekers congregate can charge through the nose. Perhaps a trip from a less touristy destination could net you a better trip at lower cost; as long as you’re willing to do a bit of planning!

  1. 5.Intangibles - is there anything else to mention which sets this trip apart from any others you might do. Any unique selling point that should be factored into your decision - or alternatively, do you have cold showers and concrete floors after the trip to contend with?

So, what constitutes a good score? Well, firstly, I’m yet to have what I’d consider a “bad” rafting trip. I’ve been battered and bruised, soaked in glacially cold water, clonked in the face by a paddle t-grip and much more besides, but I have still enjoyed every trip. As such, the scores should be taken relatively. If I’ve rated a trip at 10 out of 25, I don’t necessarily think it’s a bad trip, but it just scores fewer points on the attributes above than other trips. On the flip side, anything scoring more than 20 must be pretty bloody good, and I’d suggest if you’re into your rafting that you get onto these trips now!

Hopefully I’ll get the opportunity to add to these reviews before too long!