White Water Rafting with Rangitata Rafts, New Zealand
New Zealand is known as an adrenaline junkie haven of the world. From the sky to the sea, there is an adrenaline filled adventure for everyone.
Rangitata Rafts is a great white water rafting experience just a short day trip outside of Christchurch in the south island. It involves a raging river (class 4-5), rushing through a fantastic glacier valley. Not only are the rapids some of the best in the world, comparable to Alaska, Canada and the Himalayas, but it is also some of the world’s most uniquely beautiful scenery.
The glacier valley which the Rangitata River carves through is in the heart of the Southern Alps about an hour and a half outside of Christchurch. The bus ride from Christchurch was full of rolling hills and deer farms and was actually quite relaxing considering my Dad and I were about to go white water rafting for our first time in some pretty intimidating rapids. Upon our arrival, the staff at Rangitata Rafts could not have been nicer or more accommodating. The carefree spirit that circled the Rangitata Rafts family was wonderful and made me wish we could stay in their guest houses for a night or two. Before I knew it, we were through the safety rules, into our wet suits and life jackets on our way to the mighty Rangitata.
“A must do NZ experience. Forget 10 seconds of adrenaline in Queenstown have three hours at Rangitata Rafts.” Comment from Rangitata Rafts survey
I will admit I was nervous … I was barely 21 years old in a foreign country about to white water raft with my Dad down class 5 rapids. If my Mom would have been there, she would have admittedly opposed this idea, however, Mom was back in the States and Dad was ready to rock this river, so I pretended that I wasn’t scared and jumped in the raft. As we started down the glass like river, I became extremely calm. The scenery was nostalgic and then I heard it…the rapids ahead. Now, I would write about my thoughts, feelings, or emotions as we went through the rapids however, to be honest…I don’t think I was thinking or feeling anything at all. I was paddling my little heart out, listening and trying to execute the “lean left/lean right” directions that were coming from our guide.
Fast forward to calm waters…HOLY CRAP WAS THAT FUN! Yep, that was the only thought I had! It was incredible!! As we floated down the river a bit, we paddled over to land were we were told there was a rock we could jump off of into the river. Now, I cannot remember how high the Rangitata guide told us the rock was, but once I got up there I remember it being way higher than I anticipated. Again, not believing that my Father was promoting jumping off this rock, I took a deep breath and figured I better jump before he freaks out. Again, I have no recollection of my thoughts before hitting the water, I know I did lose my stomach on the free fall, but didn’t feel sick at all when I popped up out of the water. The guide through me a rope as the current swept me away and I was pulled back to the raft. Again…HOLY CRAP THAT WAS FUN!
This was the start of nearly 7 months of adrenaline adventures throughout New Zealand and Australia from white water rafting, to canyoning, to scuba diving, to sky diving and bungee jumping in the same day!
Thank you Rangitata Rafts…you brought out the adrenaline junkie inside me
Rangitata Rafts offers three different rafting experiences, meaning no matter what your adrenaline junkie level may (or may not) be, there is truly something here for everyone. The day we were there the staff told us that they had an 82-year-old woman raft with them earlier in the year! 82!! Your rafting options are…
The Spectacular Rangitata Gorge: This is the option we choose. It is a class 1-5 rapids rafting experience. I would recommend it to anyone!
The Family Fun – Lower Rapids: This will be much less intense than the above. It is a class 2 rapid.
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~Smiles Across the Miles~