Tuesday, 11 November 2008

White Water Rafting In Rotorua, New Zealand

I always wanted to try white water rafting on my round the world trip and was told Rotorua was the best place to do it. The rapids are located just outside the main town which is relatively large compared to other towns in New Zealand. I was picked up as part of a group and taken out to the river where we had basic training and got kitted up in wet suits and helmets. We were all given our own oar too so you can get actively involved in the rowing; you are not merely a spectator.

I thought the course at Rotorua was incredible although admittedly I did not have anything to compare it to. The surroundings were lush and green and the water crystal clear and fresh. The leader of our boat explained there were 14 sets of rapids and 3 waterfalls ranging in height from 3 - 7 meters. Initially I could not imagine how we were going to descend down a 7 meter drop in the raft but found out it was just about possible if you held on tightly and take a deep breath. It can be hard work to stay inside the boat as you need to wedge yourself in the raft, keep your head down and hold onto your oar all while taking the drop so the fitter you are, the easier you will find it.

The leaders were definitely into white water rafting and always up for a good time. They let us get out the raft and float along in the rapids and provide excellent shots of you rafting and descending the falls. You are in the water for roughly 30 minutes and it is definitely action packed from the word go. Also, just to add extra drama, you disembark at the 'point of no return' as if you miss it you are heading for a 20 meter drop.

White water rafting in New Zealand has really got me into the sport and I would love to raft in other locations around the world. I hear there are some good opportunities in Canada and on the Colorado River.

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