"Forward Paddle, Forward, Forward - now GET DOWN." Today I survived the 7 metre drop of Tutea Falls - the world's highest commercially rafted waterfall!
Rotorua is one of the most popular locations to experience the thrills of White Water Rafting when backpacking New Zealand. Kaituna River is set amongst rainforest and Kaitiaki Adventures offer 3.5 hour return trips to the river - with a touch or Maori culture and history. Tours run 3 times a day so it is easy to tie in a spot of rafting with your travels - whether by bus, campervan, Stray or Kiwi Experience.
The day begins with a briefing, before getting into your gear (helmet, life jacket, spray jacket, booties & wet suits for colder conditions - all provided). As you arrive at the river (as if your adrenalin is not already making your heart pump ALOT faster than usual) - the guides lead you through a Maori speech that shows respect to the people of the river - those who live there now and those of years gone.
Kaituna takes you through 13 rapids - Tutea Falls being the scariest of course! The day begins with a few easy ones as you and your team are guided through the instructions: 'Paddle Forward,' 'Paddle Back,' 'Hold On' - and 'Get Down' - to avoid falling out of the raft! As you drop, slide and bounce through Kaituna River your guides provide a few little history and culture lessons along the way - as well as a reminder to take in the stunning scenery of the rainforest around you and the opportunity to 'surf' the waterfall (this involves the possibility of being submerged head deep into the waterfall). There is also the chance to jump in and swim down the river - with a little help from the rapids of course.
White Water Rafting is an unforgettable experience and Rotorua is definitely the place to do it - whether you are wanting to try the sport for the first time - or are looking for a hit of adrenalin.
Base Backpackers in Rotorua offer Cheap Deals that include your tour and accommodation. To book: www.stayatbase.com/packages/cheap-deals/base-rotorua