Rafting New Zealand
Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE IN GRADES
Download our River Grade document to find out.
DO I NEED TO BE ABLE TO SWIM
For rivers grade 2 & 3 you do not need to be able to swim. For rivers grade 4 & 5 you need to be water confident. For example if you fell out of the boat you need to be physically able to swim.
DO I NEED RAFTING EXPERIENCE
No you don’t. Everyone can enjoy rafting on either river with no rafting experience. You will be given training and a full safety briefing before the trip starts. All of our qualified and certified guides will be able to give you any extra personal instruction you may need while in the raft.
WHAT DO I NEED TO BRING
You will need a swimsuit and a towel. There are hot showers after the trip. Anything valuable should be left behind at your accommodation or there are secure lockers at our base.
DO I NEED TO BOOK IN ADVANCE
Yes we recommend that you do, especially during the peak seasons because space can be limited. This is also true for mid winter and school holidays.
HOW CAN I BOOK
You can book any our trips through our website. You can also do it in person at the Peter Pans Travel in Taupo (29 Tongariro Street, Taupo) or at our River Base in Turangi (41 Ngawaka Place, Turangi), or on the phone 0800 865 226.
CAN I BE PICKED UP FROM MY ACCOMMODATION
We can transport you from any location in the Taupo township.
Complimentary transport is limited and is only provided for select trips.
We can also pick you up from accommodation in Whakapapa Village, National Park and Ohakune Villages. There is a transportation fee and spaces are limited. Please call us for more information.
CAN I WEAR MY JEANS OR CLOTHES UNDER MY WETSUIT
Generally no. We recommend you only wear swim wear as the wetsuits work best when they are close to your skin. Any clothing such as cotton t-shirts or jeans under the wetsuit prevent it from working effectively and will actually make you colder. The only exception to this is if you have specific merino wool or polyester thermal underwear, however we find that most people are warm enough with the wetsuit and additional layers that we provide given the specific conditions on the day.
WHAT SHOES SHOULD I WEAR
We provide wetsuit booties for when you are on the river, so you can wear your normal shoes to the rafting base.
CAN I WEAR MY SUNGLASSES OR PRESCRIPTION GLASSES AND CONTACT LENSES
Yes you can, however we do recommend a sports strap or tie for glasses, (we sell these in-store) Because of the nature of the river, we can’t guarantee the safety of your glasses so if you can do without them we recommend leaving them behind.
CAN I BRING MY CAMERA
Yes you can, although we recommend that cameras are left behind at the hotel as we cannot guarantee their safety against damage even if waterproof. However if you would still like to take a camera on the rafting trip, we recommend the cheap disposable waterproof cameras which we also have for sale.
For safety reasons Go-Pro or similar cameras are allowed if on a wrist or chest harness mount.
Note: we do not allow head mounts as they have caused injuries to other passengers in the past.
We are an official Go-Pro retailer so any applicable attachments required can be purchased instore.
We also provide a professional photography and video service – products are available for purchase upon completion of your trip.
ARE THERE PROFESSIONAL PHOTOS TAKEN I CAN PURCHASE
Yes there are. There will be a professional photographer with you at the start of the trip and again at the last rapid taking photos. You will be able to view and purchase the photos at the end of the trip when you are returned to the shop.
We also provide a video service were you can purchase interactive HD footage from your adventure.
Enquire when booking if you are interested in purchasing footage from your trip.
IS THERE A GUIDE IN THE RAFT WITH US
Yes, every boat has a qualified and certified rafting guide that will not only keep you safe as you go down the river but entertain you with stories and information about the area you are travelling through.
DO I NEED TO TIP MY GUIDE
Tipping is not expected in New Zealand, however if you feel you would like to show your appreciation that is totally at your discretion and will always be appreciated.
CAN I GO IF I HAVE A MEDICAL CONDITION
Some medical conditions may prohibit you from whitewater rafting but most will not. It’s very important however that if you do have a medical condition that you let our staff know prior to rafting, this is not to stop you from rafting but to inform your personal guide so that they can help in the unlikely event that something does go wrong. If you require medication for your condition (eg. asthma inhalers), you will need to bring that with you in case it is needed.
CAN I RAFT IF I AM PREGNANT
For rivers classed grade 2 we allow you to participate if you are 5months pregnant or less. For rivers classed grade 3-5 Company policy is no, we don’t allow anyone who is pregnant to participate. There is a risk that a pregnant person could sustain a blow to the abdomen either through falling out the raft, from a paddle or from another client or someone falling against them.
CAN I RAFT IF I HAVE A DISABILITY
This will need to be assessed on a case by case basis and we recommend you call our staff and have a chat with them about your specific needs. Generally we are able to accommodate most people if we are given prior notice.
Ultimately though your involvement will be at the discretion of the trip leader and guides who will be able to assess the conditions on the day and inform you of any potential safety concerns.
WILL I GET WET
Yes you will, but you will be in a wetsuit. White water rafting is a great activity for rainy days as you are dressed to get wet anyway!
WHAT IS THE POSSIBILITY OF FALLING OUT OF THE BOAT
That often depends on the river levels but there’s always a chance that participant’s may fall out of the raft. Usually this happens when the guides instructions are not followed. The guides are trained to deal with this situation. There is a full safety briefing before you commence your rafting trip explaining what to do if you should fall out of the boat.
ARE THERE SEATBELTS IN THE RAFT
No but you will be instructed by your guide how to brace yourself in the raft to minimize the chance of falling out.
IS THERE A MINIMUM/MAXIMUM AGE OR WEIGHT LIMIT
There is no maximum age or weight limit for rafting however the person must be able to fit our gear and safety equipment. We do have a number of extra large wetsuits but ask that you are physically fit and able to swim.
Ultimately it will be at the discretion of the trip leader and guides as to who is appropriate to participate in the rafting trip.
I SEE YOU RAFT IN THE WINTER AS WELL; WILL I BE COLD
The temperature of the water varies depending on the time of year, however you will be provided with waterproof booties, a full length 3mm wetsuit as well as 2 fleece tops, spray-jacket and life jacket. You will also be given a fleece hat and woolen socks with neoprene gloves to keep you warm from top to bottom. These should keep you adequately warm and the ‘paddling action’ will certainly keep the blood flowing. We have additional woolen socks and gloves for the winter rafting.
WHEN IS THE NEW ZEALAND WINTER
June – September
WHAT HAPPENS IF IT IS RAINING
White water rafting will still go ahead if it’s raining, you are going to get wet anyway and the river is normally at its best then. We will not refund if you decide to cancel at short notice due to rain or bad weather.
WHAT IS YOUR CANCELLATION POLICY
In winter we require 24 hours notice for cancellation to get a full refund, after that a portion of the cost is retained.
In the Peak Season from November – March we require 48 hours notice for cancellation and with group bookings of over 10 persons we require 7 days notice of cancellation of the trip.
If booking numbers change we require 48 hours notice of cancellation or full price of persons that don’t show will be charged.
ARE THERE TOILETS
We have toilets available at our Base in Turangi
CAN MY FRIENDS OR FAMILY WATCH WHILE I RAFT
Opportunities for Friends or Family to view you rafting are very limited due to the remote nature of the rivers.
For our Tongariro Family Fun trip you can view from the river track and Major Jones Bridge.
IS THERE SOMEWHERE TO BUY FOOD
We have Energy Snacks, Superb Espresso coffee and cold beverages available.