The Wanganui River on the South Island has mostly grade III rapids with one grade IV section. Keep this in mind if you are wanting all the excitement of whitewater rafting without the added danger of grade V. Stop at the natural hot pools (great in winter!) on the riverside for lunch and a relaxing soak in the thermal waters. This trip also involves a 14 minute helicopter flight as there are no roads to access the river, or you can do a 2 day hike in/camp/raft out. No experience necessary, 8 hrs duration.
Raft through some of the most stunning scenery you’ll ever see, and enjoy camping riverside at night. The trip is, at times, quite wild and at several places, the river goes a bit slow… so, are you ready to take the plunge and grab all the action on the absorbing Wanganui River? You won’t be disappointed! Minimum age for this trip is 12 years.
You start at 10:00am for a heli flight up into the valley where you spend about 3-4 hours rafting the mighty river. You'll stop for lunch, a nice rock jump and a nice soak in the natural hot pools. At this point its mainly grade 3, with some grade 2 rapids and two grade 3 rapids. When it is in flood this river becomes a grade 4-5 run.
If you decide to choose the hike in access you'll then meet in the afternoon and start out 2.5 hour trek up (nothing too strenuous), set up camp and make dinner (fully catered and they also provide all the necessary camping equipment). You'll then soak in the hot pools with a glass of wine, and raft out the next morning spending about 3 hours on the water.