Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT DO THE RIVER GRADES MEAN?
- The international river grading system for commercial rafting has been devised to classify rivers by the overall size and technicality of the water being rafted.
- Grades are from 1-5.
- Grade 1: small regular waves >0.5 metres. Generally unobstructed passage.
- Grade 2: Small to medium sized waves and a few obstacles.
- Grade 3: Fairly high waves 1-2 meters, and the passage may be difficult to recognise from on the river.
- Grade 4: large, irregular waves, with the passage often difficult to recognise and negotiate.
- Grade 5: Very difficult rapids, large irregular waves, difficult to negotiate, which require complex, precise, powerful, and sequential manoeuvring to negotiate the rapids.
- Basically, grade 1-2 is relatively flat water suitable for ages 5 and up, while grade 4-5 is large, exciting and has a greater degree of risk involved.
- It is recommended you talk to us about your adventure level and the type of trip you are after prior to committing to your adventure.
DO I NEED TO BE ABLE TO SWIM?
- On rivers graded 3 and above, we do require you to be water savvy or be able to swim. We have many awesome locations to jump, dive and drift in the river and swimming is right up there with the experience.
HOW CAN I BOOK?
- Make a phone call, send an inquiry via the online form.
- As we require bookings in advance the online inquiry is the best form of contact or should you just have a few questions prior to making a decision on the best trip suited to you call us for a yarn.
WHAT SHOULD I WEAR?
- Swimming outfit and thermal undergarments are a start. We supply all clothing for on river. For overnight trips, it is recommended that you bring a change of warm clothes for around camp and sturdy footwear for exploring.
- A full list of recommended equipment will be supplied upon confirmation of booking
WHAT DO YOU SUPPLY?
- We supply all safety equipment and guides. We can supply tents & Hammocks for camping and also all food for the duration of the trip if required.
- Upon assessing your trip needs, we will supply what is required for your comfort and enjoyment.
HOW DO I FIND YOU?
- We are located in Christchurch only 10 minutes from Christchurch international airport. Due to the large area of operations, we will supply you with all relevant information prior to the trip and can arrange transport for your trip.
ARE THERE PHOTOS OR VIDEOS AVAILABLE?
- We will have various cameras documenting your trip, we have waterproof video cameras, a digital SLR. All video and photos will be available post trip for purchase.
CAN I BRING A CAMERA?
- Of course! If you are planning to bring a digital camera make sure to carry additional memory cards, batteries, and any other extras you will need. Disposable waterproof cameras are also a fun option.
DO YOU SUPPLY FISHING/HUNTING GEAR?
- We can supply various items for your trip, please let us know what you require and we will see what we can do.
- All our fishing and hunting trips require the clients to have experience and or knowledge of safe practices and protocols
DO I NEED A LICENSE TO FISH/HUNT?
- You do require a license to fish in NZ and a permit is required to hunt also. We are happy to sort these out for you.
DO MEDICAL CONDITIONS MATTER?
- Yes, some medical conditions do matter. It is required that you inform staff of any medical condition past or present that you may have so we can best prepare for it. Most medical conditions won't stop you from rafting but we must know of anything that may require medications etc.
WHAT IF I'M PREGNANT?
- On rivers graded 1-2 we allow women who are less than 3months pregnant to participate. On rivers graded 3 and above we, unfortunately, cannot allow participation due to the increased risk related to these rivers.
CAN I RAFT IF I HAVE A DISABILITY?
- This will need to be assessed on a case by case basis.
- On rivers graded above 3, we require that you are able to swim and participate in most areas of raft handling.
- 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.
HOW WET WILL I GET?
- As wet as you like. Dependent on the trip you have booked and the grade of the river will determine the overall wetness of your experience.
DO YOU PROVIDE A FISH/HUNTING GUIDE?
- We can provide a guide for your trip should you require one.
- We have knowledge and experience that we can share should you need some pointers.
WHERE WILL WE STAY?
- We will be camping in 2-3 man tents or Hammock's riverside where we will sit around the campfire and cook, laugh and relax.
There are options to use backcountry huts also
IS THERE A MINIMUM AGE/SIZE FOR RAFTING?
- The minimum age for rafting is determined by the grade of the river and overall risk. We can cater for children as young as 5 years.
- 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.
CAN I WEAR PRESCRIPTION GLASSES?
- Prescription glasses are fine although on rivers graded 3 and above we recommend the use of contact lenses as we cannot guarantee your glasses will be safe for the duration of the trip.
- It is a good idea to bring them along in a sturdy case for activities off the river or relaxing whilst reading your book.
- Glasses straps are also recommended.
IS TIPPING REQUIRED?
- Tipping is not required in New Zealand, but should you think the guides or staff have exceeded your expectations or deserve something extra, feel free to show your appreciation.
WHAT IF I HAVE FOOD ALLERGIES?
- We need to know as soon as possible about any dietary requirements we should consider in planning your trip. If you have food allergies or restrictions, we will do our best to accommodate your needs. However, some specific needs can only be met if we charge you a supplemental menu fee to cover our increased costs. If you are a vegetarian or vegan and you let us know well in advance, we can provide meals for you without additional cost. We cannot always provide for the same diversity or sophistication as our regular menu for special dietary requests.
WHAT'S FOR TEA, BREAKFAST AND LUNCH?
- The meals we serve on our rafting trips are hearty and sumptuous. Our menus feature great camp cooking in a wilderness atmosphere. Expect to eat as well - if not better - than you do at home, without having to do any of the work.
CAN I HAVE A SNACK PLEASE?
- It is recommended that you supply any snack foods that you may want. If the trip you have chosen is catered by us, we will provide a pretty sweet 3 meals per day. Snacks in between will be up to the individual.
WHAT IS YOUR CANCELLATION POLICY?
- All overnight wilderness trips require a deposit of 20% of total price 2 weeks prior to the trip date to confirm, followed by full payment one week prior to trip departure date.
- There will be a 10% fee for any cancellation outside 72 hours (3 days) of departure, and there will be a 100% fee for no-shows or cancellations within 72 hours of the intended departure time.
- If we have to cancel for whatever reason (weather/river conditions) you will receive a 100% refund.
DO I NEED TRAVEL INSURANCE?
- If you are not an NZ citizen it is recommended that you do have travel insurance. You may want to check your cover as should an incident or emergency happen whilst on a wilderness trip, we may require Helicopter assistance to the site, which is not covered in the cost of the trip.
CAN I BRING MY PHONE OR IPAD?
- It is not recommended. The idea of these trips is to leave all our devices, dramas and worries at the road end. It's all about enjoying the beauty and tranquillity of being in the bush.
- Devices such as EPIRBS or Trackers are a good idea should you have one, although we do carry all of these on our trips.
WHAT IF I NEED TO LEAVE DURING THE TRIP?
- We carry communication devices on all trips giving us the ability to contact the outside world should we need to.
- If there is any situation that requires you must leave the trip we will do our best to make it happen.
- It is recommended that you obtain a form of travel insurance that will cover the cost of the helicopter or EMS to collect you from the river.
If you have to leave due to medical reasons there may be a cost involved, however, if you decide that you have had enough or for any other reason you have to leave, the cost will have to be covered by the individual.
HOW LONG IS THE TRIP?
- Our trips range from 3 hours to 7 days, it all depends on what you are after, rafting and relaxing or raft hunting and fishing. We will endeavour to design a trip that will exceed your expectations
WILL I FALL OUT?
- There is every chance you may fall out and a chance you may wish to jump out. Your guide will brief you on the procedures for if you fall out and also how to minimise the likelihood that you will.
- You are supplied with all safety gear including a life jacket which will keep you afloat.
CAN YOU GUARANTEE MY SAFETY?
- Rafting activities involve a degree of risk, while we cannot absolutely guarantee your safety. We have implemented a comprehensive safety plan to minimise the likelihood of any incidents and carry all safety equipment.
DO I NEED TO BOOK IN ADVANCE?
- At this early stage in our new business, we do require bookings to be made in advance in order to organise guides and logistics.
- All overnight trips require a minimum of 2 weeks in advance if not more.
- Day trips require a minimum of 2 days in advance.
- There is sometimes the ability to join an existing trip so we may get you on the river sooner than that stated.
CAN I WEAR MY OWN CLOTHING RAFTING?
- We will supply everything you need for on the river, however, you may choose to wear your own thermal undergarments or fleece under the splash jacket.
DO I NEED RAFTING EXPERIENCE?
- All of our trips cater for those with no prior experience and we can discuss your adventure level and offer a trip that suits your needs.
IS THERE A MINIMUM NUMBER OF PEOPLE PER TRIP?
- All raft trips require a minimum of 3 people. Dependent on the trip you are interested in, we may mix it up and join some groups together to make up the numbers.
WHICH TRIP IS BEST FOR ME?
- When choosing your whitewater rafting trip, consider the location, length of trip, time of year, activity level and age range of your group. Activity levels ranging from leisurely adventure to off-the-chart adrenaline-pumping rafting trips. The choice is yours...
IS ALCOHOL PERMITTED?
- Feel free to bring beer, wine and other alcoholic beverages as long as they are in unbreakable containers. We provide some ice for drinks and a cooler for beer (or where space is limited, beer is “river cooled”). Drinking water is available at all times along with coffee and tea. Drinking alcohol is limited to camping and lodging areas only, and is strictly prohibited while on the water. Alcohol is not permitted prior to the trip commencing and is restricted to end of day activities once in camp or at trip end.
Ph: 0800 RAFTNZ / 0800 723 869
Hours (NZST): 8:00am to 10:00pm Mon - Sun
International Enquiries: 0011 +64 27 437 0503
Members of the New Zealand Rivers Association and
a Department of Conservation concessionaire
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