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Challenge Rafting

Queenstown, New Zealand
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About Challenge Rafting
Challenge Rafting operates exciting half-day trips on the Shotover and Kawarau Rivers in Queenstown. The Kawarau River is suited to first time rafters or those wanting a taste of rafting and is accessed by vehicle. The Shotover River is accessed by vehicle through the historic Skippers Canyon forged out by goldminers during the big Gold Rush. This road is inaccessible in winter and for this reason Heli-rafting is offered in winter on the Shotover River.
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Hours Today: 8:00 AM - 7:30 PM
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Tours and Tickets by Challenge Rafting

Shotover River Rafting Trip from Queenstown

Shoot the rapids on the Shotover River on this half-day tour from Queenstown, a great choice for thrill seekers. Under the supervision of a guide, you'll brave the wild rapids, raft through the Oxenbridge Tunnel, and drop into the Cascade Rapid. Instruction and all necessary equipment (wetsuit, life jacket, spray jacket, booties, helmet) are included. Plus, a choice of morning or afternoon departure let's you fit this tour into any schedule.
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5 hours
from $141.91

Kawarau River Jet-Raft

Experience the best of the Kawarau River with two of Queenstown’s most iconic adventures – jet boating and whitewater rafting!

Race down the Kawarau River before your skilled driver sends you from high speeds into a 360-degree spin.

Continue the excitement with your Kawarau rafting adventure. This grade 2-3 rafting trip is perfect for first time rafters, families and groups. It provides a great taste of whitewater action with plenty of opportunities to splash around, try a cliff jump or even swim through a rapid! The grande finale is the unforgettable 400 metre Dog Leg Rapid which ends your trip on New Zealand’s largest volume commercially rafted river.

Includes:
• Jet boat down the Kawarau River Canyons
• Whitewater rafting down the Kawarau River
• Full wetsuit clothing and rafting equipment
• Hot showers at the rafters lodge
• Courtesy coach transfers
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5 hours
from $141.91
125Reviews0Q&A
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Rachael B wrote a review Sep 2020
1,892 contributions59 helpful votes
+1
My husband and I went on our first white water rafting trip here and fell in love! We had such an amazing time and our guide, Tane, was super fun and comical. We booked this a a combo package (shotover raft swing package) with the shotover canyon swing which I highly recommend as well. This package was $435nzd per adult. It was 100% worth the money as this was one of our FAVORITE things we did in NZ. You can get discounts for booking activities together. You can book in Queenstown at the iSites, online, or at the Shotover headquarters. You get to take a bus ride through Skipper's Canyon on your way to the start point to raft and that is almost more exhilarating than the river itself. It is not for the faint of heart for sure. If you are afraid of heights, make sure you sit on the left side of the bus. For adrenaline junkies like me be sure to watch out the right side of the bus windows. Definitely makes you appreciate life and the skill of your driver. They do sell a photo package for $40nzd which I recommend since it is the only way to have photos of your trip. It is not overly expensive and worth it. We were at the front of our raft and they turned out great. There are not a ton of photo opportunities along the route but they do get some good ones at the start and finish of the trip. I highly recommend sitting in front as this is where most of the action is and you will get more wet up there. We would do this again in a heartbeat and cannot wait to try other white water rafting trips.
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Date of experience: February 2020
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Savvy_Trips wrote a review Mar 2020
Cork, Ireland103 contributions20 helpful votes
Unimog driver was great craic that took us to rafting location. Raft guides were very professional and safety conscious. Uban safety kayaker was very friendly. Very good taster for rafting, more on the mild side. Scenery was stunning. More of a scenic raft experience with like 3 rapids than a full on rafting experience. River used in Lord of Rings - nice to be told that as was not aware when booking.
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Date of experience: February 2020
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Response from TotallyTourism, Marketing Coordinator at Challenge Rafting
Responded Mar 16, 2020
Kia ora! Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us. Our team is happy to hear you enjoyed your adventure with us. Now that you are hooked into rafting, you will have to try our Shotover rafting trip during your next visit to Queenstown!
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Rhiannon R wrote a review Mar 2020
8 contributions1 helpful vote
Incredible trip. High water trip was pretty intense but was so much fun! Views were epic on the drive and down the river. Guides were great, so much energy and you knew you were great hands. Girls at the shop for check in were so friendly and helpful! Can't recommend enough!! One not to be missed in Queenstown!
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Date of experience: November 2019
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Response from TotallyTourism, Marketing Coordinator at Challenge Rafting
Responded Mar 16, 2020
Kia ora, Rhiannon! Thank you so much for your wonderful review. It is great to hear you had a top notch experience, from check-in to the actual rafting! We will be sure to pass on your kind words to the rest of our team.
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Clintoris wrote a review Feb 2020
9 contributions1 helpful vote
The road trip to the Skipper's Canyon was exhilarating itself, with very narrow one way rough roads hugging the side of really steep cliffs, one wrong hairline steer and you plunge to your tumbly fiery death hehe. Our driver Glenn, used to be a rafting expert, now he settled with keeping the seekers safe on the roads. Surprisingly, this road is open to public regardless of what vehicle you are driving. The rafting experience exceeded my expectations; scary yet exciting, refreshing with amaaazing canyon views! 2 1/2 hrs of rafting against some grade 1 to 5 rapids is no easy task, but our instructor Mark (who was very funny and has a very ripped body) made us feel confident and safe. He even made us swim trough some really scary currents which at one point almost made me panic because my partner was so close to the rocks and so far to the raft haha, but we made it through obvi. Wish they'd let customers wear safe helmet action cams or have a photographer along the trail to take more pics.
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Date of experience: February 2020
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Response from TotallyTourism, Marketing Coordinator at Challenge Rafting
Responded Mar 16, 2020
Hi there! Thank you for your amazing feedback, we really appreacite it. We will be sure to pass on your words of praise to Glenn and Mark, who are indeed awesome! We recommend trying out our Kawarau rafting trip next time you are in Queenstown- it is a completely different experience, filled with more incredible views.
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Charles P wrote a review Feb 2020
Orange, California16 contributions13 helpful votes
Excellent and adrenaline rushing event with expert driver (Ben) and jet boat pilot (Lincoln). The drive was somewhat scary as the road was narrow and nothing but gravity on the downhill side, but certainly not as bad as other reviews have made it. The jet boat ridewas exhilarating and we really had a good time i would highly recommend it! Don’t waste your time going on in the boats doing 360s in the lake. Take the shuttle to Skipper’s Canyon and you’ll be very happy with the thrilling experience.
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Date of experience: February 2020
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