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“Must do when in Rotorua!”

River Rats Raft & Kayak
Book In Advance
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$78.85*
and up
Kaituna River White Water Rafting from Rotorua
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$104.38*
and up
Rangitaiki River White Water Scenic Rafting from Rotorua
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$89.36*
and up
Lake Rotoiti Guided Hot Pools Kayak Trip
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: River Rats have been offering quality adventures for over 35 years. There’s something for everyone, from a gentle grade 2 scenic raft trip suitable for participants as young as 5 years old, through to full on grade 5 action featuring the world's highest commercially rafted waterfall. Kayaking is available as freedom hire or a guided tour. Paddle the local lakes to a secluded beach or enjoy a hot water swim only accessible by boat.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Activities for young children
Reviewed March 11, 2014

Thanks for such an awesome trip!!! Loved the Kaituna rafting trip and would recommend to anyone wanting to have an exciting afternoon on a beautiful river. The guides were great, funny and professional and I felt safe the whole time. Great value for money and well worth getting the photo package at the end especially if you are with someone else. Thanks!!!

Thank stef W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (510)
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322 - 326 of 510 reviews

Reviewed March 9, 2014

My girlfriend and I had a great time. Our guide, Tim was very helpful and funny. All 3 guides seemed very professional and knowledgeable. I am planning on going back for one of the "harder" rivers because I had that much fun.
Well worth the money we paid.

Thank Tom W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 4, 2014

We had an absolutely amazing time rafting with River Rats and would definitely recommend you go along and use these when you are in Rotorua. The course is really exciting and a good mix for abilities and beautiful scenery. It was really good value for money and the photos from Lynsey were really good and she really got us excited about doing it. We were a novice group of rafters so their explanations and support was really appreciated.

Most of the team were fantastic especially Josh who really got his boat excited and working as a team and also helped get us involved and have a bit of banter and fun. It was let down by our guide (Neville)who shouldn't be a reflection on the experience as a whole but just doesn't fit in with such a great team. He generally seemed bored and not really wanting to make an effort to get involved with our boat and he also belittled another one of the guides (Josh) in front of the groups probably because he
was jealous that he was a much
better guide than he was. Also he didn't warn us about the rapids coming ahead at the swimming part and he held us under the waterfall for way too long without thinking to reassure us that we were "stuck" as it is a very scary situation to be in for someone who might be fearful of being held underwater.

Overall it is a fantastic experience so please go ahead and use this company as they are fab and you'll have a fantastic time if you have Josh or one of the other guides! Thanks for a great day!

Thank Pixieemma4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RiverRatNZ, Owner at River Rats Raft & Kayak, responded to this reviewResponded March 19, 2014

Thank you for your positive comments regarding the company. Its great to hear you enjoyed the trip and felt it provided value for money.
It is disappointing to hear that you feel one guide let the company down. We have spoken to the staff member concerned. Its a releif that it didnt detract from the trip to much and thank you for the 5 out of 5 rating.
The staff try and have fun on the water and there is often banter between them.
I have spoken to Josh, he has been friends with Nev for years and certainly never felt he was being belittled. We have spoken to all the guides about how these thing come across to clients and reminded them that although they may know it is a joke it may not come across that way.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 3, 2014

Going out for a rafting adventure with River Rats on the Kaituna river has been on of the highlights of our trip so far. We had an excellent guide (Tom) who had a great sense of humor and did a fantastic job of teaching us how to raft down the river in a safe way. Getting the chance to raft through a 7m waterfall was the experience for a lifetime, plus you can't beat the scenery and fresh air. Would highly recommend this company and experience on your next visit to Rotorua!

Thank superiorcold
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 3, 2014

My partner & I have done many adventure activities in NZ, & neither of us were particularly impressed by this company, which was pretty much due to the guide (Neville) we were allocated. He clearly was very experienced, but we had the sense that he had done this so many times that there was clearly no enthusiasm left and we almost felt a sense of disdain. We had the impression that he did not particularly want to talk with us, & the only thing that appeared to amuse him was manoeuvring the boat under a waterfall, asking me to sit at the front of the boat & basically water-boarding me by holding the front of the boat under the waterfall, which was flowing very quickly for what seemed like forever. This seemed to bring him great amusement. The water was flowing so heavily into my face that I could not breathe through my nose, & obviously could not open my mouth because I would have swallowed half the river. My partner was telling him to bring the boat out from under the waterfall because I had run out of air, but he did not do this until he saw fit. I wanted to punch him in the face when he finally 'allowed' me out. A little later on, he encouraged us to get out of the boat for a swim in this 'safe' section of river, which we did. However, he did not tell us that we would be going over a rapid without the boat. It would have been nice to know so that we could have made an informed decision about whether we got out of the boat or not. We are not wusses - we have rafted numerous other rivers in NZ & Nepal. It was not pleasant spending an hour rafting with someone who's amusement seemed to be at the paying-guests' expense. I would not recommend this company at all - there are plenty of other providers out there who no doubt could offer a great experience with enthusiastic & interested guides who do not see their customers as a source of amusement.

3  Thank missechsinclair
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RiverRatNZ, Owner at River Rats Raft & Kayak, responded to this reviewResponded March 4, 2014

Thank you for your review. I am shocked that you were so disappointed with your trip and your guide and apologise that the trip did not live up to your expectations.
I will discuss your review with the guide concerned and also with the rest of the staff.
What you describe as manoeuvring the boat under the waterfall is what we call 'river surfing' where we paddle the raft back into the rapid and surf.
Most of the customers describe surfing the rapids and having the chance to swim a rapid as some of the highlights of the trip, however it is not for everyone and guides should be discussing with customers first what they are going to do and giving them the option of whether they want to swim the rapid or be in the front of the boat while surfing.
At the current water levels the boats surf particularly well and once in surfing it is not always possible to get the boat straight back out if the customers are not enjoying it.
We will certainly use this review to remind guides to tell customers before they go surfing that if they are not enjoying it and the boat does not come straight out that they can move back in the raft away from the water coming into the raft.
There is a review only a few before yours that is very complimentary of Neville and I am confident he just had a bad day, however we cannot afford to have a bad day in our industry and we will certainly use your review to remind all staff of this.

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