New Zealand’s best class 5 rafting on the Rangitata River

Have you ever considered white water rafting? Read on if you’re interested in a truly unique experience on the Rangitata River, ‘the river from the sky.’

Guest starring: Rangitata Rafts

Your day at Rangitata Rafts begins before you arrive at our base. En route to our lodge in the middle of nowhere you will drive through the historic Mt Peel Station. You’ll see rolling hills, snowcapped mountains, native bush, deer, cows and of course sheep!  ‘Kiwi’ traffic jams, or thousands of sheep on the road, may make you a few minutes late but that’s no worries – as a company we are never in a rush. Upon arrival you will be checked in by one of our friendly and funny guides. Tea and coffee is provided and you can just chill, look at the scenery, check out some photos and mentally prepare for what lies ahead.

Once everybody has arrived, is well fed and happy, the real adventure begins! The guides will chat to you and explain how the rest of the day goes and what to expect from them and the mighty Rangitata. Then it’s time to squeeze into some sexy wetsuits and all the rest of the gear we provide you to ensure you stay safe and warm whilst paddling through glacier-fed water. The bus ride to the top of the gorge is another beautiful drive – you will leave the lush green of Peel Forest and find yourself in the real Middle Earth!

Rangitata Rafts group photo - Stray New Zealand

The Rangitata is big, blue and beautiful! The real adventure starts after you’re divided into teams and have a quick photo shoot with your new guide in front of the two-thumb mountain range. First up it’ll be training – it may feel a little like drill practice, but not to fear because it will pay off in the white water. The Rangitata is very unique as it builds up to the huge rapids with a few easier ones that will let you test out your new found skills. If you decide it isn’t your cup of tea you have the choice to hop out and walk around the class 5 rapids – we understand that big white water isn’t for everybody!

Class 5 rapids with Rangitata Rafts - Stray New Zealand

Some of the adjectives our guides use to describe Roosters Tail and the Pinch, our class 5 rapids, include: “Chunky, ballsy, bouncy, foamy, fluffy, epic, frothy, surgey and wavy.” The class 5 sections on the Rangitata are some of the coolest in NZ! It is here that you will experience the crazy adrenaline rush and realize what your guide really does for a job! When you make it to the bottom of the Pinch with your crew and guides you will have that awesome feeling you can only get from doing something slightly crazy with new friends in a beautiful location.

Group bonding with Rangitata Rafts - Stray New Zealand

Once you’re through the big stuff you will have one last opportunity to make use of your wetsuit with an optional swim section. You will ‘safety step’ off a rock into the freezing water (that’s what those thermals and fleeces are for!) and swim down a small section of the river – on a beautiful day there is nothing better.

Rangitata Rafts rafting through Middle earth- Stray New Zealand

Sadly your day at Rangitata Rafts has to come to an end – and what better way than with a hot shower, a Kiwi BBQ and the photos taken throughout the day up on the big screen. You can even buy a well-deserved beer!

So if you want to spend a day in a beautiful ‘middle of nowhere’ location, we have you covered. Want to do some exhilarating white water rafting? We have it sorted! If you’re hungry or thirsty, no worries it’s all included. If you’ve never rafted before, we will teach you. Want to see more sheep? It’s all here! Nervous or afraid, we will look after you. Want the most unique rafting experience New Zealand has to offer – come and join us for a day on the Rangitata!

Speak to your Stray driver guide to book your own adrenaline pumping ride down the class 5 white water rapids of the Rangitata River!

LisaT profile picture

Lisa T

Originally from Delaware, USA. Favourite Stray stop: Blue Duck Station (New Zealand). Fun fact: her knowledge of sci-fi, Disney and British literature make her the Queen of Trivia.

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