Before now, white water rafting was something I had heard a lot about but had never actually participated in myself. I had been told what a thrill it was, and how it was a ‘must-do’ during my travelling year.
I was delighted to confirm the booking with Kaitiaki Adventures, based in Rotorua, on the north island of New Zealand.
I had previously heard a lot about the company and how they are known as being one of the best for white water rafting and sledging. After learning so much from other people and finding out about their individual experiences, I really couldn’t wait to get on the water and it experience it for myself.
We made our way through to their hut-like reception area which really set a feel of nature within rainforest surroundings. We were given all necessary equipment including a wetsuit, spray jacket, thermal jumper, life jacket, boots and a helmet. I immediately felt fully eq
There were about 14 participants in total, and we all loaded onto the bus and headed off to the river, which immediately struck me as being yet another stunning example of the sights New Zealand treats us to. An untouched river, the water was an incredible deep blue colour, and the trees and plant-life which sit on the bank reflected brightly on the surface alongside bright rays from the sun.
I love being in this perfect environment. It isn’t only a treat for the eyes, but also other senses. I could smell the fresh scent of the rainforest greenery, and the cool freshness of the air touched my face. The sound of the water gushing in the rapids was unmistakable. I knew, soon enough, I would be rushing through them in a boat, paddling my way through with my fellow rafters.
I boarded the boat with Jack, and a guy and girl who were travelling with each other from America. We were joined by two of the instructors, Jimbo and Hemi, who had a typical Kiwi humour and were clearly very experienced in their field.
We practiced working together on forward and back paddle, and were quickly greeted by a fast flowing rapid, which threw the boat about, it certainly added a further buzz.
We tackled more rapids and small waterfalls (one and two metre in height). We then approached the big one. The seven metre waterfall. This was it. What was going to happen? How high would it feel? How much would we submerge? Would the boat flip?
We were talked through the position we should hold when going down the waterfall. As we approached, we all jumped into this position and braced ourselves whilst holding on tightly. I could hear the water gushing at the bottom, cras
We dangled over the edge and boom, over we went. It all happened so quickly. We submerged fully and I held on tightly, and we were quickly up and back on the surface of the water. Jimbo and Hemi both said we weren’t submerged for long, and the nature of the water flow worked in our favour. The water was cold and very refreshing!
I felt an immediate burst of adrenaline and even a sense of achievement. I had done it. Despite the nerves, I had fully immersed myself in the experience and enjoyed every minute of it. Often, it is the nerves that really add to the thrill of activities such as this.
The thrills weren’t over, though, as we were invited to jump into the water and flow down a rapid by ourselves. I jumped in an
Overall, this was a stand-out activity for me during my time in New Zealand. It creates a mixture of special emotions in unique and beautiful surroundings. It is true New Zealand, and really is a must for anyone visiting Rotorua.