The Kaituna River whitewater rafting experience came highly recommended from local New Zealand friends. This particular rafting trip follows 14 rapids down the Okere (Kaituna) River including 3 waterfalls of varying sizes. The real thrill happens about midway through the tour when you take on the 7 meter Tutea Falls; considered the highest commercially rafted waterfall in the World!
During our trip, I attached my GoPro to the chest harness and clipped together some of the highlights in the video below. The complete experience lasted roughly 3 hours but we did spend a lot of time waiting on other rafts or listening to instructions.
The video could have been much more scenic if my raft placement had been better but they assign where you sit based on weight distribution and experience. They do not offer an option to wear the GoPro on your helmet either.
We started off so well on the smaller waterfalls managing to keep everyone on-board.
The tour guide squashed me on the 3 meter waterfall when her footing slipped. Oh well, I was having too much fun to care!
Then we headed into the 7 meter waterfall but 1st a little safety pep talk and a silver fern for good luck. We pulled off to the side of the river to wait patiently for the other two rafts on our tour to complete the waterfall. We were told that 33% of the rafts flip and we were he last raft to go after watching two others pop up with everyone still seated.
This is how they looked going over the waterfall and emerging from underneath.
And here is what our raft looked like…
This was not exactly how we wanted it to go but everyone was okay. Some riders were able to hold on underneath the raft like my husband while I was completely thrown out.
I did not even manage to keep a hold of my paddle but thankfully another rafter caught it for me!
The other rafts on our tour pitched in to help us get situated before moving on. The guide flipped the raft back over and everyone jumped back in for more rapids.
The tour continued on allowing for a rock jump in the calmer area outside the waterfall pool. We were given the option to float on our backs down a calm rapid though many on our raft declined having already taken a swim following the raft flip.
The guides had a little fun with us edging the nose of the raft to the bottom of smaller rapids resulting in forceful water sprays. The front of the raft would immediately sink down and fill with water. We all took turns sitting in the front section for a face full of water.
The tour guides were professional and a lot of fun! We may not have stayed upright on the big waterfall but I think we had the more thrilling experience. No Regrets!