We, Justin and Joann Hutton, owners and operators of River Rats, wish you an exhilarating and memorable adventure with us. We are committed to providing a safe and happy environment for both our staff and customers.
River Rats are members of the New Zealand Tourism Industry Association and Justin served 5 years on the executive committee of the New Zealand Rafting Association, 3 of these as chairman.
“Our mission is to provide our clients with a thoroughly professional and friendly service while enhancing the wealth of experience of clients and staff alike. By taking the utmost pride in everything we do we will ensure that River Rats becomes acknowledged as the premier provider of quality recreational and tourism products which are in keeping with the continued well being of our natural environment.”
River Rats are proud to be a Qualmark approved operator. Qualmark is jointly owned by Tourism New Zealand and the AA. They provide an independent quality audit of the entire business. We scored 92% in our Qualmark Audit well above the 60% required to be Qualmark endorsed.
River Rats are extremely proud to be the first rafting or kayaking company to be awarded Qualmark Enviro Gold. This award demonstrates our committment to sustainability and preserving the environment we work in.
Rotorua Sustainable Tourism Charter
River Rats are foundation members of the Rotorua Sustainable Tourism Charter. The charter is a step by step approach, working to achieve environmental, social, and financial sustainability in local businesses.
Justin is deputy chair and treasurer of the charter management committee.
Safety and attention to detail are a priority here at River Rats. An absolute commitment to safety by everyone who works with us has allowed us to achieve the lowest risk assesment rating in New Zealand in our annual audit by New Zealand's Maritime Safety Authority.
All River Rats rafting expeditions are led by an N.Z.Q.A. (New Zealand Qualifications Authority) qualified Senior Guide who has excellent knowledge of weather interpretation and risk management. All River Rats guides hold a New Zealand raft guide award, current first aid and swift water rescue qualifications. On the Kaituna River, all trips have two guides per raft.
Each River Rats raft guide is trained to the highest standard and is assessed before being allowed to work commercially. Each guide and driver has a detailed knowledge of the areas and activities encountered in our tours. They are motivated, enthusiastic individuals who add a wealth of personal experience to their detailed training to ensure you have a stimulating and enjoyable adventure with us.
Rafts and Equipment
River Rats provides top quality rafts and equipment that meet or exceed required safety standards. Each well maintained raft is in excellent condition and undergoes a warrant of fitness inspection on an annual basis.