About Us

Rafting Adventure Specialist Justin Hutton

The owners 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. 

In 2018 we were very proud to achieve Trip Advisors Hall of Fame which is awarded for achieving a certificate of excellence 5 years in a row and to receive Qualmark Gold Endorsement.

Our Mission

“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.”


In Māori culture there is a strong traditional value known as Manaakitanga. It is the belief that your own well-being, integrity and standing in society (your Mana) can be enhanced by how well you treat your visitors. It is the Māori principle of hospitality -  that every guest is treated with the highest respect and made to feel welcome, safe and comfortable. For New Zealand’s Māori people, looking after visitors and caring how others are treated - no matter what their standing in society - is of prime importance.

While we have staff from all over the world, we believe that encouraging staff to embrace this concept will enhance the experience we give our customers.


We are lucky to live in a very unique and special part of the world and it is an honour to be able show off our unique environment, history and culture by sharing it with our visitors.


Most of all we believe in having fun. If we are enjoying ourselves we hope that this will flow through.



River Rats are proud to have acheived a Gold Qualmark endorsement. Qualmark is owned by Tourism New Zealand. They provide an independent quality audit of the entire business. 

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.
River Rats owner Justin is Chairman of the charter management committee.


Safety and attention to detail are a priority here at River Rats. We have an absolute commitment to safety by everyone who works with us. We are regularly audited by Maritime NZ, Adventure Mark and Qualmark.

Take the plunge on a rotorua adventure


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. 

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 regular inspection.

MAIN PHONE: +64 7 345 6543
HEAD OFFICE: Hangar 14s Rotorua Airport, 837 Te Ngae Road, Rotorua 3074, New Zealand
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