whitewater rafting and kayaking Testimonials

Your free travel guide to New Zealand with independent rankings and information on NZ tourist activities, adventure travel & tour operators.

We decided to take the plunge, literally, down Kaituna falls which is ranked a very scary grade 5, and just happens to be the highest grade possible. I did my homework first and read as many reviews and articles on the subject as I could. Searching under any terms relevant (ie white water wonder) to white water rafting on google. This assisted me tremendously in deciding which company to select. I entrusted my beloved familles safety to River Rats, a company with more than 25 years experience in white water rafting. I was painstakingly particular in choosing which tour company to use and I was very satisfied that I had done everything in my power to tick all the boxes with River Rats safety record and experience. Our son at age 13 only just met the weight requirement, a rule strictly adhered to, and after we were given our wet suites, helmets and had the safety talk we got changed in the provided change rooms then headed off in a bus to our destination. These guys were very professional and gave very clear instructions throughout the whole experience on what we had to do to work as a team and what to expect at every turn along the way. I felt nervous when I was instructed by the instructor to stop worrying about my son and concentrate on my own instructions, not an easy task for a mother. However I chilled out and let them do their job. It was one of the most exhilarating experiences I have ever had the pleasure to participate in. You get very wet, but with our wet suite (which I discovered not all companies provide) this discomfort is kept to a minimum. Your heart repeatedly jumps into your mouth and the thrills are non stop. It also provides a very scenic tour of the river and surroundings which is breath takingly beautiful. River Rats also provides a photographer at a very reasonable cost, located at several different locations along the way that captures all of your very funny expressions and makes a very nice memento to take home if you wish. Overall I would highly recommend River Rats to anyone contemplating a white water rafting adventure, they looked after us well and provided an experience of a lifetime that we will never forget.


Hi there,

Over the recent Auckland Anniversary weekend my family and I were in Rotorua and went on the new family raft down the lower Rangitaiki with your company. We have 2 boys, aged 5 & 7 and they along with my wife and I thoroughly enjoyed the trip.  Being able to let our children experience activities like this is just fantastic since they are the things that become endearing childhood memories.  Your manner and way with the boys made us feel completely relaxed, comfortable and safe.
When I asked my oldest what he liked the most about the trip he just simply said 'all of it!' - that summed it up quite nicely I thought.  Many thanks to you for a great day and I will certainly be telling our friends to put this on their list of must do's. 

Mark Smith
Auckland, New Zealand


Good Morning:

Well, having just returned to the U.S. from our trip to New Zealand, I did feel compelled to write about our rafting trip of July 9, this being myself (Preston Cloyd) and my daughter, Amanda. Neville and Steph were our guides and I just wanted to let ya'll know of their excellence, professionalism, and kindness. My daughter was pretty nervous, never having gone on a 'real' river, but both Steph and Neville were so kind and caring that she lost her fear and we both LOVED the experience. Both are to be congratulated on their professionalism, humanity, and overall kindness. Hey: I've been rafting for over 12+ years in the U.S., Central America, and other places and I've NEVER met guides(people) as GREAT as Steph and Neville. I just wanted you to know this, and to let them know about our experience. Sure hope to get back down there again, and solely because of them, I'd use your services and recommend ya'll to anyone going whitewater rafting in New Zealand.
Please e-mail this to them or print a copy for them and hey: give 'em a nice raise. They deserve it!!!!!! 

Preston Cloyd
Lafayette, La. U.S.A.

Hi there Justin

A BIG THANKYOU from all of us at Carter Plumbing.
You organised a GREAT DAY’s ADVENURE/ACTIVITIES for us.
The Activities certainly pushed us all out of our comfort zones, especially the rafting.  Some of us are dead keen to do another one, probably on the Wairoa.  We’ll get back to you as soon as we’ve picked a date to suit.
Once agains…THANKS HEAPS!!!

Wilma Robinson
J T Carter Plumbers Ltd

Hi River Rats,  

We went white water rafting with you guys on 2nd January 2008 (think it was with Justin). We had a great day. Sarah (9) has now decided we are going back to NZ just to do a higher grade (like we don't have rapids in Australia) and she wants to be a white water rafting tour guide when she grows up. She came home and told everyone that 'it was totally awesome' - with the same enthusiasm when she said it on the day... 

Thanks again
Libby Green

Thank You,

Hey Just wanted to say what a gr8 time we had on the Kaituna river on 19.1.08 with the rats. I had my 3 children who srongly encouraged me as I was petrified and am so glad I did it. The staff were a well oiled machine who were so efficient with all aspects from the pick up to the drop off. Thanks again.

D Kasmer

Hi Justin,
Just wanted to say a big thanks for the rafting trip we did on Monday.  Everyone loved it and it was the highlight of the trip.  Even those that were a bit nervous at the start really enjoyed it.  I hope you can pass this onto the other guides as well, because they were really great.
Warm regards, 

Had a fantastic time tody rafting the Kaituna with Pip and Mark. The emphsis on safety was second to none, the 7 metre drop was excellent fun. Thanks !

Neil and Anna

Dear River Rats,

I want to thank you for the best tour I've ever been on!  I was on the Sapphire Princess and took your Rangitaiki River adventure on December 18th.
The staff was very well organized, had our utmost safety in mind and handled the masses of greenhorn rafters with ease!  My guide, Wendy, was great even though we didn't quite listen to her all the time.  She was very professional, courteous and patient.  This will definitely be an excursion that I will never forget. I will also contact Princess to let them know how pleased I was with this tour.
Wishing you a happy new year and many years of success (so you don't have to get real day jobs)!

Debbie Imker
Peachtree City, USA

On Tuesday 6th of April we had a brilliant white water rafting experience with your company and want to express our appreciation for the skill, encouragement and warmth shown by your guides, Paula and Kelvin. They were completely unfazed by my blindness and showed astonishing patience with my 10 year old. All the family were impressed by their professionalism and by your company’s openness to meeting the needs of a whole range of people.

Thank you
Judy Watson
Somerset, England


Dear Justin & Joann,

I just wanted to drop a quick note to you thanking you again for such a great trip on the Kaituna. You have a wonderful set up and a great river.
I have been working commercially on rivers in the states for almost 20 years now and can spot a good outfitter and guide when I see one. Your company is among one of the best I have had the pleasure to experience.
You run an outstanding and very professional outfit. Your guides were tops and certainly fabulous at what they do.
We have a few of our guests that get down to New Zealand and I will be sure and steer my clients your way if they get down your way.
I have to admit it was pretty intense and great fun. If I was in my twenties again I would be hitting you up for a job.
I hope to see you again and thanks again for the great trip.

Dave Warren
Warren River Expeditions
Idaho, USA


Dear River rats,

We would like to thank you for a most wonderful day. I was so nervous of the tour but Lisa & Nev soon put us at ease with our gear and safety demo. Lisa has a great sense of humour, confident, & both her and Nev are a credit to your company.
We will go back to England with fond memories of our trip on the Rangitaiki River. Good Luck & Best Wishes to everyone.

Don & Ann Willmore
Essex, England


Hi Justin & Co,

I would like to thank you very much for such an exciting, exhilarating, mind blowing weekend with such a professionally friendly team of guides.
You made my son Michaels 16th birthday one he will always remember.
Thanks & Regards

Suzanne Thomas
Auckland, New Zealand


Dear Justin,

We'd just like to take this opportunity to thank you and your awesome team for an unforgettable day.
We enjoyed the unique chance to raft the Kaituna River under the instruction of an awesomely well oiled team such as yours.  Our team could not talk highly enough of your people and how they set the benchmark for our weekend.  What a wicked way to start.

We hope to come back one day and share this experience with others.  Once again thank you from all of us in the Sky City Phoenix Blue Security team.

Yours Gratefully

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