The best places in the world for rafting

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Love the excitement and thrill of white water rafting? Us too – funny that! While we’re pretty bias in thinking New Zealand’s Kaituna River, where we raft every day, is one of the best places in the world for rafting, we know there are plenty of other top contenders too.

We’ve put together a list of what we think the best places in the world are for white water rafting. Perfect for a bit of wanderlust inspiration when you’re planning your next trip!

Futaleufu River – Chile

Plunging from glacier-fed lakes in the high Andes of Patagonia, the Futaleufú River is one the worlds most impressive whitewater rivers.  The whitewater season on this river is December to April, when temperatures are warmest and water levels typically range between 340 – 453 cubic metres per second. Surrounded by mountain peaks, it’s a pretty scenic way to get your thrills as well!

Kaituna River – New Zealand

New Zealand is home to the Tutea Falls, the world’s highest commercially rafted waterfall – and one of the coolest things it’s safe enough even for beginners. Raft through steep native-bush clad canyons and over 14 awesome rapids.  Descend over 3 waterfalls, and with every rafting trip, we embark on we pay total respect to the people of the river, Ngati Pikiao by the way of karakia (Prayer). Combining white water rafting with Maori culture makes for a pretty interesting experience.

best places in the world for rafting kaitnua

North Johnstone River – Australia

The North Johnstone River is classed as a grade 4-5 river, making it one of the more challenging whitewater rivers in Australia.  The river’s relentless currents push through the rainforests of Palmerston National Park, creating a deep canyon that is totally inaccessible by any transportation, other than by raft.  You can raft past some of the oldest trees living on the planet, and when the lush greenery gives way to rocks walls, dark basaltic cliffs emerge and waterfalls spring from the banks.  At night, a luminous fungus lights up the canyon walls as fireflies dance through kauri trees and king Ferns. Amazing!

Zambezi River, Zambia

Home to one of the 7 wonders of the world – the great Victoria Falls, the Zambezi is acclaimed as one of the wildest single-day white water rafting trips in the world. With some of the biggest grade 5 rapids in the world, plus the chance to see cheetahs or elephants along the way, this is a rafting journey you won’t forget in a hurry.

best places in the world for rafting zambesi

Sun Kosi River, Nepal

Listed as one of the top ten rivers in the world by National Geographic, the Sun Kosi has to be on everyone’s bucket list. From bright white sandy beaches to Hindu temples, jungles, wildlife, and waterfalls, rafting the Sun Kosi is like rafting in another world. Generally, trips leave from Kathmandu and are epic multi-day adventures.

Inspired? Make sure you come visit us in New Zealand first to raft the Kaituna and the Tutea Falls!

  • Review of: Cath Hagan
    If you havent already been white-water rafting then this is the BEST place in the world to have a go!
  • Review of: Sarah H
    Be prepared for an adventure, the views are stunning, and the sense of awe and accomplishment at the end was amazing.
  • Review of: Tristan P
    A must do! Our guides Cam & Curtis were amazing and really funny. Definitely the highlight of the month.
  • Review of: Caradis A
    What an amazing time! We had so much rafting fun, even though at first I was terrified. Will recommend this to everyone.
  • Review of: Te-Aroha P
    Such an exhilarating experience. We loved all the waterfalls and rapids, but we always felt safe with an awesome safety crew.
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