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Whitewater Rafting Guide To River Trips

Shotover River

Location: Skippers Canyon, near Queenstown

Shotover river rafting trips float through Skippers Canyon, sometimes called the Grand Canyon of New Zealand. The Shotover River, which is a tributary to the Kawaru River, is filled with breathtaking scenery, challenging rapids and intriguing gold rush history. There is no question why a Shotover river rafting trip is the South Island’s most popular whitewater adventure.

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Level of Difficulty: Class III-IV / Intermediate

Starting at Deep Creek, Shotover river rafting trips begin with peaceful waters before entering the Lower Canyon and a long section of exhilarating rapids formed by large stone slabs in a narrow gorge. Rock Garden, Miner’s Revenge, Squeeze, Anvil, Jaws, Sequel, Toilet, and Pinball are among the exciting rapids found on this run. Just before Cascade, the last big rapid, rafts float through the unforgettable 557-foot Oxenbridge Tunnel.

Season: Year-round

River trips generally last 4-4.5 hours including transfers and shuttles. Shotover River rafting trips are available throughout the year. Helicopter transfers are optional in spring & summer, but required for river access in winter months.