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"To us, trips feel like we're out doing the things we love with a group of good friends and that's exactly how it is at Hidden Valleys."
- Grant South (Southy)

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The Waiatoto River Multi-Day Whitewater Rafting in New Zealand

Grade 2-3

The Waiatoto River multi-day rafting trip is one of our more isolated trips and is set amongst the backdrop of Mount Aspiring National Park. The trip is made even more significant because access to the hanging basins, gushing waterfalls and the vertical valleys that you’ll experience is restricted by the Department of Conservation. Taking part in a Waiatoto River rafting trip is something very few people get to do and certainly one of the best ways to truly soak up the unspoiled magic and untouched world of this valley.

Deep in the heart of South Westland, removed from any sign of civilisation, life regains its perspective as you revel in the best that nature has to provide.

The Waiatoto River drains the Volta Glacier on the western side of Mount Aspiring, then travels for over 40 km out to the ocean, below the township of Haast on the beautiful and wild west coast of the South Island of New Zealand.

A Typical Journey On The Waiatoto With Hidden Valleys

The day before departure, travel to Makarora and stay the night so that you’re nice and close: ready for the start of your amazing river journey. Makarora is an approximately 45 minute drive from Wanaka and one hour from Haast on the West Coast of the South Island.

Day 1

Begin your journey with a stunning flight over the majestic mountains into the mouth of the Drake River, where water cascades over big rock slabs into a deep pool and where you’ll find one of the nicest camp sites you’ll ever see, and one of the most peaceful. Once there, you can paddle, walk, swim or fish the afternoon away, waiting for your guides to prepare your sensational evening dining experience.

Day 2

Raft through a gorge of exhilarating white water stretches in the morning. In the afternoon, paddle and drift through some long, serene, flat stretches of water where you can take in the untouched, spectacular rough country; big, draining waterfalls and high hanging valleys. The calm is interspersed with boulder-choked rapids until you reach camp at one of the many great, grassy river flats you pass. Relax and stretch out in the last rays of the day’s sun, as your hosts prepare an awe-inspiring meal.

Day 3

Begin your day with a couple of good, big rapids before a scenic and tranquil paddle out to the bridge, where you arrive around mid-afternoon at the road bridge south of Haast, the finish point of your unforgettable journey. Relax, confident and content in the knowledge that you’re one of the very few people ever to raft the Waiatoto, and with a heightened sense of admiration and amazement at what Mother Nature has to offer.

Look to stay the night in spectacular Wanaka, or travel north up the West Coast to either Fox or Franz Joseph Glacier, just a couple of hours away.


A reasonable standard of fitness and confidence in water is required: a minimum age may apply.

Accommodation and Getting There

We can arrange all your transport and accommodation requirements.


Two Nights – Three days

Adult = $1850

Children = $1500

Departure Dates

The season runs from October to start of April. Please enquire for more details as trips depend on water levels.