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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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Waiau River Heli-Rafting on the West Coast of New Zealand

Grade 2-3

If you’re not completely convinced about the merits of a multi day trip, then nothing comes much better than a Waiau day trip. The day trip gives you plenty of quality rafting on a river renowned for its crystal clear waters and big trout.

A Journey On The Waiau River With Hidden Valleys

As the Waiau is in close proximity to the alpine town Hanmer it is just a short drive over Jacks Pass down into the Clarence River valley and the St James and Molesworth high country stations.

From here the helicopter will transport you to the Waiau headwaters, starting off the days rafting with some nice Grade 2 and 3 rapids before arriving at the legendary ‘Narrows’ where the whole river is forced through sheer rock walls only metres apart, a tight fit for the raft.

With the ‘Narrows’ now behind us we can relax a little stopping for lunch at a scenic spot.

Prior to joining the Hope River we travel an hour through an amazing gorge with waterfalls dropping into more sedate rapids.

Our take-out point further down the river, through more rapids is again a short drive from Hanmer, where we recommend you spend the night to top off an experience of a lifetime.


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

Prices and Options

Heli-In = $850

Multi-Day = $1500

Ada Pass Hike-In = $1750