Rafting New Zealand: Testimonials

At Hidden Valleys, we’re passionate about what we do – adventure, exploring, fishing, rafting and hiking trips and tours in New Zealand’s beautiful South Island – and we love sharing it with other people. Here’s what other people think.

“Southy and his crew have taken me and my mates on a number of adventures. One of the highlights would have to be the Waiototo River with spectacular scenery and challenging but do-able water. Southy and his team are highly dependable, his organization is first class and the food superb”

Good afternoon Southy plus the Grey River Guides, BIG BIG thankyou to everyone for a fantastic trip down the Grey River. Southy you have a wonderful organisation going to places, like jet boating, are only accessible by either means, well done. A special thankyou to the four guides-cooks, paddlers, packers, and a good sense of fun and keeping order- well maybe!! on the latter. Having done a few trips overseas tramping you are certainly right up there in every sense. Anyway I just wanted to touch base with a few words of appreciation, thankyou.

With regards Jim Murray.

We were part of Slippery’s crowd who just finished up a trip on the Clarence River with Slee, Sophie, Toby, Eli and Amy. Just wanted to send a note direct to say thanks very much for the experience and to pass on our appreciation for the job your crew did to make the trip such an amazing and memorable one for all of us.
Being on the river, in amongst that stunning landscape, away from it all for 5 days was magic in itself. But the effort the crew went to to make sure everyone had an opportunity to get stuck in, have a laugh, learn something new and get the most out of the trip as possible was really impressive (aside from the really professional job they did technically and in keeping us all safe and extremely well fed!) And the best thing was that it seemed like they were and always had been part of our crowd.
The kids are still buzzing about the trip as a whole and particularly the crew members and I’m sure they will be for a long time to come. If any of the character, enthusiasm and work ethic of your team rubs off on ours, we’ll be super happy. Everyone is dead keen on another South Island adventure – so we can catch up with the crew again according to Jods. But for now we’re just feeling really lucky to have had the trip we did. It was gold.

Many thanks Southy & co, Toni, Jas, Alex and Jodi

Great trip on the Clarence,thanks southy! The crew were professional and competent,we had a great time.
The Clarence valley has numerous old and new slips,we had safe camp sites and did not feel threatened at any time during the trip.the landscape has been significantly altered by the quake,this added to the interest of the trip with the forces of nature well displayed.new rapids were assessed prior to rafting them ,this was achieved effortlessly .although the river grade is not high ,2-3 grade rapids ,it was fun and at times exciting.silt clouded the lower river make it difficult to fish, however deer ,pigs and goats were plentiful.
Overall,we had a lot of fun and felt the slight risk from rock fall in the post quake environment was managed professionally by a cool competent team.i would recommend it to any of your clients as a trip not to miss.

Kind regards, Peter Staub.

What a blast that trip was! We all acknowledge it was not with out risks due to recent siesmec events, however your team of guides did you proud and we came away after 5 glorious days thrilled with the result and also being the first down some newly formed rapids! It really is a very special part of NZ and everyone needs to experience the Clarence river to satisfy their bucket list. The crew fed and watered us well but their confidence and guiding was outstanding. Tt was a real priviledge to go down the Clarence with HIDDEN VALLEYS RAFTING.

kind regards JONATHAN COLE

“This is the second trip we have been on with Hidden Valleys, the first being the Clarence River December last year. That experience got us hooked!
This year it was the Waiau River – another outstanding trip, We can’t speak highly enough of the guides; Slee, Eli, Syd, Johnnie, and Dan. They were simply outstanding. While the scenery is as good as it gets in the New Zealand mountain lands, the care the guides took of us and our fellow rafters was awesome. The guides were great cooks, mighty “camp mothers”, knowledgeable on flora, fauna and geology, entertainers and just pure fun to be around. Their skill on the water and safety measures adopted in grade 3 and 4 rapids was reassuring for the more apprehensive in our group.
The Waiau River had a little more white water than expected, but the professionalism of your team gave everyone the confidence to smash out the hard stuff. I know Kaye’s, being visually impaired, was very grateful for the care that Eli and Johnnie took to make sure she didn’t take a tumble. A big thanks to Slee and his mighty team – we’ll be back next year to take on another of your rivers!”

Lawrie and Kaye Halkett

“Our trip to New Zealand was magnificent. At the beginning of our planning stage, a friend highly recommended Grant South, (Southy) to guide us in New Zealand. Southy’s passion and love for showing people his native country were evident from the start. But Southy made it even better by designing a trip specifically geared to our personal interests and fitness levels. The highlights of our trip were the Peel Forest and Rangitata gorge area. Hiking and flying around Peel Forest, and kayaking and white-water rafting the Rangitata River, should be experienced at least once (or more) in a lifetime. Southy provided the ultimate adventure with a standard of excellence that surpassed any Guide experience that we had encountered before. Southy and his wife Sue made us feel like we were on a trip with trusted friends, doing what they, and we, love. We will return. Thank you Hidden Valleys!”

Anna Sanford

“Hidden Valleys create fantastic adventures! Over the last few years we have been on annual adventures with Southy and his team, exploring the magnificent rivers of the South Island of New Zealand. The Hidden Valleys’ team have made these trips very special for us, our friends and our clients. Totally professional, safe, great company, good cooks always with a story or two and plenty of campsite laughter to offset the day’s adrenalin. We create a new adventure each year with Hidden Valleys and return from these trips inspired.”

Peter Wardell, Branch Manager, Forsyth Barr Ltd

“We have journeyed on four rivers with Southy, the first being the five-day rafting trip on the Clarence River. Inspired by that trip we now book a date and ask Southy “where next?” Yes, it is an adventure, but at all times we feel safe: safe enough to put our trust in Southy and say “yes, we’re on” to the forthcoming rapids or bigger drop. One-day trips are exhiliarating. On multi-day trips, camping beside the river in some remote area is a dream come true. The tents up, the raft guides cooking our dinner, a glass of wine in the hand and campfire yarns…..! Southy’s experience and love of the outdoors to which he takes us all add up to memorable adventures.”

Jandy Tipping

“In addition to Southy’s stories around the camp fire and the great food (generally containing game that Southy has shot and cured himself), Southy and his team at Hidden Valleys’ have a talent for organising a custom made trip at exactly the right sort of level for clients. His trips have more than enough excitement and adrenaline rushes and you get to thinking that Southy and the boys are part of your team until you realise that they are doing most of the hard work around the camp! Southy’s knowledge of the New Zealand outdoors, rivers and game is second to none, and his ability to organise an unforgettable adventure while at the same time keeping you safe is uncanny.”

Bob Foster, Director, Arrow International Group Limited

Useful Rafting Links

The New Zealand Rafting Association

Mangaweka Adventure Company
Offering rafting & kayaking from 1 hour to 4 days. All of our trips are run on the Rangitikei River

Incept Whitewater Inflatable Rafts, Kayaks & Canoes Manufacturer
Incept Marine Ltd captures the spirit of adventure with their top quality inflatable rafts, kayaks and canoes manufactured in Taihape, New Zealand, enjoyed by whitewater and boating enthusiasts around the world.

The Four Peaks High Country Track
A unique walking tramping, hiking experience, is situated on our working high country sheep station 15 kilometres west of Geraldine, and 2 hours south of Christchurch, in the South Island of New Zealand.