A true 5-day back country experience combining rafting, hiking and camping. Our fully-guided trip takes you into spectacular alpine landscapes crossing the main divide on foot, then rafting down the remote Landsborough River.
Traverse some of New Zealand's most remote and untouched alpine scenery, then raft down the Landsborough River as it flows from Mt Cook National Park to the Haast River in South Westland. On the rafting section of this five day, four night trip you’ll glide past 10,000ft (3000m) mountains, hanging glaciers and through dense rainforests.
The Landsborough is a serious river with numerous rapids varying from Grade 3 – 4+ providing a fantastic rafting adventure in one of the world’s greatest wilderness river runs.
All meals are included and so expect quality hiking food for day 1 and 2. Then for the remaining days gourmet meals are prepared by the guides eg cooked breakfasts, healthy lunches and full three course dinners served with beer and wine.
Accommodation: Day 1 Brodrick Hut, day 2 tents and last two nights sleeping is on comfortable camp beds in our large, permanent tents.
So for an amazing 5-day adventure trip, join us on the Brodrick Wilderness Experience.
Five days/four nights
Departs: Wednesdays 7am, returns approx. 7pm Sunday evening (late Nov - late Mar)
Approximately 2.5 days of hiking
Rafting Landsborough River (Grade 3 – 4+ rapids)
Includes all meals and accommodation in hut/tents
Fully-guided small group trip
Includes 4WD van transport from Queenstown (and helicopter transfer day 3)
Minimum age 15 years
Moderate fitness required (for hiking element), although no previous rafting experience necessary
- Bookings for this rafting trip cannot be made within 5 days prior to departure - Trip operates with a minimum of 4 people - This trip is "on request", once you have selected the number of adults, then add your name/contact details to the form which appears below. We will contact you to confirm that your trip has reached its minimum numbers and then to take payment. Our team will reply promptly, but definitely within 24 hours of receiving your initial request - Suitable for water competent people of moderate fitness - Minimum age 15 years and over - Different booking terms and conditions apply for this trip - All trips are weather, river level and/or water temperature dependent. Please allow at least 24 hours flexibility before and after this trip as delays may result from adverse weather conditions
There is a lot of birdlife in the Landsborough Valley.
If you're lucky, you could get to see the endangered Whio (Blue Duck) or Mohua (Yellowhead) or even a wild deer on the river flats.
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Queenstown Rafting, 35 Shotover Street, central Queenstown.
Transfers from downtown Queenstown to the head of Lake Ohau
Full wetsuit, rafting clothing and safety equipment
Full nature and history commentary from our experienced guides
Scenic helicopter flight between Creswicke Flat to Landsborough camp
Maps and relevant information
Experienced guides and safety kayaker
Extensive safety briefing
Wilderness white-water rafting on the Landsborough River
Transfer/ return travel to downtown Queenstown
What to bring
Sleeping Bag (available for hire)
Torch with spare batteries (head torch is ideal)
Waterproof/windproof jacket (with hood) and trousers
Sun hat, sunglasses, sunscreen
Personal clothing and toiletries (full gear list available) such as:
Sturdy walking boots (comfortable and worn in)
Fleece or woollen jumper
Woollen socks (2 pairs)
Warm trousers, hat and gloves
Bookings for this rafting trip cannot be made within 5 days prior to departure
This rafting trip operates with a minimum of 4 people
Suitable for water competent people of moderate fitness
Minimum age 15 years and over (15-17 year olds must have a guardian travel with them)
Minimum weight 40kgs (88lbs)
Please note the different booking terms and conditions for the Brodrick Wilderness Experience. Cancellation policy: 30 days before departure = full refund less your deposit of $100; Between 14 and 30 days before departure = 50% refund; and less than two weeks - No refund All trips operate dependent on weather, river level and/or water temperature.
This is a remote area, so no phone coverage, no roads and no internet access, just you and nature!
Please allow at least 24 hours flexibility before and after this trip as delays may result from adverse weather conditions
Safety and Risk
Queenstown Rafting is a licenced operator and recognised as a leader in the field of river safety and proactive risk management. With fully qualified guides, we have a safety kayaker on every trip and use satellite telephone communications. Participation in rafting activities involves a degree of risk and the rafting operator cannot absolutely guarantee participant's safety. Clients on guided tours must listen carefully to and follow guides' instructions and adhere to safety requirements.
Queenstown Rafting accepts its legal responsibilities but cannot be held responsible for personal injury or for loss, theft or damage of/to your equipment outside legal responsibilities. Participants will be required to sign a liability form to this effect before starting a tour.
About the Landsborough Valley & River
The Landsborough Valley & River
The Landsborough is a major tributary of the Haast River and is unique in that it runs roughly north/south for 70 kms, parallel to the main divide. Like many other New Zealand valleys, the sides are steep and of glacial origin with large fans and terraces occurring on the valley floor.
The valley is bounded by the Solution Range to the west and its headwaters lie in the permanent snowfields of the Hooker range and the main divide near Mt Cook. From our Toetoe Flat Camp, Mount Dechen and Mount Strachan can be seen up the valley on the left side with their associated Glaciers. Mount Dechan (behind the first glacier) is 8,670 feet high and Mount Strachan is 8,400 feet high. The size of the Glaciers varies year to year depending on winter snowfall, however they remain permanent features.
The Landsborough river is frequently discoloured by fine particles of glacier dust released by snowmelt.
All forests are dominated by silver beech, however southern rata occurs on the upper slopes of Clarke Mound and on Strutt Bluff. Near the confluence of the Clarke and Landsborough Rivers there are occasional strands of rimu and miro and matai as a rare canopy species. Halls totara and kamahi appear as a sub-canopy species throughout.
The valley is one of the richest bird faunas in South Westland. Surveys have identified 36 species. The most numerous species being the Kaka, Rifleman, Brown Creeper, Grey Warbler, Tit and Bellbird. Of special significance are the endanged Blue Duck (Whio) and the Yellowhead (Mohua).
Day 1 7am Day one starts with the drive from Queenstown to the head of Lake Ohau. Depending on conditions we 4WD for about 1.5 hours up the Hopkins Valley to the start of the hike. Enjoy stunning views as you hike to Forks Hut (about 3-4 hours), before climbing up the Huxley Valley to Brodrick Hut (about 3-4 hours). This is where the first night will be spent.
Day 2 After breakfast you will embark on a climb over the Main Divide from the Brodrick Hut to a campsite not far from the Brodrick Pass, where we will set up for the night. Take in the stunning views of Mt MacKenzie and Mt Strauchon – a beautiful spot to absorb your surroundings.
Day 3 Following the MacKenzie Creek, day three is spent descending into the Landsborough Valley. Enjoy spectacular scenery as you hike from open alpine peaks into the native bush. A helicopter will meet you at Creswicke Flat at the bottom of the valley to ferry you to the first Landsborough camp. Here you can relax and enjoy a well earned and delicious three course meal prepared by your guide.
Day 4 Start with a leisurely cooked breakfast before preparing to leave camp for your first rafting adventure. A full safety briefing with information on river protocol will be given before you depart. Today involves a 5 hour river trip ranging from action to the sedate, stopping to enjoy a deli-style picnic lunch above Hellfire Rapid before continuing down the river to Harpers Bluff, our next camp stop. There will be time to relax and take in the scenery, or go for a walk before dinner. After dinner explore the surrounds and maybe even discover a glowworm or two.
Day 5 Another hearty breakfast will set you up for the day’s activities. Board your raft and head down river to Purple Creek for lunch. After lunch, the final leg is a leisurely float to Clarke Bluff (Haast Pass) where we take the rafts out of the water. Here we board the bus back to Queenstown, arriving at approximately 7pm.
Gourmet meals are prepared for you daily. Cooked breakfasts, healthy lunches and full three course dinners, including hors-d’oeuvres plus some New Zealand beer & wines. Note: For Day 1 and Day 2 (eg the Brodrick Pass leg of this trip) there are more limitations as to what we can carry, so expect quality hiking food.
Hors-d’oeuvres accompanied by local New Zealand wines.
Mediterranean Chicken: Cooked in garlic, dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar, honey, and olive oil marinade. Grilled until tender over the open flame.
Rice Pilaf: An inspired Middle Eastern rice dish infused with vegetable flavours. Tomato and Onion Salad: Sliced tomatoes and finely chopped red onions dressed with garlic, basil, balsamic, honey and olive oil vinaigrette.
Fresh Fruit & the secret Dutch Oven Chocolate Cake: A secret Landsborough chocolate cake recipe baked in a Dutch oven within the hot embers of the open fire. Served with a generous dollop of cream.
Hors-d’oeuvres accompanied by local New Zealand wines.
Butterflied Leg of Lamb: Marinated in Balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, garlic, rosemary and oregano. Seared to perfection on an open flamed fire.
Greek Potatoes: Lightly tossed in olive oil, rosemary, salt & pepper. Wrapped together tightly to infuse all flavours baked on hot fire embers.
Greek Salad: Fresh cucumbers, tomatoes, onion and green peppers, dressed with a garlic, oregano, and lemon juice vinaigrette. Lightly topped with crumbled feta cheese and kalamata olives. The perfect complement to the succulent lamb.
Fruit Crumble: Seasonal fresh fruits topped with a nutmeg and cinnamon crumble. Served warm with a drizzle of cream.
The river is spectacular, and the raft is the best seat in the house for 360 degree wilderness views. The rafting is enough to make you feel like you've earned the gourmet breakfasts, lunches and dinners and the rapids spice up the days on the water
Sarah-Jane L - Franz Josef, New Zealand via TripAdvisor
"It was fantastic ..."
It was fantastic and I will be recommending it to all who ask and lots who don't. It was all I hoped it would be and more. The quintessential kiwi outback experience.
Glen Stewart, Auckland, New Zealand
"An amazing journey ....."
The Landsborough River - an amazing journeys through the heart of the Southern Alps.
Alison Ballance, New Zealand
"A thoroughly professional service ...."
Your company runs a thoroughly professional service leaving no stone unturned. We are certainly spreading the word this is a trip not to be missed.
Allan Dyer, Invercargill, New Zealand
"A great experience ...."
There are no recommendations from us for improvements to your service, which really means that we believe the service that was offered was "Top Class" and a great experience.
Murray Acker, Invercargill, New Zealand
Tranquil wilderness ....
The end of a fantastic adventure. Spectacular scenery, amazing wildlife, heart pumping white water, tranquil wilderness, great company, excellent staff. Thanks.