Our experience and destination pages should provide you with all the information you need to make a decision or plan your trip.
In case you haven't found the information you were looking for, we've put together some of the most common questions our customers ask about our trips. If you need more specific answers, please contact us directly.
Aside from the location and scenery, there are a few differences between the rivers. These include the grade of rapids, the amount of rapids rafted and the swimming ability needed by participants.
Shotover River - Is graded 3-5 (5 is the highest grade commercially rafted in the world), therefore it's a more exciting river to raft, harder to navigate and with a higher risk of falling out the boat. There are more rapids on the river, compared to the Kawarau including a section through the 170m long Oxenbridge tunnel. It is a requirement that participants be able to swim on this river.
The drive to the start of the Shotover river rafting trip is via Skippers Canyon which is an experience in itself. The narrow dirt track road hugs the sheer cliffs of the canyon and gives spectacular views over the river you will be rafting.
Kawarau River - Is usually graded 2-3 (however occasionally grade 2-4 at higher water levels), therefore easier to navigate and with less risk of falling out. There are flat stretches of river between the rapids where you'll have the opportunity to race your friends on the other rafts or jump out and swim, also watch out for the other rafts as there's always a good chance of a water fight breaking out.
The Kawarau River is a much deeper and bigger river, flowing through some spectacular Central Otago vineyards and the trip ends with a 400 meter long, grade 3/4 rapid.
No. Company policy is that we don’t allow anyone who is pregnant on grade 3 or above rivers. There is a risk that a pregnant person could sustain a blow to the abdomen either through falling out the raft, from a paddle from another client or someone falling against them.
Yes, but on different sections of the rivers.
The Skippers Canyon Jet operates on the top part of the Shotover River.
Queenstown Rafting paddle the next section which is where the rapids are. Shotover Jet operates on the section after the Oxenbridge tunnel and the Kawarau Jet operates on Lake Wakatipu, the Kawarau River and the lower Shotover River.
Thunder Jet operates on Lake Wakatipu and up into the Kawarau river.
Queenstown Rafting paddle a section of the Kawarau River further down from where any jet boats operate.
You will see different scenery as no jetboat or rafting is on the same stretch of river, except a 500m stretch after the Oxenbridge tunnel as you float to the rafting base on the Shotover River.
All prices and transactions on the Real Journeys website are in New Zealand dollars (NZD). This is specified on the Terms & Conditions page.
Our staff are trained to deal with incidents and in case of an emergency you should listen to their instructions.
We have a portable defibrillator on board each of our overnight cruise vessels (Milford Mariner, Milford Wanderer and Fiordland Navigator).
In addition to this we also have portable defibrillators at the following locations:
• Milford Sound Visitor Terminal
• Real Journeys Visitor Centre, Manapouri
• Cavern House (Te Anau Glowworm Caves)
• Colonel’s Homestead Restaurant, Walter Peak
• TSS Earnslaw Vintage Steamship
• Stewart Island Ferry (Bluff - Oban - Bluff).