Adventure of the Month: October

White-Water Rafting

It's been on "the list" for a few years now so it was about time to cross it off. I was in Rotorua, New Zealand's adventure playground of the North, one weekend in October helping a friend with an adventure race. I took an extra day to extend my weekend and ended up booking a last minute rafting excursion. As I got into the van to be transported to the company's headquarters, I learned that I was the only one booked in (a Monday pre high-season)! To my surprise, they were keen to go ahead with the booking. I immediately thought about my safety, wondering if the raft would be heavy enough, especially as we were meant to raft down a 7 metre waterfall.

Once at headquarters, I changed into a wetsuit, got fitted with a helmet and we were off to the drop-off point along the Kaituna River. Once in the water, I was given a safety briefing and an overview of how the next 40 or so minutes would go and off we paddled. The solution to the weight issue I was concerned about: bring two instructors.

Now this is not an entirely typical commercial white-water rafting experience as there normally would be several other tourists in the raft. I was fortunate enough to get a private experience which meant I got to do a few "extra" things. Unfortunately they weren't caught on camera but included going through rapids out of the raft and sitting on the front of the raft going down a waterfall. A fun way to mix it up!

Photos courtesy of Rotorua Rafting

Here comes the first waterfall
You definitely get a little bit wet
I swear I'm enjoying every minute

Ready to paddle again
Here comes the biggie
So far so good
Wasn't looking good at this stage

Definitely calls for a celebration

Attempting the no-hands approach


Feeling pretty pumped after this one
 Loved my first white-water rafting experience and for that reason, I plan to keep it on "the list" and cross it off at least one more time.

 Look out for my next adventure of the month, on the South Island of New Zealand.


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