White water rafting in Turangi

Picture this, you’re cruising down a fast-moving river, paddle in hand, listening intently to the instructions the guide in the back of the raft is giving you and the handful of lifejacket-clad people around you.

“Forward 2!” he yells, and you all paddle twice in unison, propelling the raft over a boulder in the river and sending droplets of cool water up in the air all around you as you bound over it.

The sun is on your face and there’s a cool breeze tickling the surface of the water.

And then, suddenly you see it straight ahead – churning white water. Your heart begins to pump a bit harder, and you grip your paddle just a little tighter, waiting for more instructions as your approach the rapids.

You wanted adventure. And it’s there waiting for you, just downriver. 

Now where did you picture yourself being? The Grand Canyon perhaps? Maybe Costa Rica?

I’ll bet you weren’t picturing yourself in New Zealand. 

New Zealand is known for a number of adventure sports that will truly get your adrenaline pumping – bungy jumping, jet boating, skydiving, and plenty more. But one that people often forget about is white water rafting.

No, New Zealand’s North Island is not as well-known for rafting as some other parts of the world, but it does absolutely have raging rivers and picturesque gorges. And if you find yourself in the Taupo region with a hankering to hit the water for some adventure, look no further than Turangi.

Located on the bank of the Tongariro River roughly 50 km southwest of Taupo, Turangi is most often renowned in New Zealand for its excellent trout fishing. But if waiting for a bite doesn’t quite get your heart racing, the Tongariro River just happens to be one of the best in the country for rafting.

Here you can bounce down grade 3 rapids through ancient Beech forests, or you can take it a bit slower in the lower sections of the river, keeping an eye out for the very rare blue duck – local rafting guides offer up options suitable for the whole family. 

Whichever you choose, rafting in Turangi is definitely an activity worth considering.

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