One of the world’s top travel companies has this week named rafting on the Tongariro River with Tongariro River Rafting as one of New Zealand’s unmissable aquatic adventures.

Owner Garth Oaken guiding a group on a natural release day.

Lonely Planet released an article earlier this week listing NZ’s unmissable aquatic adventures and Tongariro River Rafting was the only white water rafting experience in the country mentioned. 

Owner Garth Oakden was thrilled with the recognition, but was not surprised having rafted on this river for the past 28years.  “We know we are truly spoilt with being able to operate and work in this environment, but to also be recognised and noticed for the conservation work we do to save the rare native whio on the river via our Blue Duck Project is awesome,” says Mr Oakden.

Tongariro River Rafting is celebrating its 25th birthday this year and whilst rafting remains a big part of what they offer, fishing, mountain biking and overnight rafting trips are also proving very popular.

“Touted by anglers as one of the best trout fishing rivers in the world, the Tongariro also hooks its fair share of thrill-seekers keen to paddle their way down more than 60 roller coaster rapids as the river wends its way through ancient beech forest,” said Lonely Planet. 

“Test the waters with a gentle Family Float, splash into the grade III white water or take on a more physical kayak trip with local outfit Tongariro River Rafting (trr.co.nz). On the river, keep an eye out for whio; these rare whistling blue ducks are excellent swimmers.”

There are many keen adventurers who look forward to the recreational release days that open the Upper Tongariro as a Grade 4 adventure just three days per year. “We’ve had the first two for the year and we’re already looking forward to the next in September,” said Mr Oaken.

Only 9 other adventures were named in the article and included Raglan surfing, Auckland sailing, black water rafting in Waitomo,  Diving the Poor Knights, kayaking in Okarito Lagoon and Abel Tasman National Park, Torrent River canyoning, swimming with seals in Kaikoura and swimming with dolphins in Akaroa.

Explore our language pages