Waiatoto River Rafting

Activities > Adventures > Waiatoto River Rafting

Waiatoto River

The Waiatoto River multi-day rafting trip is one of our more isolated trips and is set amongst the backdrop of Mount Aspiring National Park. The trip is made even more significant because access to the hanging basins, gushing waterfalls and the vertical valleys that you’ll experience is restricted by the Department of Conservation. Taking part in a Waiatoto River rafting trip is something very few people get to do and certainly one of the best ways to truly soak up the unspoiled magic and untouched world of this valley.

Deep in the heart of South Westland, removed from any sign of civilisation, life regains its perspective as you revel in the best that nature has to provide.

The Waiatoto River drains the Volta Glacier on the western side of Mount Aspiring, then travels for over 40 km out to the ocean, below the township of Haast on the beautiful and wild west coast of the South Island of New Zealand.

This is a New Zealand Rafting trip not to be missed.

A Typical Journey On The Waiatoto -

The day before departure, we travel to Makarora and stay the night so that we are nice and close: ready for the start of our amazing river journey. Makarora is an approximately 45 minute drive from Wanaka, and one hour from Haast on the West Coast of the South Island.

DAY 1 -

We begin our journey with a stunning flight over the majestic mountains into the mouth of the Drake River, where water cascades over big rock slabs into a deep pool. Here there is one of the nicest camp sites you’ll ever see, and one of the most peaceful. Once there, we can paddle, walk, swim or fish the afternoon away, waiting for our guides to prepare our sensational evening dining experience.

DAY 2 -

We raft through a gorge of exhilarating white water stretches in the morning. In the afternoon, we paddle and drift through some long, serene, flat stretches of water where we can take in the untouched, spectacular rough country; big, draining waterfalls and high hanging valleys. The calm is interspersed with boulder-choked rapids until we reach camp at one of the many great, grassy river flats we pass. Relax and stretch out in the last rays of the day’s sun, as our hosts prepare an awe-inspiring meal.

DAY 3 -

We begin the day with a couple of good, big rapids before a scenic and tranquil paddle out to the bridge, where we arrive south of Haast, the finish point of our unforgettable journey. Relax, confident and content in the knowledge that we one of the very few people ever to raft the Waiatoto, and with a heightened sense of admiration and amazement at what Mother Nature has to offer.


A reasonable standard of fitness and confidence in water is required: a minimum age may apply.

Photos courtesy Hidden Valleys NZ

Contact us
Itrek Customer Service
Tel: +64 21 268 8879
email: info@itreknewzealand.com
NZ local time is 07:22 AM
Key information

Location: South western South Island 

Open: October to start April. Depends on water levels.

Duration: 3 days

Group Size: 7 per raft

Grade: 2 - 3

Accommodation: Campsites

Luggage: Carried in water tight  containers on rafts

Meals: All provided

Price NZD $1650