Day 308 on the Road
Rafting the Tongariro River!
Today we are taking on a grade 4 rafting trip in Turangi! If you like this video and want more inspiration for your New Zealand bucket list, head on over to our epic YouTube Channel & Subscribe!
Today we’re having an action packed day. we’re gonna white water raft some of the most epic rapids in the country only accessible 3 times a year and then we’re going to mountain bike the rest of the way down the river.
This morning we’re heading to the Tongariro River Rafting base in Turangi because today we’re gonna have duelathlon of adventure with these guys. First we’re gonna be white water rafting on a section of the Tongariro River which is only accessible three times a year, and after that we’re gonna be doing some mountain biking.
After getting all our gears we are jumping in the van and making our way to Access 14 where our tour starts today and oh my God it is so busy. Access 14 is where the dam releases and its open only a few days a year and that’s when every single locals jump on their kayak and every single activity group around the area is actually jumping in the raft and everybody wants to make the most of this section of the river.
Our guide Nick is teaching us some paddle commands on dry land first even before we’re getting into the water because as soon as our raft hits the water we are straight into the rapids.
That just goes to show that this part of the Tongariro River is definitely not for the light hearted. Once we reach a quiet section in an eddie we get the time to practice some more serious paddle commands we’re going to need to lean left and right so we can actually maneuver the boat around all the boulders we’re likely to encounter on this section of the river.
Practicing these paddle commands is absolutely essential for us to get down this section of the Tongariro River and we all have to work well as a team and that’s what white water rafting is all about it is definitely a proactive adventure activity. You really need to be switched on and involved and especially when doing a grade 4 section of the river like this one.
Luckily, we have an awesome team in our raft. At the back we have our guide called Nick and then we have a family who have come up from Palmerston North especially for this section of the river which is only open 3 times a year if we didn’t mention that already and up front we have us Robin and Laura.
Laura is so excited about this river that she feels the need to mention our names to you guys anyway let’s talk about this river it’s a bit more interesting. This river is actually rather a shallow river actually the whole river is not that shallow but this section of it is. It’s boulder filled and it makes it for a really gnarly ride. Plus, this whole section of the river is quite full-on there is not that many spots where you can actually stop and rest it’s all along quite white water rafting. There is not that many eddy where we can actually relax and catch our breath.
As we mentioned previously, this part of the river is not accessible all year round, so if you guys want to do this section of the tongaririo river you’re gonna aim to be around the area between Februrary, April or September and only for a few days, so if you guys want to know when exactly you can do this section of the river the best thing to do is to actually go on the Tongariro River Rafting website where they publish the dates as soon as they know when it opens.
So if you guys want to bag yourself a trip into one of the most gnarly white water rafting experience in New Zealand you also need to book a little bit early because the spaces are limited for example today there is only two of our rafts and that’s about like 16 people only so you need to actually make sure you get your spot.
We’re so glad that we actually managed to make it in Turangi exactly for the right time of year to make this white water rafting trip. Throughout the whole way we just have massive grins on our faces and every second we’re getting so splashed by the water which is actually really really cold. Luckily we are fully equipped through with all the wetsuit gear, the splash jacket, the life jackets, the helmet, even a fleece jacket layer underneath so we are pretty toasty and as you can see we are proper working out the full way.
This white water rafting trip is a grade 4 rafting trip meaning that it is almost the highest grade you can get when doing commercial white water rafting in New Zealand. Grades go from 1 being the easiest to 5 being the hardest and the 4 is definitely one for the more adventurous type. However, if you guys are not staying in Turangi you can actually do this trip from Taupo as well the guys at Tongariro River Rafting offer free shuttles both from the Taupo area and around the Turangi so that’s well worth considering.
Anyway, back to the Tongariro River, the river itself is actually famous for quite a few things and one of those things being trout fishing if you go into Turangi you’ll see that there’s loads of trout fishing signs everywhere and it’s probably one of the best places to go to try that sport in New Zealand as well so check it out.
But there is much more than just trout fishing to do in Turangi it’s actually a really awesome adventurous town there is some hikes there is some mountain biking tracks obviously there is this epic white water rafting and speaking of mountain biking we actually are going to be doing that this afternoon because yes, white water rafting on an epic scale like this one is just not enough for us, we want to mountain bike as well. But getting back to our adventure right now our guide is actually pretty epic the way he’s telling us about every single rapid before they happen is so insightful we know exactly what we’re gonna need to do and what is gonna happen to the boat before we’re seeing one of the rapids making it super easy for us to maneuver our way through it and making it down the river super safely.
And this comes from the fact that this guide is super experienced he has been with the company for over twenty years and he knows this part of the river like his back pocket.
To be quite honest by the end of the tour we are quite knackered white water rafting is actually a pretty exhausting sport it works really hard on the arms but as we are getting off the boat the workout is not finished we now have to carry our boat all the way back toward the car park.
But working as a team we are actually making it through the dense and luxuriant New Zealand bush making our way through toward the car park where we actually gonna have a quick sneak peak at where we’re gonna be mountain biking this afternoon don’t miss it.
Next on Day 308, part 2 we are taking you to Tree Trunk Gorge which is an amazing place to mountain bike around the Turangi area this is the continuation of our awesome adventurous day after spending the whole morning white water rafting we are now mountain biking how epic is that? If you don’t want to miss anything of New Zealand’s Biggest Gap Year make sure to hit the subscribe button right now so you get notifications for every single one of our adventures.
Ok. Stop it Robin. Stop it. Stop it Robin. Go away.