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AUS 1800 11 4881
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White Water Rafting FAQ

 Some questions you probably have (or should have!) about rafting.    
I'm not sure what rafting trip to do? Is the trip worth the money? Which one would I enjoy the most? How safe is it?

  These will be the questions your asking yourself before deciding where to spend your money on a rafting adventure. To get the right answers you need to be asking some other questions as well. These are, How long are you actually rafting on the river? How much time do you spend getting to the river? What grade rapids are there? How many rapids of each type are on that river? How much time do you have to spend paddling on flat water? What is the river like on the day? When a river is at a different level it changes and so does the amount of fun and time you can get on it! You need to know what it is like the day you are going to raft. Does the companies rafts have backup communication with their base throughout the trip. And, how long has the company been operating for?
OK, you are now armed with the right questions. Here is what our company does.

How do I know if I'm going to have enough fun?
In the trips below you will find a full description of exactly what you will get on your rafting adventure, with the number of rapids, their grades and paddling type so that you can choose the intensity of river that you are comfortable with. Our company also has different boat sizes you can use so that you can choose your own adventure "fun factor". The smaller boats have more bounce so the adventure level is higher from that river. You get exactly the right amount of adventure for you. Now, because we raft 8 rivers, on the day of your trip if we do not think the river is as good or as safe as it could be we are able to advise you to change to a different river on that day. This means that with our company you are much more likely to get a river trip that has the amount of fun you want.

How do I know that I really am getting the right advice?
The West Coast is a land of rivers. (It's why we live here!) Out of the 23 rivers, we've chosen the best 8 to use for rafting so you can be confident that there will be a river here that suits you. New Zealand's Grand Canyon is located here with its massive granite gorges so we can raft families through to full on adventurers. Since we have rivers here that suit everyone we do not need to convince you to go on a particular river so that we get your business. What we do is find out a little about you and then give you free realistic unbiased advice as to which river suits you.

What about safety?
It is not possible for anyone to completely guarantee your safety in white water rafting. With us you are rafting with an independently safety audited company. We've been rafting on the West Coast Rivers for 11 years so you can be confident we know our way around them. By using the latest high tech rafting gear, having highly experienced guides and with radio communication available for our rafts to the base at all times for continuos helicopter backup you know that you are doing as safe a trip as it is humanly possible to do.

How do I know I'm getting good value for money?
When you check around for prices you will find that some of our rafting trips are slightly dearer than some other companies. Why is this? You need to compare what you are getting for your money. Our companies backup systems and quality of equipment are second to none. This does cost a little bit more but it gives you the confidence of getting a great trip. We do not compromise our rafting by offering bare bone budget trips. After comparing the types of gear supplied by the different companies you need to compare the hours actually spent on the river, the number of rapids you do and what else you get for your money. We have surveyed our clients for the last 6 years and are consistently told by them that our trips are great value for money. But check for yourself because I'm very confident that you will not get a better value for money elsewhere. Remember that there is nowhere else in NZ that you can raft NZ's Grand Canyon, go through both rainforest and alpine scenery and then top off your day by soaking in natural hot spa pools with a glass of champagne and all this on the same day! Look at our combination activity trips for the best value. As well as great rafting, when you do a trip with us you also get a fun photograph of you in action, choice of raft sizes, free pleasure spa at our base, complimentary first wine or beer, action videos taken of you which you can purchase, free internet to email home your photo, say hello to Mum, or brag to your friends!, And we pay $5 of your fee towards supporting the endangered Blue Torrent Duck Conservation Program in which you are able to assist during rafting operations if you wish.

 Here are some suggestions as to what you should bring for a white water rafting trip

• Swimmimg togs. If possible put these on under your clothes when you get up in the morning. If you do not have swim wear then bring a spare set of underwear
• A towel. if you do not have a towel then let us know and we will bring one for you.
• Your camera. We suggest that this is not a good idea unless it is waterproof and then we cannot gaurantee the safety of your camera. We do take a water proof digital camera with us and you can buy photos on a CD if you like them.
• Make sure you have a good breakfast before your trip
• sunscreen
• insect repellant
• sun glasses but not expensive ones as you may lose them in the river
• Do not consume any alcohol for 8 hours prior to your rafting adventure

Here is what the Wild West Adventure Company supplies to you on a white water rafting trip.

Our aim is to keep you warm, safe and comfortable on your trip. If you have any special requirements then please let us know. We are here to help and to make this great fun experience for you.

• thermal clothes to go under your wetsuit if we think the day is cold. If you think that you are the type of person who feels the cold then let us know and we will bring plenty of extra thermal gear to keep you warm and comfortable.
• wetsuit
• booties and woolen socks
• gloves and thermal hat if we think the day will be cold
• spray jacket
• helmet
• white water lifejacket
• photographs that can be purchased
• on river snack of a high energy chocolate bar
• meal and/or champagne for those trips on which it is specified
• transport and pickups when required
• emergency and first aid equipment with full time communications back to our base

Advice for family with kids over 15 wanting to do white water raft trip

I think your family could do any trip of any grade, even grade 5.
Here are 2 trips to choose from that I think would be OK depending on the type of experience you want,

Grade 3 . This is the 4x4 trip into the mountains and then raft out. Trip starts at 7:45am & finishes back in Greymouth at 2pm. You spend about 1.5 to 1.75 hours actually rafting. Grade 3 is good fun, lots of waves but no drops. You'll have an enjoyable day out with some great scenery, including one canyon but it will not be challenging,  there are no eye bulging rapids!!!

Grade 4 Heli rafting. This trip is more challenging, and will get your heart rate up. There is one grade 5 rapid that you can walk around if you want to, and some people do but it is mostly grade 4 & grade 3.
We fly into the top of the river by helicopter. Trip departs Greymouth at 7:45am and returns about 4pm. You spend about 3 hours actual rafting time. This trip has some exciting smaller drops, 3 amazing canyons and will give you a sense of achievement and a real wilderness experience. Perth River or grade r White Water rafting Enquiry Replies x3

Hot Rock Rafting, Wanganui River Hari Hari itinerary planning suggestions
I have noticed some people planning their trip in a way which means they travel the same roads twice. I like to make sure that you are making the best use of your time and that you are not traveling the same roads twice. With this in mind can you tell me which town you will be coming from the day before your raft trip, where you will be staying the night before your raft trip and where you will be staying for the night on the day of your raft trip. I can then advise you if your itinerary makes the best use of your time.

When planning your itinerary it is worthwhile noting that the Hot Rock Rafting river is located half way between Greymouth and the glaciers. The river name is the Wanganui River near a town called Hari Hari.

Here are some itinerary options to consider when planning your travel for this part of your holiday.

If you are staying in Greymouth the night before and you have your own transport you might like to follow us to the river in your vehicle and then continue on to the glaciers after your raft trip if that is the direction you plan to travel.

If you are staying at the Glaciers the night before we will meet you at the river in the morning (9:15am)The river is called the Wanganui River and it is 5 minutes drive north of a town called Hari Hari. The river has a long concrete one lane bridge over it and this river has the river name on both ends. Meet us at the north end of the bridge. It will take you one and a quarter hours to drive from the glaciers to the Wanganui River where we meet you. After the rafting you can then continue travelling north to Hokitika (45 minutes)or Greymouth (75 minutes).

If you do not have your own transport we can pick you up from Greymouth or Hokitika and return you to the same place after your trip. For the half day raft trips, after the rafting, you can continue onto the glaciers on the Intercity Coach if you wish or we can bring you back to Greymouth or Hokitika.

If you have any questions about itinerary planning or travel times feel free to ask about them.

Will the Taipo 4x4/raft combo be challenging enough for the kids but not to tough for the parents?
yes the 4x4 & Raft twin adventure combo would be ideal for your family group. It has enough challenge to keep the teenagers perked up but not so much that people your & my age feel pushed outside our comfort zone. Well not too much anyway.
Everyone will learn some river skills and the kids will be ready for the next grade up while you'll come off the river thinking you've still got what it takes to keep up with the kids!!!

If I book a heli raft trip will it definitely happen?
We are never able to guarantee that a heliraft wilderness trip will go on a particular day due to the need to have weather, river levels and enough people to make a crew. Because these are wilderness trips with no tracks or roads to get out if something means you cannot raft out once the helicopter leaves we have to be more careful about ensuring conditions are correct. Group sizes are also small to preserve the wilderness and we are allowed to take 3 groups a week.
People do ask your question often! If we have someone make a definite booking for a particular day then we will focus other people who inquire for a trip around that time to go on that day also so that we get a group for the day the person who makes a firm booking wants. If you are definitely keen to go best thing to do is make a firm booking for your preferred date.
Do we raft in winter
Yes we do grades 2 & 3 rafting in the winter and also cave rafting which is great fun.
I have attached some information about these trips for you.
Just wear your normal street clothes as we will provide you with everything you need including river shoes. Do bring swimsuit & towel.

Can I do this if I’m pregnant?
Pregnancy does not necessarily stop you from leading an active life
How much activity a pregnant person can do depends a lot on the individual. It is difficult to give relevant advice without meeting you and please keep in mind that I'm not in any way taking over the role of your medical adviser with my comments below. My comments are based on the experiences of other pregnant people who have done adventure activities. You could talk to your doctor and get their opinion. Here are some things to consider when deciding how active to be. These may help you decide once you see the level of activity required for each adventure.
Is your pregnancy affecting your ability to get around?
Do you tire easily?
Have you had any health problems in the past? These may or may not be related to pregnancy.
How active is the adventure you want to do?

For Cave rafting: The activity level for the cave rafting is about the same as a 3 hour hike over rough ground with a 5 minute break every half hour. This is not what we do but it gives you an idea of the activity level. There is some climbing (about 3 meters high) and you are scrambling around rocks & wading through pools of water. The trip includes sliding down some water falls & we would advise you not to do that part, they are optional & you can go around them if you want.
For White Water Rafting: Generally up to a grade 3 river is OK as you do not have to be very active when you are in the raft if you do not want to be. It is a good idea to be on a river where it is possible to get off the river if you become uncomfortable with it part way through. You should also be a person who is confident around water.

Adventure Guarantee.  
Now after reading the above and then reading the trip descriptions below and perhaps even if you have corresponded with me we realise that you still do not really know us. We think it is reasonable to for you to still be hesitant about booking a trip with us. So here is what we do.

To help you feel confident in doing business with us and so that you know that you are making a reliable purchase we want to provide you with an Adventure Guarantee. Here's what we mean.
You'll get the best raft trip ever...or its FREE!

We will give you the most time on the river, you'll get more fun rapids for your money & you'll be warm and comfortable in our high tech river gear and it will be at the most reasonable cost. If you are not 100% totally pleased with your trip then we will refund you all your money and there will be no hard feelings. We can't be fairer than that!


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NZ 0800 946 543
AUS 1800 11 4881
INT’L +64 3 768 6649