Where are we based?
West Coast of New Zealands South Island. We raft 22 rivers from Karamea to Haast, we often meet at the river that we are rafting on. We are limited to the amount of trips and the number of people we can take on these wilderness rivers so please book ahead to reserve a spot on the raft!
Protecting the Environment
We follow strict environmental guidelines and work closely with the New Zealand Department of Conservation to ensure the places we visit are kept clean and green and in the same pristine condition for the next visitors.
We have special permits for all the rivers we raft and we have limited spaces available.
We have exclusive permits to run these trips. You can drink the water from every river that we raft and we want it to stay that way.
New Zealand is the leading country in the world for rafting safety standards. All of our guides have Grade 5 licenses, and there is a senior guide and safety kayaker on every trip. We are experts in managing risks in the outdoor environment. We have river specific safety plans and emergency procedures for every river we run, these are reviewed and checked on a regular basis to ensure our operations run smoothly and safely. We carry a satellite phone and/or a satellite emergency locator beacon with us at all times.
Before getting on the water we give a comprehensive water and rafting safety briefing and paddling lesson. We use the highest quality self-bailing rafts, which means that collected water automatically drains out the bottom. We inspect all of our equipment on a weekly basis, and it is inspected/audited once per year by Maritime New Zealand, a government authority on water safety.
Josh Marcotte, EcoRafting’s owner and head guide, is a Grade 5 senior guide and an trainer/assesor for the International Rafting Federation and the New Zealand Rafting Association, rated as the the highest rafting qualification in the world. All of our guides hold their NZ National Whitewater River Rescue certification, rated as the leading swift water rescue course in the world, and attend rescue courses bi-annually to ensure we are up to date with global developments and rescue techniques.
A PDF copy of our Safety Operational Plan is available upon request
We are professionals and are very good at what we do. With that said, rafting is an adventure activity with a degree of risk, participants should be aware that EcoRafting cannot completely guarantee your safety.
We only hire very experienced guides with a Senior Grade 5 New Zealand license and swift water rescue certifications. We do have training options for overseas guides wanting the best rivers to train on and get assessed for a New Zealand Rafting License.
The only two rivers that require any previous rafting experience are the Perth and Karamea rivers. In these cases, if you have a high fitness level and are a strong swimmer, no previous rafting experience is required.
All the higher grade rivers have walk around options on the bigger rapids, so if someone in your group is not comfortable with a certain section, it is not a problem, we will walk them around the bigger rapids and they can cheer the others through.
Our family rafting and scenic floats have only small gentle rapids. Talk to Josh and he will match a river to suit your wants and needs.
Always bring a swimsuit, a towel, and medication for any medical conditions or allergies you may have. Most of our trips are fully catered for food, in which case we’ll let you know.
On our non-catered trips, we’ll generally provide juice and small snacks.
EcoRafting provides all of the rafting gear, warm thermal underwear, wetsuits, dry tops, diving boots, gloves, helmets and lifejackets (pretty much everything you’ll need). For our multiday adventures we provide all tents and camping equipment. Sleeping bags and mats are available for the multi day trips.
Always bring a swimsuit, a towel, and medication for any medical conditions or allergies you may have. Most of our trips are fully catered for food, in which case we’ll let you know. On our non-catered trips, we’ll generally provide juice and small snacks.
We only cancel in extremely adverse conditions, in which case we provide a 100% refund. Rain doesn’t bother us, we’re getting wet anyway! We provide top-quality gear so you stay warm all day long, rain or shine.
Our rafting season runs all year. During those months, our rivers are prime for a good ride. We receive the highest rainfall in the country here on the West Coast, and it is not uncommon to get hot sun and rain in the same day. Our rivers are fed by glaciers and lakes, so we rarely have low water problems like other parts of New Zealand.
And rain or shine, we’ll be running our adventure trips. We only cancel in extremely adverse conditions.
The International Scale of River Difficulty is a standardized scale used to rate the safety of a stretch of river, or a single rapid. The grade reflects the technical difficulty, skill level required, and dangers associated with the section of river. Specifically, the grading system for New Zealand and Australia is as follows:
Grade 1: flat water. generally unobstructed passage.
Grade 2: Small to medium sized waves and a few obstacles.
Grade 3: Fairly high waves, and the passage may be difficult to recognize from on the river.
Grade 4: High, powerful, irregular waves, with the passage often difficult to recognize and negotiate.
Grade 5: Very difficult rapids, High-powerful-irregular waves, difficult to negotiate, the extreme for commercial operations.
There will be a 10% fee for any cancellation outside 72 hours of departure; and there will be a 100% fee for no-shows or cancellations within 72 hours of the intended departure time. If we have to cancel for whatever reason you will receive a 100% refund.
Due to the number of river we raft we meet at whatever river we are rafting on that day. We will give you detailed instructions on how to get to the launch point. All of the rivers run under the main highway, so they are very easy to find.
Option 1: Go to the Contact page of this website. The form there will send us all of your information. We will contact you within a day to confirm, answer any questions you may have and proceed with the booking.
Option 2: Email us at [mailto]firstname.lastname@example.org[/mailto] with your information. We will contact you within a day to proceed with the booking. We need to know the following:
- Your contact information.
- The rafting trip you are interested in or your preferred adventure.
- The number of people rafting.
- The date(s) that you want to raft.
Option 3: Give us a call at +64 3 755 4254. If you are in New Zealand, 03 755 4254. If we’re not around, leave your information and we’ll get to you as soon as possible. You can also use Skype to call us. Our Skype status is displayed on our contact page.
Short answer: yes, it is preferred. However, last minute bookings are not a problem and can be accommodated provided we have space. Contact us and we can talk about the options and availability. Also, keep an eye on our Twitter. We’ll announce promotions and last-minute deals on there as they come up.