First Time Rafters - What to Expect?

Queenstown, the adrenaline capital of the world and home to two incredible white water rivers. Rafting on the iconic Shotover River and down the ever popular Kawarau are two experiences not to be missed when visiting our idyllic mountain town.

Go Orange Rafting Team


That’s right, Whitewater rafting is super exciting. From the drive, jetboat or helicopter transfer to the river your excitement levels will be peaking, and so they should be. Queenstown is a pretty epic place, pair that with one of the best experiences in town and you are in for a winner.


Your heart is pumping, your senses are heightened, adrenaline is rushing through you and you are faced with the epic Whitewater of the Shotover River. Embrace this feeling, you don’t get to feel it very often. 

Go Orange Rafting Shotover River - Take on the River


All we ask is that you bring your sense of adventure. We expect all our rafters to get involved and fully immerse themselves in the experience at hand. We promise you won’t regret it.

Insane scenery

The land surrounding the rivers has been carved out over thousands of years and is ever changing. During your rafting experience you will have the chance to kick back and take in the surrounds. The Kawarau River featured in the Lord of the Rings series due to its epic appearance.

Go Orange Rafting Kawarau River Bridge

Legendary guides

Our guides come from near and far. We have Kiwi’s, Aussies, Brits, Nepalese, American’s, Canadians and Japanese guides, just to name a few. They are all legends in their own right and were born to raft on epic rivers. All Go Orange staff are professionally trained and always up for a good yarn. So be sure to ask anything and everything as you tackle our two rivers.


As expected, there will be water on your rafting trip. You may or may not get wet during your adventure. But, be prepared for the power of the water, after all the Shotover River is home to Grade 5 whitewater. As we said before, our guides are legends and here to get you through.

Go Orange Rafting Kawarau River

Hot and cold

Our rivers never rise above 10 degrees in temperature. They are glacially fed, meaning all water trickles from our mountain tops and heads downstream toward the oceans. However, we will provide you with a thick wetsuit, boots, a spray jacket and a lifejacket to keep you extra toasty on the water. In the Summer months, you will want to go for a swim, our guides will let you know when it is safe to do so and on the Kawarau there is chance to swim through one of the rapids.

Epic rapids

That’s right. The Shotover River is home to some of the best whitewater in New Zealand, totalling out at 12 rapids you are sure in for a good time. Jaws, Oh Sh*t, Squeeze, toilet and many more are waiting, are you ready?

Go Orange Rafting - Shotover River

Excellent guidance

Not only will we provide legendary guides their approach to guiding is also pretty legendary. They are trained to get you safely from A to B and will do so. Each rafter will be taught a particular set of skills required for Whitewater rafting. Our guides and safety kayakers will become your active swim coaches should you take an unwanted dip in the river, listen to them though, they know where it’s at.

New friends

Depending on your party size you may end up in a raft with some humans you don’t know. Don’t be afraid though, be friendly, extend your paddle and get to know each other, after all you may need that helping hand during your time on the river. Whitewater rafting is a fantastic bonding experience so don’t be afraid to get stuck in.

Go Orange Rafting Excitement

 A helluva good time

That’s something we can guarantee. Whitewater rafting is epic, there we said it. You will get to experience two remote, beautiful locations here in Queenstown while paddling through whitewater that is world famous.

How does all that sound? You ready to take on the river?

Book here to secure your spot in the raft.