Join this iconic Queenstown experience #Gobeyond
After the gold miners came in the rafters, that’s right we have been rafting down the Shotover River since 1974, how good?!
The Shotover River is located on the South Island of New Zealand. She’s 75 kilometers long and home to some epic rapids. The river flows south from the mountains, through Skippers Canyon before flowing into the Kawarau River in Queenstown. Back in the day, the Shotover River was one of the richest gold-bearing rivers in the world. Mining started in 1862 when gold was first discovered in Arthurs Point. The river has been panned, cradled, sluiced and dredged so much so that you would be one lucky rafter to come across a golden nugget.
The Maori name for our river is Kaimi-ākau which means looking for the coast. This is probably a reference to the area as a route to the West Coast and the search for Pounamu (New Zealand Green Stone).
During your rafting adventure, we will take you through the 170m long Oxenbridge Tunnel. This Tunnel is the result of a failed Gold Mining scheme by the Oxenbridge brothers who attempted to divert water from the river to recover gold from the riverbed. This, however, did not work, but they left an epic legacy and the Cascade rapid that you will face right after passing through the tunnel.
The rapid to the left of the tunnel is called mother in law, this rapid exists thanks to the brothers attempt to move rocks and blow through the river bed, however, we can only raft here at really high water.
The Shotover River has been our whitewater rafting home for over 40 years and we love it. Starting the adventure at Deep Creek, through Skippers Canyon and down into Arthurs Point you will raft over eleven grade 3-5 rapids, meet some legendary guides, learn more about the area and leave with a real sense of achievement.
The Shotover river can be pretty gnarly sometimes and is the perfect adventure for all adrenaline junkies out there.