Holidays for Couples Holidays for Couples Apr-Sep 2017 - Page 40

Whitewater rafting NEW ZEALAND For proper adrenaline thrills, few activities can beat the high octane rush of tumbling headlong down a roaring river in a giant rubber dinghy. One of the best whitewater rafting companies in the game is Kaitiaki, based on Lake Rotorua on New Zealand’s North Island. The company prides itself on its respectful approach to the environment, and in particular the Maori people of the river tribes Ngati Hinerangi and Ngati Hinekiri (they even asked for their permission to raft commercially on their rivers). Kaitiaki offers two seriously exhilarating rides, rafting on the Wairoa and Kaituna Rivers. Wairoa is a five-and-a-half 38 hour thrill of a trip on a full-on grade five river (the max), which is only open 26 days a year. A stunning boulder and tree-lined gorge, the Wairoa combines turbulent rapids with exciting stomach-lurching drops to produce some serious whitewater action. The Kaituna River snakes through steep native bush-covered canyons, rushing over 14 hair-raising rapids and three waterfalls, including the famous seven-metre Tutea Falls, the highest rafted waterfall on the planet. No experience necessary – just some serious cojones, a good helmet, a lifejacket and you’re good to go.