Rafting is a private, non-commercial
river conservator. Our mission is to conserve and regenerate the river
eco system, because nothing is more necessary to life than the health
of our natural world.
We have rafted to promote river conservation since
1991, guiding families, first-timers, and people of most
ages who wish to support
what we do.
During winter we undertake native restoration,
using plants from our on-site
nursery. While from September to April, we offer private eco rafting
trips free of charge to prospective donors to our river conservation
a no-fees rafter, we arrange trips for donors on a strictly
peer-to-peer basis, using no third-party booking agents. In this way,
we reduce costs and maximise benefits, such that
donations can be less than the cost of a commercial trip.
We navigate the mighty Clutha Mata-Au River, a
wild and scenic river
forming the heart of the Upper Clutha Valley.
The Clutha Mata-Au is New Zealand's
largest and most powerful river, flowing swiftly from Lake Wanaka
into the golden semi-desert landscape of Central Otago.
We encounter peaceful river sections, surging
eddies, native birdlife, gold-rush tailings, and exciting but easy
Grade 2-3 whitewater rapids that everyone can enjoy.
Every trip includes time to relax on the
riverbank, where we "boil the billy" to make Tea-Tree tea (picked
fresh), and often pan for fine alluvial gold.
Your private eco guide Lewis, or "Finn", began rafting the
Clutha Mata-Au in 1981. He has a unique affinity with
the upper river environment, and a genuine desire to share it with
"Finn" has pioneered "eco rafting", and devotes
countless volunteer hours to river conservation as a native ecosystem
researcher, writer, rafter, and eco activist.
In 2003, he initiated a river conservation project
to create a Clutha
Mata-Au River Parkway,
with a river-length trail, along the entire 338km Clutha Mata-Au
corridor from Lake Wanaka to the Pacific Ocean. And in 2015 he
co-founded the Red
Bridge River Park project focused on native restoration.
Our eco rafting adventures support river conservation by
allowing families and groups to experience and learn about one of the world's
largest and most beautiful rivers.
said there weren't no home like a raft,
after all. Other places do seem so cramped up and smothery, but a raft
don't. You feel mighty free and easy and comfortable on a raft."