Rafting operates private, non-commercial eco rafting adventures for river conservation donors.
We volunteer our time and equipment to take families
and groups eco rafting so that we can promote and fund native
restoration, using plants from our on-site nursery.
Eco rafting is offered free of charge to donors on a strictly
peer-to-peer basis, using no third-party booking agents, which reduces
costs, such that donations can be less than the cost of a commercial
We navigate the mighty Clutha
Mata-Au River, a wild and scenic river forming the heart of the Upper
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 while
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."