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Halliday's Bluff and Raft

Pioneer 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 work.

As 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 others.

"Finn" has pioneered "eco rafting", and devotes countless volunteer hours to river conservation as a native ecosystem restorer, 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.

Huck Finn's Raft

"We 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."
Huck Finn

© 2007-2017 by PIONEER RAFTING All Rights Reserved
Lake Wanaka 9343, Otago, New Zealand

100% NZ Owned & Operated                           Clutha Mata-Au River Parkway                        Website by Finnraft