Rafting NZ launches Waikato Thermal Float

New Zealand’s most acclaimed rafting company, Rafting New Zealand, has kicked off the summer season with the launch of its Waikato Thermal Float Rafting Adventure.

Suitable for children as young as three years old, the 1-1.5 hour trip is a safe way for the whole family to enjoy New Zealand’s longest river and to experience the warm thermal waters of the Otumuheke Stream.

According to Rafting NZ, many people don’t realise that they can take their pre-school kids on rafting trips.

Managing director and co-founder, Luke Boddington, explains that rafting is a memorable, exciting way to show children a side of New Zealand that they might never have seen before, as well as teaching them how to be safe on rivers.

“As a father myself, I know how difficult it can be to find activities that the whole family can do together, especially with the younger kids,” he says. “However, we have always focused on making rafting accessible to everyone and a number of our trips are actually suitable for 3+ and 5+ year olds. We take families along the calmer stretches of water for a gentle introduction to the adventure of rafting.”

Luke believes that as well as being a fun experience, rafting can also be educational.

“In a country blessed with so many rivers, it’s important that our kids understand how to behave around them. Being out on the water with an experienced guide helps families and their children understand what they need to do to enjoy our beautiful waterways safely. It’s also a great opportunity to learn more about the flora and fauna in and along our New Zealand rivers, as well as the Maori legends that have been inspired by them. A river is a fantastic outdoor classroom.”


The Waikato Thermal Float takes visitors through ancient volcanic cliffs along the clear waters of the Waikato as it departs from Lake Taupo. Trip highlights include hearing the myths and legends associated with the area and the river, viewing jumpers leaping off New Zealand’s highest water touch bungy site and soaking in the thermal waters of the Otumuheke Stream. Rafters are treated to on river hot chocolate and snacks after floating and swimming in the Waikato River.

The Waikato Thermal Float will be available for the duration of the summer season, which will run from 29th of October – April 30th 2019. It is ideal for families with younger children, senior citizens, first time rafters and people who just want to relax, view and learn about the river from the comfort of a white water raft.

For almost 30 years, Rafting New Zealand has enabled visitors to immerse themselves in an awe-inspiringly beautiful part of Aotearoa. Customers can get a true sense of New Zealand’s landscape along with its Maori heritage and culture. A part Maori owned and operated business, it is run by Kiwi couple Luke and Pianika Boddington who love to share their passion for rafting New Zealand rivers with other budding adventurers.

Rafting New Zealand operates across two main locations – the southern end of Lake Taupo in the alpine village of Turangi (Tongariro River) and Taupo Township (Tongariro and Waikato Rivers).

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