Whitewater rafting- the perfect adventure activity if jumping out of airplanes isn’t your thing. Unless you are a professional you will not do anything to crazy on a white water rafting trip. It is the perfect activity to give you some excitement and adventure but to a lesser degree than bungee jumping (which I also did in New Zealand).
It is also a great way to see the country that you are in and experience nature in a different way. Whitewater rafting helps you develop respect for mother natures power and beauty.
The first time that I went whitewater rafting was in New Zealand in River Valley. The name River Valley is a very fitting name. As you can imagine there was a river in a valley…and that’s about it. This river is actually the same one that you see in Lord of the Rings. Since the only thing to do in River Valley– besides staying at the Lodge – was to go whitewater rafting I thought that I would give it a try.
I ended up going in a rowdy boat with all guys. As we were all good friends so there was a lot of joking around going on- which the guides were encouraging of. However, in the more gnarly areas the guides made sure that we knew how serious the situation was.
At one point on the river had a drop and the nose of the boat pointed nose down- and we went down with it. I gripped onto the boat with my hands and feet with all of my might to prevent falling into the raging rapids. All of the boys, however, fell in.
One guy quickly got swept away with the rapids.The rapids took him faster than it took our boat and he was quickly drifting away. I am sure that he was quite panicked. Knowing this was a dangerous part of the river though, they had a safety man ready to throw him a rope and reel him back in. I’m not going to lie- it was pretty scary seeing the rapids pull him away from the boat out of his control. I was happy it wasn’t me.
When everyone was back in the boat we continued on our merry way. For fun we even flipped the boat on purpose so that everyone could feel what it was like to fall out of the boat. Brrr the water was chilly! I was under the cold water and got stuck under the side of the boat- I couldn’t find an air pocket or my way up to the surface. I had a moment of panic but thankfully the guide caught site of this and reached his hand down to pull me up from under the boat.
The last part of the trip was easy sailing and we were all joking around by pushing each other in. We also got out of the boat at a rock and cliff jumped. This honestly was probably my favourite part of the trip!
Traveling has a funny way of making you appreciate your own country a lot more. White Water rafting in New Zealand made me question why I never did it in Canada – after all we had some of the best white water rafting in the world.
When I met a friend who worked as a whitewater rafting guide- I really had no excuse. So one fine summer day I drove to Clearwater, BC to go whitewater rafting with Interior WhiteWater expeditions. This company has been white water rafting for over 30 years so you can trust that they know what they are doing. As well, they are in an absolutely beautiful location right next to Wells Grey Provincial Park.
To start the expedition they drive you along bumpy road through the forest to the entrance point. The rugged ride there makes you realize that you are truly out in the wilderness. Once we arrived and got into the boat they gave us an intro of the paddling techniques and safety precautions.
The rafting was great fun and had amazing scenery. There were some huge rapids that would splash all the way into the boat and knock you right in the face. There was one giant rapid that almost made the whole boat flip over- but our guide prevented that from happening.
There is a point in the trip where the river gets to dangerous to raft to we load the boat back into the van that was waiting for us and take a short little hike to the next point. Along the way, they let you stop and check out the giant rapid/waterfall that you are ever so thankful you did not go through. It is amazing to see how powerful and dangerous water can become.
After passing the danger zone you get back in the raft for the next half of the trip. There was one point were my friend/guide let whoever wanted to take over the reigns and try the huge steering oar at the back of the boat. Of course I jumped up willingly I felt like an idiot though because it was so hard to steer the raft!
When the river became calmer we could jump out of the boat. My friend and I did this and floated down the river. Make sure to not get to far from the boat when you do this because they need to pull you back in before the river picks up again. This water was by far colder than New Zealand.
Both tours had photographers taking pictures along the way for you to buy at the end of your excursion for a cool souvenir.
What to Pack:
Shoes that can get wet and won’t fall off
Bathing suite to wear under the wetsuit
dry clothes and shoes to change into after
A snack to eat for before or after
So where would you rather go whitewater rafting? Canada or New Zealand?