Kawarau River White Water Sledging

Water Sports in Queenstown

Image by viator

4 out of 5

Tour description provided by Viator

Take on the rapids of the mighty Kawarau River on New Zealand’s South Island for the ultimate adrenaline rush. Guide your purpose-built sled through 3.7 miles (6 kilometers) of some of New Zealand's best high-volume, white water with big fast-flowing rapids, standing waves and whirlpools. Then finish with a peaceful flat section to get your breath back and take in the fantastic scenery of the historic Kawarau River. No previous experience is necessary, just confidence in the water and a sense of adventure.
White-water sledging, also known as riverboarding or hydro speed, is a fun-filled, exhilarating experience. Using a high-flotation sled, designed for buoyancy in highly aerated water, you’ll travel through some of New Zealand’s most amazing scenery. With only the board between you and the river, it is the best way to get up close and personal with nature. The white-water sledging begins from the Roaring Meg section of the Kawarau River. Transport from Queenstown or Wanaka is included (approximately 40 to 45 minutes by road). During a safely briefing, your instructor will teach you all the skills required. You will be equipped with a padded wetsuit, booties, life jacket, helmet and fins for kicking and steering. Then it’s time to hit the water!With your chest resting on the purpose-built sled and your arms tucked into each side of the sled for good grip and control, your instructor will guide you down the river, taking the best route to maximize your white-water sledging experience. The rapids of this section of the Kawarau River are graded 2-3. And just when you think it is over, your instructors will take you back to the start and get you to run the 3.7 miles (6 km) of rapids again, leaving you a fully qualified and experienced white-water sledger!

What’s included

  • White-water sledging on the Kawarau River
  • Professional guide
  • All equipment: Purpose-built sled, padded wetsuit, booties, life jacket, helmet and fins
  • Round-trip transfers from Queenstown or Wanaka (if option selected)
  • Light refreshments are provided after the white-water sledging

What’s not included

  • Food and drinks
  • No hotel pickup or drop-off


  • Choice of morning or afternoon departure