black water rafting
Trust the Kiwis to come up with some
red-hot action adventure in freezing water-filled caves.
Their cavalier, can-do attitude was amply demonstrated in 1987
when a Waitomo guide casually floated through the Ruakuri Cave on
an inflatable tube and discovered a unique low-risk adventure
that is now legendary.
Black-water rafting (also called cave tubing) involves gently
floating through a pitch-black cave with a big rubber inner tube
fitted snugly around your waist or bottom. Your first challenge
is to jump two metres off a ledge into the inky blackness of the
cave. Dont even think about what creatures may lurk beneath
the murky waters.
Waitomo is the main centre for this curious version of rafting,
with several commercial guiding companies operating as
Black-water Rafting or Tumu Tumu Toobing and there are also combo
journeys with names such as Rap, Raft n Rock and
Haggas Honking Holes, Long Tomo Rafting and Waitomo Down Under.
Limestone caves are common in other Karst landscapes around New
Zealand and black-water rafting is bound to spread. Westport has
an Underworld Rafting experience near Charleston, which explores
the glow-worm studded lower levels of the Metro Cave emerging in
the rapids of the Nile River. Greymouth also has options for
So don a wetsuit, hard hat and rubber inner tube and hit the
water (the highlight is leaping into the void). Join the
glittering glow-worms, old fossils and young free-spirited
adventurers and have the time of your life.