The activity we had signed up for while at River Valley Lodge was Grade 5 White Water Rafting, something that Matt was desperate to do while we were here. We headed out to the river all kitted out at around 8.30am before having a safety briefing and dividing into four rafts. Our guide Guy was really nice and grew up right near where Matt lives – small world!
The first hour or so of rafting was on easy rapids and calmer water, in order for us all to get comfortable in the raft and to learn some basic commands and skills such as rowing forwards and backwards, leaning so that the raft wouldn’t capsize and how to position your body to minimise falling in. We then hit the harder rapids starting at Grade 2 and ending with Grade 5, the hardest rapids that you are commercially allowed to raft on.
This activity has to be one of my favourites so far, although I had no idea how physically exerting it would be. I also managed to break my paddle in half (only me) and had the worst facial expressions of the entire group. We did however have great fun, got to swim through rapids at the end to cool down and managed to keep the boat upright for the entire time!
We finished rafting at around 1pm and once we had showered and looked at photos, got ready to leave with the rest of the bus. We left River Valley Lodge around 2pm and headed straight to our next destination and the capital of New Zealand, Wellington.