Pioneer Rafting operates
unique eco rafting adventures for families, first-timers and most ages.
raft the mighty Clutha Mata-Au River, navigating the wild and scenic
river corridor through the heart of the Upper Clutha Valley.
The Clutha Mata-Au is New Zealand's largest and most powerful river, flowing swiftly from Lake Wanaka
into the golden semi-desert
landscape of Central Otago.
We encounter peaceful river
sections, surging eddies, native birdlife, gold-rush tailings, and exciting but easy Grade 2-3 whitewater rapids
that everyone can enjoy.
Every trip includes time to relax on the
riverbank, where we "boil
the billy" to make Tea-Tree tea (picked fresh), and often pan for
Pioneer Rafting is a not-for-profit, non-commercial river runner specializing in quality eco rafting
adventures on high volume water since 1991.
Your guide Lewis, or "Finn", has been described as one of the most experienced
guides in New Zealand. He has a unique
the Clutha Mata-Au, and a
genuine desire to share its magic with others.
He has pioneered "eco rafting", and devotes
countless volunteer hours to conservation as a native restorer,
researcher, writer, and activist. When you go rafting with "Finn",
In 2003, he initiated a river conservation project to create a Clutha Mata-Au River Parkway,
with a river-length trail, along the entire 338km Clutha Mata-Au
corridor from Lake Wanaka to
the Pacific Ocean. And in 2015 he co-founded the Red Bridge River Park project focused on native restoration.
We are often told
that the Clutha
Mata-Au is one of the
most beautiful rivers in the world.
Our eco rafting adventures let you experience both the charm of the scenic river corridor and
the fun of the easy whitewater.
Rafting, especially on a large river,
is one of life's true adventures ...
said there weren't
no home like a raft, after all. Other places do seem so cramped up and
smothery, but a raft don't. You feel mighty free and easy and
comfortable on a raft." ~ Huck Finn.