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 non-profit outfitter specializing in quality, sustainable, high volume water, eco-focused rafting
adventures 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
researcher, writer and activist. When you go rafting with "Finn", you are
In 2003, he
initiated a river conservation project to create the 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.
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 light-hearted 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.