Pioneer RaftingPioneerRaftingFantail Piwakawaka
Halliday's Bluff and Raft


Pioneer Rafting
operates unique eco rafting adventures for families, first-timers and most ages.

We 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 fine alluvial gold.

Pioneer Rafting is a not-for-profit 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 raft guides in New Zealand. He has a unique affinity with 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", you are supporting his efforts.

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 ...

"We 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.

Huck Finn's Raft

2007 - 2015  by 
PIONEER RAFTING All Rights Reserved
Lake Wanaka 9343, Otago, New Zealand

100% NZ Owned & Operated        Clutha Mata-Au River Parkway      Website by Finnraft