Rafting operates unique eco rafting
adventures for families, first-timers and
We raft the mighty Clutha Mata-Au River,
navigating the wild
and scenic river 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 private 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 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 ...
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."