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Rangitata Rafts - Canterbury
If the sleepiness of Christchurch is a little too slow-paced for you, why not go all out for a full-on day of adrenalin pumping fun, rafting the Rangitata River .
Just a two hour drive out of Christchurch on the main highway to Queenstown, and you're at some of New Zealand 's most exciting stretches of white water.
After getting the low-down on the rapids - which we were told build in a natural progression to the intense grade 4 and 5 section, regardless of river flow - we had a full safety briefing and some practical training on how to use the paddles and what to do if the raft flipped - yikes!
First up, we loaded up our energy levels with lunch at the Rangitata River Lodge, on one of New Zealand 's first high country sheep stations at the foot of the Southern Alps. The scenery here was amazing, and by the time we'd lined our stomachs with some scrummy sarnies, it was time to hit the water.
After building up our confidence on the calmer sections of the river, we were ready for the more challenging rapids - bring it on! The adrenalin was pumping as we took on one rapid followed by another and the smiles on our faces said it all - awesome, wicked and fan-frickin-tastic! Some of us even braved leaping off the famous ``Jump Rock'' for a refreshing splash into the river below
"ready for the more challenging rapids"
Once back at the lodge, we had chance to enjoy a hot shower followed by a scrumptious BBQ, where we had chance to catch up with our fellow rafters and watch a DVD of our awesome adventure.
Rangitata Rafts is based at Peel Forest , RD 20, South Canterbury .
The Full Day experience departs Christchurch at approximately 8.15am, and returns at approximately 7pm.
Return transport is available from Christchurch or Geraldine. Alternatively, drive yourself to the rafting base 30 minutes off the main highway from Christchurch to Queenstown.
Wet suits, spray jackets, life jackets, thermals, booties and helmets are all provided - so you'll be looking hot to trot on the river.
You just need to bring swimmers and a towel, beer and wine for the BBQ if you want it, and a sense of adventure!
You get 2.5 to 3 hours of rafting a variety of rapids which starts on grade one and includes a couple of adrenalin pumping grade five rapids.
Alternative times or less adventurous river trips can be organized for groups.
Rafting is $225 per person or $208 per person with own transport. Group discounts are also available.
Backpacker Lodge accommodation is also available on site, with double room or dorm room options. Peel Forest Park is only 10km away, with amazing native bush walks and horse riding. Tent and campervans welcome.
Rachel stayed at Stonehurst Backpackers, 241 Gloucester Street , Christchurch , just two blocks from the city centre, with 24 hour reception. For more info call 03 379 4620 or Freephone: 0508 STONED (0508 786 633) or visit www.stonehurst.co.nz