New Zealand February 1999  
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 Queenstown 24th February

We joined the morning rafting tour on the Kawarau river with Extreme Green Rafting.
This company does not provide a shower and spa bath after the trip - but you save 10NZ$ and on a fine day like this nobody missed the hot shower. On cold and/or rainy day this would be a bit different of course ;-)
The decision to go for the Kawarau River was very easy to make because the Shotover River was closed due to lack of water. Six persons were on this trip - a nice small group - yeah. We headed to the base of Extreme Green first to get the right equipment for the rafting trip. First we were all sent to toilet ..

We had to put on wetsuits, life jackets, helmets, booties and jackets and boarded the bus again to get to the river. As you maybe imagine we looked quite funky and that's why they take photos of everybody before we meet the river. After a short but funny security instruction we all boarded the raft and headed towards our first rapids. Unfortunately, the rapids weren't very strong because of the low water level. :( Usually they are grade 3 to 4 but they most of them were just grade 2 when we were there.
The first one was nice, perfect for a first try and to get used to the paddles and the raft but still strong enough to have a little fun. The second one was boring, not much of a rapid - just a bit faster than the rest of the river .. At some parts we were invited to get off the raft and float through the river or a small rapid.

The water was great to swim in -very clean and clear. Refreshing. :)
We stopped in front of the Kawarau Bungee Bridge, watched some people doing a bungee jump and climbed a rock to jump from three meters into the river. :) We tried to stay under the bridge while somebody jumped but slowly we floated away in our raft. The next rapid - not much to talk about either :( The next rapid, however, provided a bit of fun, while we all sat down in the back of the raft and the front went up. We tasted the water somewhere on the way- it was drinkable and it tasted really great!
The best part was the last rapid - Chinese Dog Leg. This one was still grade 3+ and at least we got a bit of a challenge.

That was really great, the only rapid where we thought that it was maybe possible that somebody might fall out of the raft but nobody did. When we had gone through this rapid we all wanted to do it again - not the whole trip - just the last rapid ;-)

But the trip was over now. We reached the shore and changed into our dry clothes. On the drive back to town we stopped in Arrowtown to buy a sandwich at the bakery (very good sandwiches, pies and slices of pizza!). After we had a shower in the backpacker we walked along the shore of Lake Wakatipu and wandered through the gardens and city of Queenstown.

Again, we ended up at The World for dinner ;-) After we finished dinner, Reiner and his wife Tanja came and joined us. We had a nice chat and another drink before we went back to Soughter Laughter for the night.

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