Rafting is generally an adult thrill, with age restrictions for children. You'll need your swimsuit and a towel, but all other gear, including wet suit, life jacket, helmet, and wet-suit booties, are provided by the rafting companies. Instructors spend quite a bit of time on safety issues and paddling techniques before you launch.
Frogz White Water Sledging. Join the frogz and take a hydrospeed sledge down the Kawerau River. The half-day Roaring Meg trip lets you ride 5 km (3 mi) down the river, and once you've gotten the hang of things and learned to control your sledge, they let you maneuver it down again. Trips go from Queenstown or Wanaka or you can arrange to meet at the Power Station on State Highway 6. Roaring Meg Power Station, State Hwy. 6, Queenstown, Otago. 03/441–2318; 0800/4FROGZ NZ only. www.frogz.co.nz.. NZ$195.
Queenstown Rafting. Queenstown Rafting runs various half-, full-, and three-day white-water rafting trips in the Queenstown area year-round, with trips on the Shotover and Kawerau rivers. If you're not into the white-water you can do the Flow (suitable for kids from 4 years), which is a scenic trip in a raft or inflatable kayak. Or go all out with the Nevis Quad Challenge, which includes a jet-boat ride, a helicopter trip, rafting on the Shotover, and a bungy jump, all in one day. 35 Shotover St., Queenstown, Otago, 9300. 03/442–9792; 0800/723–8464 NZ only. www.queenstownrafting.co.nz. From NZ$149; NZ$645 for the Nevis Quad Challenge.
Serious Fun River Surfing. This is serious!—for the adventurous and those with surfing or water experience. You'll get kitted out in a full wetsuit, helmet, life jacket, and fins. There's an introduction to river surfing on calm water first. Then grab your bodyboard and prepare to surf the waves of Queenstown's stunning Kawarau River. Where your guide ends up taking you will depend on the conditions but the Kawarau River has plenty of whitewater. They'll pick you up from town. 39 Camp St., Queenstown, Otago, 9300. 03/442–5262. www.riversurfing.co.nz. From $NZ195.