We've updated our Covid-19 policy - find out more >
37 Camp Street, Queenstown or Wanaka, Makarora and Haast by prior arrangement.
The Landsborough is a major tributary of the Haast River and is unique in that it runs roughly north/south for 70kms, parallel to the main divide. Like many other New Zealand valleys, the sides are steep and of glacial origin with large fans and terraces occurring on the valley floor.
The valley is bounded by the Solution Range to the west and its headwaters lie in the permanent snowfields of the Hooker range and the main divide near Mt Cook. From our Toetoe Flat Camp, Mount Dechen and Mount Strachan can be seen up the valley on the left side with their associated Glaciers. Mount Dechan (behind the first glacier) is 8,670 feet high and Mount Strachan is 8,400 feet high. The size of the Glaciers varies year to year depending on winter snowfall, however they remain permanent features.
The Landsborough river is frequently discoloured by fine particles of glacier dust released by snowmelt.
All forests are dominated by silver beech, however southern rata occurs on the upper slopes of Clarke Mound and on Strutt Bluff. Near the confluence of the Clarke and Landsborough Rivers, there are occasional strands of rimu and miro and matai as a rare canopy species. Halls totara and kamahi appear as a sub-canopy species throughout.
The valley is one of the richest bird faunas in South Westland. Surveys have identified 36 species. The most numerous species are the Kaka, Rifleman, Brown Creeper, Grey Warbler, Tit and Bellbird. Of special significance are the endangered Blue Duck (Whio) and the Yellowhead (Mohua).
8.30am We’ll start at Rafting Base in Queenstown where you will meet your guides, pack your gear into dry bags and be sized for your rafting clothing. Then there’s a spectacular three hour drive to Clarke Bluff via Wanaka and Makarora.
Here you’ll board your helicopter for a flight up the scenic Landsborough Valley to our first night’s camp.
Settle in, unpack and explore the magnificent surroundings or relax in this peaceful environment and enjoy a delicious meal prepared for you.
Begin with a leisurely breakfast then prepare to leave camp for your rafting adventure. A full safety briefing and information on river protocol will be given before you depart. Today you have a five hour river trip ranging from action-packed to tranquil, stopping to enjoy a deli-style picnic lunch above Hellfire Rapid. You'll then continue down river arriving at Harpers Bluff, our second camp. There will be time to try out a spot of fishing or go for a walk before dinner. After dinner explore your surroundings and maybe even discover a glowworm or two.
Another filling breakfast will set you up for the day’s activities. Board your raft and head downriver to Purple Creek for lunch and a side hike to explore the waterfalls. After lunch a leisurely float to our take out point at Clarke Bluff. Approximate arrival in Queenstown 7.00pm.
Hors-d’oeuvres accompanied by local New Zealand wines.
Mediterranean Chicken: Cooked in garlic, dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar, honey, and olive oil marinade. Grilled until tender over the open flame.
Rice Pilaf: An inspired Middle Eastern rice dish infused with vegetable flavours.
Tomato and onion salad: Sliced tomatoes and finely chopped red onions dressed with garlic, basil, balsamic, honey and olive oil vinaigrette.
Fresh Fruit & the secret Dutch Oven Chocolate Cake: A secret Landsborough chocolate cake recipe baked in a Dutch oven within the hot embers of the open fire. Served with a generous dollop of cream.
Hors-d’oeuvres accompanied by local New Zealand wines.
Butterflied Leg of Lamb: Marinated in balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, garlic, rosemary and oregano. Seared to perfection on an open flamed fire.
Greek Potatoes: Lightly tossed in olive oil, rosemary, salt & pepper. Wrapped together tightly to infuse all flavours baked on hot fire embers.
Greek Salad: Fresh cucumbers, tomatoes, onion and green peppers, dressed with garlic, oregano, and lemon juice vinaigrette. Lightly topped with crumbled feta cheese and kalamata olives. The perfect complement to the succulent lamb.
Fruit Crumble: Seasonal fresh fruits topped with nutmeg and cinnamon crumble. Served warm with a drizzle of cream.
Queenstown Rafting is a licenced operator and recognised as a leader in the field of river safety and proactive risk management. With fully qualified guides, we have a safety kayaker on every trip and use satellite telephone communications. Participation in rafting activities involves a degree of risk and the rafting operator cannot absolutely guarantee participant safety. Clients on guided tours must listen carefully to and follow guides' instructions and adhere to safety requirements. Queenstown Rafting accepts its legal responsibilities but cannot be held responsible for personal injury or for loss, theft or damage of/to your equipment outside legal responsibilities. Participants will be required to sign a liability form to this effect before starting a tour.
"Experience true NZ wilderness"5 April 2016
My wife and I did the 3 day Landsborough rafting trip. This is a must for anybody who would like to experience true NZ wilderness. Rafting is fun without being scary. Every aspect of the trip is exceptional, great campsites, fantastic food and highly professional crew. Darryn, Jack and Kevin were outstanding and made sure we had a great time while keeping us safe. This is a 'must do' and we will be back.
Visited March 2016gslcmclennan, Queenstown, New Zealand via TripAdvisor
"Tranquil wilderness ...."
The end of a fantastic adventure. Spectacular scenery, amazing wildlife, heart pumping white water, tranquil wilderness, great company, excellent staff. Thanks.Amanda Legge, Christchurch, New Zealand
"A great experience ...."
There are no recommendations from us for improvements to your service, which really means that we believe the service that was offered was "Top Class" and a great experience.Murray Acker, Invercargill, New Zealand
"A thoroughly professional service ...."
Your company runs a thoroughly professional service leaving no stone unturned. We are certainly spreading the word this is a trip not to be missed.Allan Dyer, Invercargill, New Zealand
"An amazing journey ....."
The Landsborough River - an amazing journeys through the heart of the Southern Alps.Alison Ballance, New Zealand
"It was fantastic ..."
It was fantastic and I will be recommending it to all who ask and lots who don't. It was all I hoped it would be and more. The quintessential kiwi outback experience.Glen Stewart, Auckland, New Zealand
"The raft is the best seat in the house ....."
The river is spectacular, and the raft is the best seat in the house for 360 degree wilderness views. The rafting is enough to make you feel like you've earned the gourmet breakfasts, lunches and dinners and the rapids spice up the days on the waterSarah-Jane L - Franz Josef, New Zealand via TripAdvisor
In case you haven't found the information you were looking for, we've put together some of the most common questions our customers ask about our experiences. If you need more specific answers, please contact us directly.
The minimum age is 15 and the minimum weight is 40kg (this is a lifejacket requirement). If you have a child who is 14, fit, active, weighs more than 40kg and you are interested in doing a family trip please contact us.
There is no maximum age, we just ask you to be at a good level of physical fitness. The weight limit is 120kg. We do have a number of extra-large wetsuits and small ones for the kids. It will be at the discretion of the trip leader and guides as to who is eligible to participate.
If you have any concerns please contact our staff.
Yes you do. Due to the nature of whitewater and the remote location it is advisable that you be confident in the water.
One way to describe ‘water confident’ is to imagine yourself swimming in the sea where you can't stand up, with medium waves around you and being tossed around a bit. If you feel comfortable with this then you should be ok.
To get the most enjoyment out of your the trip, you should be moderately active in your daily life and confident in water.
Bookings for this trip must be made at least 5 days prior to departure. The further in advance you book the trip, the easier it is for you to request your preferred date.
Trips need a minimum of 6 clients to run so when you book in advance we are better able to confirm your requested date as soon as possible.
No, not true. If you live a physically active daily life and you’re in good health there is no reason why you can’t come along. Please contact our office if you have concerns.
No. Company policy is that we don’t allow anyone who is pregnant on grade 3 or above rivers. There is a risk that a pregnant person could sustain a blow to the abdomen either through falling out the raft, from a paddle from another client or someone falling against them.
Some medical conditions may prohibit you from whitewater rafting but most will not. It's very important however that if you do have a medical condition that you let our staff know prior to rafting, this is not to stop you from rafting but to inform your personal guide so that they can help in the unlikely event that something does go wrong. If you require medication for your condition (e.g. asthma inhalers), you will need to bring that with you in case it is needed.
It is your responsibility to make sure that you are fit enough for the activity and that you have appropriate medication with you.
No, the majority of our clients have never rafted before. However, a sense of adventure and the ability to swim is important.
You will be taught how to paddle, hold on and work as a team. There is also a full safety briefing given to everyone before you depart on your first day of rafting.
There is a real mix of ages and nationalities on these trips. Most are English speaking from the UK, USA, Canada, Australia or New Zealand and the majority tend to be 35 years plus. Saying that we often have younger or older clients, the main thing is that they are all like minded, enjoy the outdoors and have a sense of adventure.
The Landsborough Valley is situated on the southern West Coast of the South Island.
The valley is found within Mt Aspiring National Park and is part of a larger World Heritage Area called Te Wahi Pounamu (The place of Greenstone) as such it's one of New Zealand’s most isolated and spectacular wilderness areas.
They are comfortable, roomy tents with sewn in groundsheets, and high enough to stand in. If you are travelling alone, space may permit you to request your own tent. The tents are permanent and already set up when you get there. You sleep on stretcher beds with sleeping pads.