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FAQs - Landsborough Valley

FAQ's related to the spectacular Landsborough River Wilderness Multiday trip.

  1. Where is the Landsborough Valley?
  2. What type of people book this trip?
  3. Do I need to have any rafting experience?
  4. Do I need to be able to swim?
  5. How do I get to Queenstown?
  6. Do I need travel insurance?
  7. What if I have a medical condition?
  8. I am pregnant and would like to go on a rafting trip, is this possible?
  9. How fit do I need to be?
  10. Is there an age / weight limit?
  11. I am 70 years old and have been told I would be too old to do this trip!
  12. How far in advance do I need to book?
  13. How do I book and pay?
  14. What about single travelers?
  15. What is the minimum number required to run a Landsborough trip?
  16. What is the cancellation policy?
  17. Is my $100 deposit refundable if the trip is cancelled?
  18. What is the average group size?
  19. How long is the trip and how far do we raft each day?
  20. Do I get picked up and dropped off at my accommodation?
  21. Can you help me book my accommodation in Queenstown for before and after the trip?
  22. Can I be picked up from somewhere other than Queenstown?
  23. What do I have to bring?
  24. What do you provide?
  25. What if I have special dietary requirements?
  26. Do we need to treat the water before drinking it?
  27. If I bring a camera, does it need to be waterproof?
  28. Can I hire gear?
  29. Is there a limit to the amount of gear I can take?
  30. Can I bring my fishing rods or firearms?
  31. Is Friday the only day you can start the trip?
  32. We would like to do our trip over 2 days instead of 3, is this possible?
  33. Is there somewhere I can park my car while I'm on the trip?
  34. Where can I store excess luggage I won't need for this trip?
  35. Will I fall out of the raft or get wet?
  36. What if I have an accident or fall sick on the trip?
  37. Are there any dangerous animals I need to be worried about?
  38. What wildlife will I see?
  39. What is the weather like?
  40. What do we sleep on?
  41. What are the tents like?
  42. Are there toilets?
  43. Do I have to set up my own tent?
  44. Do I have to cook my own food?
  45. Is Alcohol provided?
  46. Is there cell phone or wireless/internet coverage?
  47. How can my family contact me in an emergency?
  48. Is tipping required?

1. Where is the Landsborough Valley?

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.

Click here to view a map of the trip.

2. What type of people book this trip?

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.

3. Do I need to have any rafting experience?

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.

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4. Do I need to be able to swim?

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.

5. How do I get to Queenstown?

Air New Zealand, Qantas Airways, Jetstar Airways & Virgin Australia all have international and domestic flights into Queenstown.
You can fly directly into Queenstown or choose to fly into Christchurch then hire a car and take the very scenic trip through the centre of the South Island to Queenstown.(drive time is approx 6-8 hours). There are also several bus services from Christchurch, Dunedin and other major South Island towns into Queenstown.

6. Do I need travel insurance?

Whilst not compulsory, travel insurance is always highly recommended.

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7. What if I have a medical condition?

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 (eg. ashma inhalers), you will need to bring that with you incase 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.

8. I am pregnant and would like to go on a rafting trip, is this possible?

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.

9. How fit do I need to be?

To get the most enjoyment out of your the trip, you should be moderately active in your daily life and confident in water.

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10. Is there an age / weight limit?

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 or weight limit for rafting however the person must be able to fit our gear and safety equipment. We do have a number of extra large wetsuits but ask that you are physically fit and able to swim. If you have any concerns please contact our staff.

11. I am 70 years old and have been told I would be too old to do this trip!

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.

12. How far in advance do I need to book?

While we are able to take last minute bookings, the further in advance you book the trip the easier it is for you to request your prerferred date.
Trips need a minimum of 4 clients to run so when you book in advance we are better able to confirm your requested date as soon as possible.

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13. How do I book and pay?

You can choose your date and book your trip with our Online Booking facility.

We accept all major credit cards (Visa/Mastercard/ Amex/ Diners and JCB) and we don't even charge an extra fee if you do. You can also pay us by electronic money transfers.

14. What about single travelers?

Unlike many trips we do not charge single supplements so the price is still the same if you're travelling on your own. In fact many people do come on their own and you'll often have your own tent.
The groups are normally always mixed and vary in ages. Then after tackling the rapids and spending a few days in the wilderness togther you'll probably have made some new lifelong friends.

15. What is the minimum number required to run a Landsborough trip?

Our minimum number is 4 people. If you are travelling on your own or with 1 or 2 other people please contact us as we may already have other clients interested in the same departure date that you are.

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16. What is the cancellation policy?

30 days before departure = full refund less your deposit of $100.
Between 14 and 30 days before departure = 50% refund
Less than two weeks - No refund

17. Is my $100 deposit refundable if the trip is cancelled?

Yes. You'll be refunded your $100 deposit and all money paid if the trip is cancelled due to weather or insufficient client numbers.

18. What is the average group size?

Minimum group size is 4 and the maximum is 14 although we can cater for more on demand. On average our groups are sized between 8-10 people, plus the guides, giving you a great personalised trip away from the crowds.

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19. How long is the trip and how far do we raft each day?

The trip is run over 3 days which includes your transport to and from the Landsborough Valley.

The time spent on the river each day is dependent on the river conditions. If the river is high and running fast then the times will be quicker than below:

  • Day 1 – Depart Queenstown in the morning and travel over the haast pass, jump in a helicopter and fly into the first camp site. There's no rafting on this day. The rest of trhe day is spent at camp and exploring the area.
  • Day 2 – Approx 5 hours on the river down grade 3-5 rapids into the 2nd campsite which is equiped with a hot shower.
  • Day 3 – Approx 3 hours on the river down grade 2-3 rapids. The lunch stop includes a little canyoning and the chance to swim under a waterfall. Before finishing for the day and jumping back into the bus to Queenstonw.

20. Do I get picked up and dropped off at my accommodation?

Yes, as part of the Landsborough trip we pick you up and drop you off at your accommodation.

21. Can you help me book my accommodation in Queenstown for before and after the trip?

Yes, we'd be more than happy to help you with your accommodation needs. We can recommend something for all budgets and types, please feel free to contact us for more help.

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22. Can I be picked up from somewhere other than Queenstown?

Yes, this is generally possible particularly if you are staying in Wanaka or Makarora. Please contact us in the office for more details.

23. What do I have to bring?

When you make your booking you'll be provided with a detailed list of gear that we recommend packing for this trip.

24. What do you provide?

We provide all rafting equipment, wetsuit, booties, life jacket and helmet. We provide all camping equipment except sleeping bags (available to rent), all meals and a range of snacks, wine, beer and soft drinks. You'll be accompanied by our most experienced guides and all transfers including the scenic flight up the Landsborough Valley are covered in the cost and of course we'll throw in some fantastic scenery along the way.

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25. What if I have special dietary requirements?

No problem, when you make a booking we will send you a Client Information form to complete. There is a section on this form for “Special Food Requirements” where you can also advise us of any allergies or intollerances.

26. Do we need to treat the water before drinking it?

Some of the best tasting water comes from this area. We do not normally need to treat the water as it comes from a mountain glacier in a National Park. All our guides have been drinking it for years, but if you are at all concerned, water purification tablets are available.

27. If I bring a camera, does it need to be waterproof?

Not necessarily. There will be plenty of opportunities off the river to take some amazing photos and we provide you with a dry bag for your camera. Even if your camera is waterproof we can't guarantee its safety from damage on the river so we recommend that a disposable waterproof camera is ideal for the rafting sections, this can be purchased from our shop before you leave Queenstown if you wish.

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28. Can I hire gear?

Yes, if there is anything that you think you need just contact us and we can help you out, although the only thing you will possibly need is a sleeping bag. Most other specialised equipment will be provided.

29. Is there a limit to the amount of gear I can take?

Yes, due to the nature of the trip everything needs to be carried on the rafts so space will be limited. We will provide a small dry bag that you can put your personal gear into for the trip. If you have any questions about this please feel free to contact us.

30. Can I bring my fishing rods or firearms?

We have time for fishing so fishing rods are fine, however, we ask that firearms are not brought along even if you have a license.

If you wish to fish on the trip you will need to buy a license. You can do this online at the NZ Fish & Game website or through one of the local sports shops in Queenstown. If you need help with this just contact us in the office.

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31. Is Friday the only day you can start the trip?

It is possible to start your trip on another day. We would require a minimum number of 6 clients to confirm an alternative departure date. Please contact our office for further information.

32. We would like to do our trip over 2 days instead of 3, is this possible?

It would be possible to run a 2 day trip as a custom trip but there are minimum number requirements. Please contact our office for further information.

33. Is there somewhere I can park my car while I'm on the trip?

Yes, Queenstown Rafting can arrange parking facilities for you while you are on your trip.

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34. Where can I store excess luggage I won't need for this trip?

Most hotels and accommodation in town will look after your excess luggage while you are away. If you can't get any help from them we can possibly store it for you for a small fee. Please contact us if this is a service you would need.

35. Will I fall out of the raft or get wet?

Due to the nature of rafting there is always the possibility that you may fall out of the raft. However at the start of the trip, the guides will give you a full safety briefing and instructions on what to do should this happen. 

You will definitely get wet, however you will be wearing the provided wetsuit and other gear to keep you warm. If the weather is hot, you're welcome to cool off by jumping in the water inbetween the rapids.

36. What if I have an accident or fall sick on the trip?

All the guides are trained in first aid and a first aid kit is carried at all times. We also have a satelite phone and will be in regular contact with the rafting base. In the unlikely event that you are injured on the river and require a Helicopter evacuation your travel insurance should cover you for any costs incurred.

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37. Are there any dangerous animals I need to be worried about?

No, you are very safe in the New Zealand wilderness. New Zealand doesn’t have any snakes, bears, wolves, foxes or mountain lions, just a few insects that can be taken care of with insect repellant.

38. What wildlife will I see?

There is lots of birdlife in the valley. You could be lucky and see the endangered Whio (Blue Duck) or Mohua (Yellowhead bird) or even a wild deer on the river flats.

39. What is the weather like?

New Zealand has a temperate climate. With the Landsborough Valley located on the West Coast of the South Island you can expect weather conditions to change rapidly. Always pack for 4 seasons in one day. (Rafting is a great wet weather activity).

Average temperatures during the season can vary considerably between 12 - 26 C (50 - 80 F).

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40. What do we sleep on?

You will be provided with stretcher beds with sleeping pads.

41. What are the tents like?

They are comfortable and roomy tents that you can stand up in, with sewn in groundsheets. If you are travelling alone and space permits you can request your own tent.

42. Are there toilets?

All the camp sites have eco friendly “long drop” toilets. During the day your guide can pull up to the side of the river if necessary.

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43. Do I have to set up my own tent?

No, the tents are permanent and already set up when you get there allowing you more time to relax and explore the area.

44. Do I have to cook my own food?

No, your guide will prepare and cook everything for you.
We have experienced staff that prepare fantastic food and it is often one of the many highlights on the trip.

45. Is Alcohol provided?

We provide New Zealand wines and beers to have with your food, however, if you want to bring a spirit of your choice that is ok. We ask that you drink responsibly and consider others.

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46. Is there cell phone or wireless/internet coverage?

The beauty of this trip is that you are going to an un-spoilt and remote area of new Zealand. There is no cell phone coverage or internet in the Landsborough Valley. Many of our clients consider this a highlight and a chance to escape the constant pressures of technology.
However we do carry a satellite telephone for emergencies and check-in daily with our base in Queenstown.

47. How can my family contact me in an emergency?

We will in daily contact with the rafting base in Queenstown with our satelite phone. Please give your family the Queesntown rafting number, +64 3 442 9792, and in the case of an emergency our staff will be able to pass a message to you through the guides.

48. Is tipping required?

Tipping is not expected in New Zealand, however if you feel you would like to show your appreciation that is totally at your discretion and will always be appreciated.

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