About Us

About Us


We are 100% New Zealand owned and operated.  Our team of Kiwi and International guides are keen to share with you their love of the rivers that are in our backyard.  We are all fully qualified in both rafting (NZRA members) and the accompanying skills such as Wilderness First Aid and Swift Water Rescue.

Starting in 1984, Ultimate Descents New Zealand is the longest operating and most experienced white water rafting company in the top half and West Coast of the South Island, New Zealand.

We really enjoy seeing people have a good time and hardly a day goes by that we don‘t remind ourselves just what great jobs we have!  With safety, innovation and friendly professional service as our trademarks, Ultimate Descents New Zealand sets the standard for white water operators in New Zealand.  All our team adhere to the safety standards set by Maritime New Zealand.  Safety whilst having fun is our main priority and handled with a professionalism from our highly qualified guides, giving you the client, the feeling of being well looked after.

You‘ll find our innovative approach to river running refreshing and our talented team of river guides fun to be with.  We’re proud to have introduced people from around the world to the magic of river travel and when you join our trips you’re not just a customer, you’re part of our team.

With its vast mountainous wilderness, the South Island contains the majority of New Zealand‘s white water rivers, from raging mountain torrents, to deep tranquil pools; the moods can be as diverse as the rivers are beautiful.  With our base of operations located in the rural town of Murchison, a town surrounded by mountains and rivers, this gives us easy access to our daily white water adventures.  Meaning no long bus journeys and transfers, we take all the responsibility for each trip and the logistics of running them.  For our multi day trips we offer the same responsibility for the trip logistics but due to the distances some transfers are longer than our half day rafting trips.

The main rivers we commercially run are, Buller River, Karamea River, Mokihinui River, Clarence River, Maruia River and Mangles River.

As to other rivers….. well if you are coming to play, then here’s what you can expect to find within 30 minutes outside of Murchison, Matiri River, Matakitaki River, Glenroy River, Owen River, Gowan River to name a few.  All these rivers are made up of many raftable sections.

We hope you enjoy your visit to our website, we’ve tried to make it interesting and informative, with something for everyone.  Feedback on our website is welcomed.

Group shot Karamea river