The Ultimate river journey  

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Departure TimeMinimum AgeRiver Class (grade)Trip DurationPrice Features
On Demand 8 yrs 2 5 days Please Enquire

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Waiau Toa / Clarence River

The combination of fine food, great camping and stunning scenery make the Clarence a unique river experience that people from all walks of life are sure to enjoy

River Journey 

From the moment we leave the road-end to start the rafting journey, life becomes focused on simple pleasures. The sounds and fragrance of the landscape fill our senses, and fun, food, and shelter become our priorities. We are totally self-sufficient with all supplies and equipment carried on our rafts, allowing us to set camp when and wherever we want. Using driftwood and river stone we’ll make cozy campfire settings for our nights by the river, with hearty meals cooked on an open fire, rounding off the day’s activity.

The swift waters of the Clarence flow though an isolated valley between the seaward and inland Kaikoura ranges on the East Coast of the South Island. This classic river journey starts high in the expansive alpine tussock-lands of Marlborough‘s outback, snaking its way through towering canyons of twisted rock strata, then opening out to braided riverbed before finally rushing to the sea in a roller coaster climax to the trip. This is one of New Zealand ‘s longest river journeys, allowing plenty of time to savour the moment and take in the spectacular mountain scenery, with every day bringing a new experience.


The campsites are varied and impressive, some nights camping beneath the shelter of willow trees, others on sandy beaches or amongst native manuka trees. Evenings are spent around the campfire, relaxing and recollecting the day‘s events or maybe searching the night sky, before finally drifting off to sleep to the sound of the river. In true expedition fashion all food and equipment is carried on the rafts, plenty of fresh, wholesome food produces the gourmet meals that our guides pride themselves on.

What is supplied?

We will send you a detailed gear list so you know what is provided and what you need to bring along with you. List below gives you an idea on what is provided. 

  • Wetsuit, splash jacket, Life Jacket and Helmet
  • Tents and sleeping mats (if required)
  • Food 


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 Ultimate Descents rafting Clarence River IMG 8871