Whitewater Raft the World's Highest Commercially Rafted Waterfall

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Over the last several years, bucket lists have become extremely popular as people make long lists of things they want to accomplish or experience before they die. Our amazing world offers so many fabulous things to see and do and experience that sometimes it’s hard to keep track of all the things we want to try at some point in our life. So making a bucket list is a great way to record all the things you hope to do during your life. My own bucket list has seen quite a number of things checked off it recently. Skydiving, snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef, climbing an active volcano, seeing the northern lights, and so much more. Bucket lists are a lot of fun!

Kaituna Cascades

One thing that I crossed off my bucket list a few years ago was whitewater rafting. My family took an Alaskan cruise in 2012 and did some whitewater rafting near the Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau.  But that was extremely tame rafting, even if we did manage to get ourselves stuck on some tree branches at one point.

Last year, however, I rafted the Kaituna River in New Zealand, which boasts the world’s highest commercially rafted waterfall. If you want an adrenaline rush, I suggest you put the Kaituna Cascades on your bucket list. My group was very happy with all the services they provided and recommend them for a rafting trip if you visit Rotorua, NZ. Rotorua is worth a trip in and of itself. It’s a fascinating place!

When you arrive for your rafting trip, and before you head down to the river, you will put on a wet suit and be divided up into small groups. From there they will drive you to the launch point and then everyone hops in their rafts. We were asked several times if we were sure we wanted to really do this, and even halfway through we were asked if we wanted to get out before we went over the highest waterfall. That made me a bit nervous, but I’m glad I didn’t back out because it ended up being a lot of fun!

A look at the Kaituna Cascades

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Going down the first little waterfall
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Getting ready to go down the second little waterfall
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Going over
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Getting ready to go over the highest waterfall. We were all hanging on for dear life.
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There we go.
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Heading under the falls.
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Getting ready to be completely submerged under the water.
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Almost completely under.
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Completely submerged! You can’t even tell we are there!

They gave us instructions on what to do if after we went over the falls our raft capsized. I think I was most worried about that. But thankfully we didn’t capsize and we popped back up almost immediately.

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Popping back up.
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Right side up but still getting pounded by the waterfall.
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We survived! And with smiles on our faces.
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At the end of our rafting trip they had us start posing for fun pictures. Like this picture where they had us all stand up to go over the little ledge here.
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At the end of a fun morning of rafting.

Put Kaituna Cascades on your bucket list today! New Zealand is a treasure trove of fun activities and beautiful scenery and should be on your bucket list already!

Have you been whitewater rafting? Where did you go? How was the experience?

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Jennifer Dunlop is a southern California native who has spent the last several years living in, traveling to, and photographing, more than 50 countries around the world. Some of her favorite cities are Moscow, Sarajevo, and Hong Kong. She is currently living in the Fiji Islands where she is missing good Mexican food, her nephew, and the changing of leaves in the fall.

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