Wishbone Relay: Kaituna River Rafting


10 March
Insights By Ian

The Kaituna River is home to Ōkere Falls, Kaituna Falls and Tutea Falls which is the highest commercially rafted waterfall in the world at 7 metres. This was the second orthopaedic group to tackle a grade 5 river as part of the Wishbone Relay & just like the recent Hawkes Bay rafting adventure at River Valley Lodge - the pictures give you a good idea of the challenge.

This leg had 15 participants from Tauranga & a few looked very nervous as we got into our wetsuits and lifejackets. The Rotorua Rafting guides put everyone at ease with an amazing safety briefing that was both informative and hilarious.

James Aoina honoured International Women's Day by surrounding himself with strong women & letting them tackle all the hard mahi.

That positioning still won't keep you dry though

We settled in to tackle the 1 hour descent via multiple waterfalls and rapids,
including the impressive 7m Tutea Falls.
The Karakia above the waterfall clearly worked as we powered down the falls with only one bouncing out of the raft. (He was quickly retrieved)

The sequence below gives you an idea of how it was going over the waterfalls...






The nervous faces were replaced by laughter and joy. With our confidence up we proceeded to swim down some rapids, try and drown our colleagues in the standing waves and rafted rapids standing up.

Simon Maclean wins best expression of the day

Exceptional food & craft beer in the sun afterwards at the Okere Falls Store gave the adrenaline spikes time to settle while we enjoyed sharing highlights from the day.
This was an awesome trip that I would highly recommend to anyone with a spare couple of hours in Rotorua. The staff and guides at Rotorua Rafting were exceptional, the operation was slick and professional. As with other legs, the value of coming together to tackle a challenge outside our clinical environments is significant & worth fostering.