Why you should take the kids on a rafting adventure at Auckland’s Vector Wero Whitewater Park…
We were lucky to be invited by Wero to give rafting a try in the summer school holidays. My children (aged 7 and 9 years old) and their cousins (aged 12 and 14 years old) visiting us from Wellington got to go rafting on the Tamariki River Course. The kids all enjoyed it and want to go back again. Next time the parents are going to join in the fun too, rather than just watching the kids have all the fun.
The guides were fantastic and had a great sense of humor and an excellent style with the kids. Your safety is taken seriously so you know your family are in safe hands throughout. You watch a safety film then once you are kitted out in life jackets and helmets, you undergo training as a team and yes, you do get wet.
After you have run the river multiple times in your raft you get the chance to swim the rapids. You jump into the water and float downstream on your backs down the course and at the end swim to the edge. If you aren’t a strong swimmer and can’t get back against the current you will be thrown a rope to hold onto and pulled in.
Who can go white water rafting?
Most white water paddlers will have little to no experience and rely on the guide’s knowledge of the river. Children must be 5 years old to go on the Grade 1-2 course and 13 years old for the Grade 3-4 course. Children aged 5 to 7 years old need to have a parent or caregiver with them on the Tamariki River rafting course (one parent per two kids aged 5 to 7). The Park does not allow anyone who is pregnant to go rafting.
No matter what level of rapid you’re tackling there’s is a good chance you’ll end up in the water. You don’t have to be able to swim to go white water rafting, but you will need to be able to move into the defensive swim position, lying on your back with your feet floating near the surface and pointing down stream to protect you.
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Vector Wero Whitewater Park is at 770 Great South Road, Wiri, Auckland. The Park is open in summer seven days a week from 9am and in winter from Wednesday to Sunday from 9am. For more information see: wero.org.nz