The King River Gorge Explorer is a guided flat water kayak tour through the tranquil pools and small shallow rapids in middle reaches of the King River Gorge.
The area we explore is situated between the Crotty Dam and the John Butters Power Station. As most of the flow of the King River now bypasses this section of river, the water flows very gently through here.
Paddle your kayak at you own pace and explore the many creeks and waterfalls in this secret place. The sides of the gorge are covered in thick rainforest with Huon Pine lining the river bank. Your guide will help you carry your kayak around the small rapids as you make your way up and down the river like the piners of old. Possibley catch a glimpse of our fresh water crayfish, trout, native fish or a variety of bird life. We turn around when you are ready, returning to Queenstown about four hours after our departure.
The portages in this tour involve walking on slippery and uneven rocks and some wading in the river.
Suitable for: families with stronger children.
Start time: 10am
End time: Approx. 2pm
Duration: 4 hours
Start & end location: West Coast Wilderness Railway station, in Driffield Street, Queenstown
Minimum group of 1, maximum 6.
Operates 7 days per fortnight.
Q: How old do you come on the Gorge explorer?
A: For the Gorge explorer, you have to be 8 years old.
Q: What should I bring?
A: We recommend that you wear some garments that can be worn under a wetsuit ie. bathing suit or spare undies and a change of clothes for after the trip. Other than that a towel can come in handy but not essential. The most important thing to bring is yourself, your friends, and of course a sense of adventure.
Q: Do you still raft in the rain?
A: Generally yes. However if there is too much rain it does make it harder to paddle up the gorge and can cause us to cancel the trip.
Q: How fit do I need to be?
A: We recommend a reasonable level of fitness for this tour, as it does involve a little bit of wading and walking across slippery rocks.
Q: I have a joint problem (knee, shoulder, etc), is this going to be an issue?
A: This is always going to be treated on a case-by-case basis, but in general isn't a limiting factor. Your guides will work with you to make sure you enjoy the experience. If you're not sure, give us a call and we can help to assess your particular situation.
Q: Is this whitewater rafting?
A: No, this trip does not involve whitewater rafting, it is a flatwater experience that involves some wading and navigating throug
Q: Is it okay to bring a camera on the trip?
A: If your camera is waterproof, bring it along to capture images of an iconic wild West Coast Gorge. your guides will also have cameras and taking plenty of pictures as you are going along.
Q: How long does this trip take?
A: The Gorge explorer takes roughly 4 hours.