New Zealand: The Lord of the RingsRafting the Anduin
This half-day trip will take you right into the heart of Middle Earth, where Frodo and his companions paddle down the Anduin in The Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship of the Ring and past the location of the Pillars of the Kings. With a maximum rapid grade of 3 (out of 5), the Kawarau river is perfect for newbies, family outings or for a fun group activitiy.
The first leg of the trip is mostly a gentle float through the narrow canyon, with grade 2 rapids Smith Falls and Twin Bridges thrown in to spice it up.
The next leg is another long stretch of calm water, leading right up towards the location for the Pillars of the Kings.
After the movie location, the rafts go under the bungy jump site at the historic Kawarau suspension bridge. You might be there just in time to watch someone jump, and possibly half-submerge in the cold waters.
The best whitewater comes towards the end, the 400m long Dog Leg rapid, which is apparently the longest commercially rafted rapid in the country. When Stefan did this tour in March 2017, that rapid managed to flip two out of four rafts, turning a gentle experience into whitewater carnage within a couple of minutes.
Once back at base, a hot shower and sauna awaits - which is a luxury we doubt Frodo and his pals had access to.
The departure point for the tour is at the Queenstown Rafting Shop at 35 Shotover Street, Queenstown. A bus will then take you to the base at Arthur's Point, where you will be outfitted with all the necessary gear before hopping back on the bus for a 20-minute ride to the entry point at the river.
Read about my own rafting trip with the guys from the Queenstown Rafting.
Keen on giving this trip a go? Here are all the official details and how to book.