New Zealand to Japan
February through April 2007
 
Rafting the Rangitaiki River
 
It was Saturday, the 17th of February, 2007 that our ship, The Sapphire Princess made its first stop on our cruise from Auckland, New Zealand, to Sydney, Australia.  We had booked a whitewater rafting trip with Noel of Wet 'n' Wild Rafting, who took us to the Rangitaiki River from the cruise port in Tauranga.  The drive to the river was two hours, and well worth the adventure we were about to experience.   Here are a few photos of our adventure:
 
We pulled into the gathering point to have our gear issued, and soon took a 15-minute drive to the river's edge.
(Note that I did not have protective cover for my camera and had to leave it behind. Hence, we don't have many photos -- other than the ones taken by the rafting company's photographer.)
At the start of our river run we tested our abilities on a rather mild (grade 2? rapid). Lynda and I were positioned on the right side of the raft (left side as you view the photo) behind Noel, our guide. Then, a little later came the grade 4 drop!
 
...and down the chute we went!!
(Note that we are not paddling as Noel had told us to hold on)
and hit a big wave on the way
And here is our crew
(minus a couple of guys who rode in our raft but were a part of the other group)
Then, after another two hour ride in Noel's van, we made it back to our Princess.

All in all, it was a great trip!! ... a lot better than visiting some museum or other boring tourist attraction.