The Best Fall Whitewater: Kaituna, North Island, New Zealand

Best for big drops

Oct 1, 2012
Outside Magazine

Kaituna, North Island, New Zealand.    Photo: Kaituna Cascades/Shutterstock

If you’re looking for high water, go south. Fall is spring in the southern hemisphere, which means that New Zealand’s Kaituna, a pool-drop river that mixes steep sections with flat water, is pumping. There are 14 drops on the rafting section, including 23-foot-high Okere Falls, the largest commercially-run waterfall in the world. The season starts in October and runs through May, so fall is just the beginning. The water stays warm all year round, and the river itself is beautiful and clear green, and runs through a rainforest. The put-in for the Kaituna is just outside of Rotarua, which is also one of the best places on the North Island to mountain bike and hike.