Kiwi Ingenuity of “Black Water Rafting” Continues to Thrill

Press Release – Black Water Rafting

One of New Zealands most iconic adventure tourism offerings – Black Water Rafting – celebrates 30 years this month. Pioneers within New Zealands adventure tourism industry, Waitomos Legendary Black Water Rafting Company was born in 1987 …Kiwi Ingenuity of “Black Water Rafting” Continues to Thrill – 30 Years On

The Legendary Black Water Rafting Company Celebrates 30 Years

One of New Zealand’s most iconic adventure tourism offerings – Black Water Rafting – celebrates 30 years this month. Pioneers within New Zealand’s adventure tourism industry, Waitomo’s Legendary Black Water Rafting Company was born in 1987 – taking visitors through Waitomo’s glowworm studded underground world in inner tubes. Thirty years later, today hundreds of thousands of adventure seekers have taken part – including Peter Jackson, Chelsea Clinton and Katy Perry.

The idea for Black Water Rafting came from Waitomo local Pete Chandler – who developed the business along with partner John Ash – and New Zealand’s first professional adventure cave guide Angus Stubbs – who is still with the company and also celebrates 30 years service this month. In 1987 Pete enticed adventurous backpackers to experience Black Water Rafting for $10, the team drove their branded ute around encouraging adventure seekers to enjoy the underground thrill.

Says Peter, “It was a classic case of Kiwi ingenuity, but instead of number 8 wire, we used the humble tyre tube! We just thought that it was a whole lot of fun – and visitors would enjoy the thrill too. At the time, visitors were exploring Waitomo by foot and boat – through the Waitomo Glowworm Caves – this seemed like a different way to experience the caves” He was right – and Black Water Rafting has continued to increase in popularity over the years. Activities offered have evolved to include specifically designed floatation devices along with abseil, high ropes, climb and jump options – catering to an increased demand for adventure tourism activities. Visitors to The Legendary Black Water Rafting Company can expect to enjoy a number of adrenaline filled challenges – along with an underground flying fox, subterranean waterfalls and rivers – and, of course – a spectacular glowworm show on vaulted limestone ceilings.

Black Water Rafting takes place in Ruakuri Cave, one of Waitomo’s most complex cave systems and a mystical and spiritual world steeped in history. According to Maori legend, Ruakuri Cave (‘rua’ meaning den, and ‘kuri’ meaning dog) was discovered 400-500 years ago by a young Maori hunter.
ENDS

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