What can you rent?

The raft, and everything that goes with it – oars, paddles, frames, but also the dry bags and barrels that keep your gear dry and with you.  We supply the whole package.


  • You just need your camping gear, food and drink.

  • We can advise on shuttles and rivers, but we’re not responsible for your actions on the water.

  • If you’re travelling from overseas, this is the best way to run your own river trip.

  • You don’t need to carry all this stuff, or even have to buy it all. We’ve got it.

Who can rent a raft?

We rent out professional quality whitewater rafts to suitably experienced people. If you are competent in the outdoors and are responsible with gear there is a way. 


The raft is typically 50% of the cost of equipping yourself for private raft trips. The raft is just the start, so we include it all as a package.

We can assist you with logistics, shuttles, maps and information.  We can also recommend qualified raft guides. Read more about these important other considerations



Paddle Raft
  • Raft

  • Two air pumps

  • Repair Kit

  • Safety kit, with throw ropes, carabiners, and slings

  • Paddle raft gear frame, a lightweight aluminium frame that keeps all your gear off the raft floor and secure. 

  • Gull & Carlisle Paddles

  • Barrels, to store hard items, such as cookers

  • NRS Dry bag, 110 litre Bill’s Bag for softer gear.

  • Laminated maps of the route showing huts, campsites, and know hazards.

Rowed Raft

Same as the Paddle Raft, but with the following;

  • Rowing frame with a comfortable seat

  • Carlisle/Cataract Oars, including spare oars

  • Tools

The rafts we offer are 4.2m professional quality models.  Unladen weight is 64kg and they roll up and can fit in a medium hatchback. 

They can carry up to 8 paddlers on a day trip – no gear.  Ideally they will carry 4 or 5 adults and gear.  The maximum load is 1000kg.  In rowing mode a good load is 2 adults and a lot of gear. (NO GLASS, JUST CANS)


- for those with some river rowing experience.

The cataraft is an NRS Outlaw 13 foot and 25 inch tubes (4m x 635mm) with a heavy duty aluminium NRS frame and Carlisle/Cataract oars.  


A 50 litre cooler fits behind the rower to carry food and drink and it serves as a comfy seat for a passenger.


The package includes spare oars, repair kit, frame tools, a Bill’s bag (large 60 litres dry bag, throw rope, flip lines and spares.



Two-day hire with 2 days FREE
(4 days depot to depot)

Collect it in Christchurch on Friday evening, return it on Sunday evening or Monday morning. Or any other similar arrangement.

This is based on an overnight raft trip on the Waimakariri River from Mt White bridge to Woodstock. This river - at normal summer flows is suitable for parties with appropriate experience and judgement. This trip involves a wilderness camp out overnight. 

Based on the above $345
The free days allow for weather holdups and for travel time.

Five-day hire  with 2 days FREE
(7 days depot to depot)

Collect it in Christchurch on any day, return it in a week. Or any other similar arrangement.

This is based on a multi-day raft trip from the Acheron/Clarence confluence to State Highway 1 on the Clarence River.

Based on the above $795
The free days allow for weather holdups and for travel time.

Cataraft Hire
If you know what a cat is we will know you know. 

Same basis as as above. Our cataraft is rowed, has an NRS frame, and it will carry a 50 litre cooler with a comfy seat, so you carry a passenger.  It will carry two people's gear and supplies for a Clarence trip. Experienced cat rowers who want to run other rivers - please enquire.

$295 for two days | $695 for five days

Other Considerations

Should you hire a professional guide or do it yourself?

People who know enough to run their own rafting trip with their friends and family will not under-estimate the risks. We offer good gear that will get you down the river, but whoever is in charge of the raft needs a minimum set of skills.

  • Experience in camping and travelling in the backcountry of the New Zealand mountains.
  • Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of the members of the party, and the ability to manage risk around external and human factors.
  • Having the judgement and maturity to make sensible decisions in the face of poor weather, winds and floods.
  • Understand that the gear will look after you if you look after it.
  • Experience in reading the river through kayaking, jet boating or rafting.
We can offer each party renting rafts from us the services of a qualified raft guide – if we have sufficient notice. These guides don’t work for us, they work for you. Because of legislation in New Zealand we can’t advise you what to do on the river. Your trip is self-guided unless you hire a professional guide or guides. It's your choice and your responsibility.

What important information can we help with?

Our advice is focused on the logistics.

  • What equipment you need, and what we provide
  • How to get to and from the river, which is often the biggest hassle of all.
  • Resources such as weather, flow, and river guides, and maps

Which rivers should you raft on?

The two popular rivers we specifically cater for are the Waimakariri (2 days) and the Clarence/Waiau Toa (5 days). They’re popular for good reasons. You can run other rivers, depending on your experience and which river. This is for discussion.

You pay for 2 or 5 days and get one day FREE for the Waimakariri, and two days FREE for the Clarence. This allows time to pick up and return the gear or hold ups due to weather.

We have more information on our Rivers to Run page.

What about shuttles and transport?

We offer a number of options to save you the hassles of trying to organise transport to the start and from the finish. We offer a shuttle service, can put you in touch with other shuttle services, and advice on how to do it yourself.
The logistics of transporting a group to the put in and getting vehicles parked safely at the get out points on a river trip are always difficult, sometimes up to 12 hours of driving! Your choices are:
DIY shuttle.

  • Have very accommodating friends to come with you and drive your vehicle(s) home, then drive to pick you up at the end. This is feasible on the Waimakariri, but less so on the Clarence.
  • You can just take more vehicles than you need to carry your people.
Paid shuttle services. These can often work out cheaper than driving multiple vehicles many kilometres on back roads. Mostly a shuttle can save you a day, or in the case of the Clarence, two days of driving. A full reposition shuttle on the Clarence River is over 700km, and will involve multiple vehicles.
  • a driver takes your car to the get out from the put in. Clarence River Rafting offers this service.
  • Blue Duck Raft Rentals will pick your party up in Christchurch, take you and your gear to the put in. At the end of your trip we will come up to the get out, pick you and your gear up and drive you back to Christchurch. (yes, we will stop for burgers, fish and chips and coffee on the way)
  • For small parties we can use your vehicle(s), and for larger parties we use a minivan of up to 12 seats, with a trailer…..
  • Our driver comes up to the get out at Woodstock, accompanies you in your vehicle to the put in at Mt White bridge, and drives it to the get out and parks it there.
  • Or we pick you up in Christchurch, take you to the put in, and the next day we pick you up at the get out at Woodsrock. Small parties – your vehicle, larger parties our minivan.
  • There is a jet boat shuttle too. Please enquire.
Any other sensible option to suit. Be creative.

Can I hire a gear raft for my kayaking or canoe trip?

Kayak and canoe groups can hire a raft from us and we will supply a raft guide to row your gear with your group.

This allows for a few luxuries like chairs and cold drinks and fresh food. A light kayak, canoe, or paddle raft is a joy to paddle compared to an over-loaded one!

The raft guide is responsible only for the raft and your gear loaded on it, and is not responsible for the safety of your party. You and the raft guide can decide whether you want independence, or whether you include the guide in your social time and meals. Either is fine.

This option is not limited to the Clarence and Waimakariri.

What’s on Offer

  • The guide will know the river and advise on choice of campsites if asked.
  • Raft 4.2m self-bailing rowed whitewater raft with a maximum carrying capacity of 1000kg, which translates as gear for 8 people on an extended trip with tent camping.
  • The gear raft can carry a passenger temporarily in cases of emergency, injury or ill-health.

What gear do I get with my raft rental?

The raft is typically 50% of the cost of equipping yourself for private raft trips. The raft is just the start, so we include it all as a package.

  • Paddles or

  • Oars for rafts that are rowed

  • Spare oar and paddle

  • Rowing frame

  • Gear frame for paddle rafts

  • Barrels (plastic) for storing hard gear like cookers, tent poles, food.

  • A large backpack dry bag for clothing, sleeping bags

  • Throw rope for safety

  • Rope

  • Repair kit

  • Cooler that fits into the raft frames (for beer, wine, fresh food)

  • Waterproof map with campsites and huts marked

How many days do you want?
What kind of raft do you want?

Thanks for submitting your Raft Rental Booking Enquiry.
Someone from Blue Duck Rafts will be in touch to confirm if your booking can go ahead. 


We want to keep this very simple.

Here’s the deal. Take the gear away, have a great trip, and return it all in the same condition you took it.

  1. We expect a few scratches and wear.

  2. If you put a hole in the raft, you’re going to need to repair it to get home. Field repairs aren’t reliable long term. We will remove the field repair and get it done professionally, then deduct that amount from your deposit.  Then the next hirer will have a decent set of gear too.

  3. If you break or lose a paddle or an oar, or any other item, we will have to replace it at your expense. We will give you a price list based on local replacement items when you take out the gear.

  4. We will give you advice on care of the gear. We want it back, and you want to get home. :-)


We will also remind you that anywhere you go rafting is two day’s walk from any road, or a $2500 helicopter ride, so looking after all your gear is really important.


For you, and for us, and the next party.