New Zealand’s first packrafting tour company Expedition X is raring to go for the summer season with a spell of warm weather boding well for the months to come.
Packrafting down Central Otago’s mighty Kawarau River, the innovative Queenstown company has joined forces with Goldfields Jet to create an exciting end to its summer tours - a thrilling jet boat ride back to base at the Goldfields Mining Centre.
Expedition X director and head guide Arno Marten said he was “thrilled” to have Goldfields Jet on board.
“The jet boat ride adds a little bit of extra excitement to the end of the trip down the river and everyone’s loving it so far,” he said.
Since initially launching its winter trips in March, Expedition X has received nothing but rave reviews via online sites like Trip Advisor.
Customers have described it as “a great trip with gorgeous scenery”.
“The packrafts are really good fun and Arno is interesting and entertaining,” said one.
“We had the pleasure of being on one of Arno's first trips and knew immediately that we were in good hands.”
Mr Marten said he “couldn’t wait” for Expedition X’s first full summer season and the chance to share Central Otago and Queenstown’s “stunning” scenery.
“What better way to appreciate Queenstown’s summer landscape then to get out and immerse yourself in it,” he said.
“The trip teaches clients about river features, water safety and how to use the packraft while at the same time exploring amazingly beautiful and isolated places.”
Tours consist of water and land-based adventures using a packraft – a light inflatable wilderness boat that is carried into remote or ‘hard to get to’ areas in a backpack, giving clients the freedom to explore.
“With a packraft each, clients can control their own adventure level – if they just want a leisurely float down the river or want to explore the sides and play in small rapids.”
Mr Marten said the packrafts were a fun and easy way to experience these areas.
“The packrafts only weigh 2.5kgs so you don’t need to be an extreme adventurer to participate.”
The adventure starts near Cromwell with hiking in the Goldfields area, and rafting on the Kawarau River.
All transport to and from Queenstown, an extensive gourmet lunch, full training and equipment is provided.
“Guests learn to pack and unpack the rafts, master them on the water safely and learn general packrafting skills, with ample time to enjoy the Kawarau River and Goldfields area,” said Mr Marten.
To ensure a safe and enjoyable experience, trips are tailored to suit each group on the day and their preferred level of adventure.
Mr Marten stressed that safety was of “paramount” importance to Expedition X.
Expedition X’s extensive health and safety programme and tours derive from Mr Marten’s experience as a former river boarding assessor and guide, an adventure athlete, swift water rescue trainer and assessor, dive instructor, paraglide tandem pilot and instructor, and outdoor leader.
For more information or to book tours visit: www.expeditionx.co.nz.