Review: Kawarau Canyon Half-Day Tour

My Husband and I decided on a destination wedding in Wanaka in 2017 and were lucky enough to have over 80 of our closest Australian friends and family along for the ride. With so many of us in the one place, we knew we had to organise a group activity and make the most of our time together, choosing to do a half-day canyoning trip through the beautiful Kawarau Canyon.

How to get there

  • Canyoning New Zealand provides a free pick-up and drop-off service from the centre of Queenstown that takes you out to the start of your Canyoning tour experience. The journey takes approximately 20 minutes.


  • Abseiling
  • Rock Climbing
  • Sliding down rock waterfalls
  • Rock Jumping into pools

What you’ll do

Get picked up and geared up!

After getting picked up outside the ‘Pub of Wharf’ in Queenstown, we headed into the Gibbston Valley Wine Country to start our adventure in the Kawarau Canyon. Upon arrival we began getting kitted up with all the essentials, ensuring we stayed as warm and safe as possible for the half-day ahead. This included wetsuits, booties, helmets and harnesses. We were also provided with a safety and ‘how to’ demo which was really helpful and left us feeling comfortable to tackle the more exciting parts of the experience, such as abseiling.

Explore the Kawarau Canyon

As soon the adventure truly began I was bursting with excitement. We abseiled, jumped off rocks, slid down waterfalls, you name it, we did it! It was so exhilarating. We spent about 2 hours in the canyon, walking through rock walls and reaching various obstacles to overcome along the way. Our crew thoroughly enjoyed the experience and it was something really memorable and unique to do as a group during our trip.

What’s included

  • Free pick-up and drop-off
  • Wetsuits, booties, helmets and all safety equipment
  • 2 hours of canyoning in the Kawarau Canyon located in the Gibbston Valley Wine Country

How much it costs

The half Day trip is approximately $160 AUD dollars but can fluctuate by a few dollars depending on the current exchange rate.

What to bring

  • Please bring your swimmers or undergarment to go underneath your wetsuit, a towel and a change of warm clothes for afterwards.
  • Go-pros are available to take on the trip so if you have one, and we definitely recommend bringing one

Our Recommendations

The Kawarau Canyon half-day tour is the perfect way to get a taste of what Canyoning in New Zealand is all about. It was adventurous, beautiful, scary at times, exhilarating and tested your courage, but was also ridiculously fun!! An experience that takes you away from the hustle and bustle of the city and into a beautiful Canyon, this half-day tour offers an adventure like no other. I would highly recommend the experience to anyone willing to give it a go, adventurous or not, as it was thoroughly enjoyeable for our group, which featured the full spectrum of adventurers. Thank you Canyoning New Zealand!

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