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“Awesome day on the Rees”

Expedition X - Packrafting New Zealand - Queenstown
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Changing the way you see the map.... Whether you want to challenge your boundaries or are solely looking for a relaxing and unique way to see areas of our great wilderness that lay off the beaten track, we can cater for you. Our fun packed packrafting trips are created as an overall outdoors experience. Hike, climb, swim, play, raft or simply float and take in the breathtaking scenery, armed with your own paddle, a packraft and walking boots the opportunities are endless. With these lightweight boats you'll be able to access some of the most remote and undisturbed rivers in the Southern Hemisphere, these hidden gems would usually be unreachable with conventional boats and kayaks alone.
Reviewed 27 January 2018 via mobile

The scenery is stunning, the hike in was hot in 30°+ today but great to get away from cell phone coverage and cars. A good lunch was provided, then we blew up our packrafts for the paddle out. Our guide Huw was awesome, easy going, knew his stuff, clear instruction, an all round enjoyable day. The paddle out was cruisy and ideal to take in the scenery. Definitely recommend this trip. Thanks Huw.

Thank Kerry L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"rees river"
in 8 reviews
"great guide"
in 7 reviews
"recommended trip"
in 2 reviews
"amazing scenery"
in 7 reviews
"new zealand"
in 10 reviews
"sand flies"
in 4 reviews
"highly recommend this to anyone"
in 3 reviews
"great fun"
in 9 reviews
"short hike"
in 2 reviews
"awesome adventure"
in 2 reviews
"learn how"
in 2 reviews
"skill level"
in 2 reviews
"wet suits"
in 2 reviews
"different perspective"
in 2 reviews
"snow capped mountains"
in 2 reviews
"arno"
in 38 reviews
"huw"
in 12 reviews
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5 - 9 of 100 reviews

Reviewed 8 January 2018

We spent a magical day packrafting. Huw was an excellent guide, very knowledgeable about the adventure, and a pleasure to talk to about all things New Zealand. The equipment was top notch, the walk along the river was breathtaking, and the actual rafting was lots of fun. Huw was great with helping us pack our gear, blow up our boats, learn how to maneuver, and taking pictures. As an extra bonus, we did our training in the absolutely most amazing hidden cavern. This 10 minute adventure was an added bonus to a wonderful day. I would highly recommend this to anyone seeking a little physical challenge and some adventure away from the crowds. We walked for over 2 hours and only saw 2 other people. The mountains, waterfalls, river and valleys are just unbelievable. A great way to spend a whole day!

Thank Lauren R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 12 February 2017

Packrafting with Arno was absolutely the coolest, best activity my friend, Diana and I did in New Zealand.

We booked the Queenstown "More of a Thrill" trip and Arno picked us up right from our accommodation in Queenstown bright and early at 7:55 AM, which was convenient! Our packrafting location was the Rees River in the Rees Valley, which was gorgeous and about an hour outside of Queenstown. We drove along the Glenorchy-Queenstown Road, which was a treat as well since we didn't have a car. Arno provided us with a lot of background on the scenery, Queenstown and the Rees Valley, which was greatly appreciated!

We hiked into the valley about 9 KM and man, this crazy German (crazy in a good way, I think...) gave us a good introduction of the New Zealand bush, figuring out the path as we went (there was a lot rain the day prior). We were hiking through tall grass and very muddy terrain (our feet sank in the mud pretty deep), but the scenery was so amazing, you hardly noticed! We did a few river crossings in the glacier fed Rees Valley (it was very "refreshing" as Arno put it). Arno was especially gleeful and excited as the heavy rain had changed the terrain quite a bit (he was more excited than us!), but it was nice to see how passionate Arno was about what he does.

Lunch was provided, which was delicious! It was roast chicken sandwich from The Bakery in Queenstown as well as cookies and some energy bars. The sand flies are pretty killer in this valley, so definitely recommend a bug spray/lotion to ward them off. We used some with about 34% deet and seemed to work pretty well.

After lunch, we changed into our wet suits and inflated our packrafts. I had a lot of trouble inflating mine, but my friend inflated hers in about 5-10 minutes and then she and Arno proceeded to laugh at me as I struggled. I eventually got it though! Packrafting down the river was definitely the highlight. Before we headed out down the river, we practice a bit near the slot canyons going upstream to get used to paddling and such, which definitely helped. The water wasn't too rough and it was key to watch Arno and what he was doing to ensure safety. We were afraid of falling out of our packrafts, but nothing like that happened and we had a thoroughly enjoyable day.

A huge plus was that Arno took photos for us and provided them after the trip at no cost! Not a lot of companies are willing to do this and we greatly appreciated it!

If you're expecting a guide that will hold your hand, this isn't the trip for you. While Arno is there to provide guidance and brief you on safety, you have to hike, carry your own stuff (packraft, paddle, etc.) and packraft on your own.

Arno mentioned that some of his customers have mentioned that he is reminiscent of Gru from the Minions movie - whoever said this hit the nail on the head. I love it and I definitely see the resemblance! Gru is awesome just like Arno!

If you're looking for an unforgettable adventure of a lifetime, this is it!

Thank torychau
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Packraftingnz, Owner at Expedition X - Packrafting New Zealand - Queenstown, responded to this reviewResponded 14 February 2017

Hey guys - Thanks heaps for the awesome review - but i still want to be more a minion then gru ;-)

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Reviewed 10 February 2017

I cannot say enough good things about our experience with Argo and Packrafting NZ!! The early morning started off with Arno picking us up from our hotel, which was very convenient. Then we gathered the rest of our group and headed out on our adventure. I was worried that the backpack was going to be heavy, but it was actually comfortable once you used the waist strap. The hike to the river was GORGEOUS and it was so peaceful to be in such a secluded area. We only saw a few people from afar and a bunch of sheep! We ate lunch next to a small bridge before starting the rafting part of the day. The chicken sandwich was delicious (we even went to the same bakery the next day to get another one!) and there were other snacks to hold us over. After lunch, we inflated our rafts (a frustrating/hilarious/clever process) and headed out on the river. Just a heads up- the river is FREEZING (or as Arno says, "refreshing") since it is all glacier runoff. I wasn't ready for that, but Arno had wet suits for all of us that made it much more bearable. The rafting portion was a ton of fun- there weren't any crazy rapids and it allowed us to take in the gorgeous scenery from a different perspective. I would recommend this tour to anyone and everyone who travels anywhere near Queenstown!! Arno was a load of fun and full of sarcastic and hilarious comments. Our group loved this day and didn't want it to end.

Thank Rachel P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Packraftingnz, Owner at Expedition X - Packrafting New Zealand - Queenstown, responded to this reviewResponded 14 February 2017

Thanks for the review Rachel - glad you guys liked it and you are now well and truly refreshed :-)

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Reviewed 6 February 2017

This was an awesome, unreal, and amazing experience. We hiked for about 3 hours through the river valley, in some of the most isolated, yet beautiful places on earth. Then we had lunch at the base of a huge mountain, with waterfalls and glaciers viewable in the distance.

Then after lunch, we put on our wetsuits and inflated our pack rafts, and rafted down the river for about 2 hours. Our guide Arno was awesome, funny, and very informative of the area.

Best part about all of this, the location... You are hiking/rafting in one of the most beautiful places on earth, carved by glaciers millions of years ago, and untouched by man. The river water is so pure you can drink it, and it tastes better than bottled water.

I would highly recommend to anyone who is ready for an adventure, regardless of skill level or kayak experience. I had ZERO of both, and had an amazing time.

Nick

Thank Nick R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Packraftingnz, Owner at Expedition X - Packrafting New Zealand - Queenstown, responded to this reviewResponded 14 February 2017

Glad you guys enjoyed it - and i did not put the socks on facebook ;-)

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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