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The amazing road constructed back in 1883 is fascinating, as are the stories of some of the characters who lived in the Canyon during the gold mining era. The launch point for the rafts is at the famous Ford of Bruinen, where Gandolf created a flash flood of water horses to defeat the Black Riders chasing Frodo into Rivendall (Lord of the Rings). The rafts meander down grade 1 and 2 rapids, passing gold mining relics, stopping for some water play and rock jumps into the crystal clear river. The trip ends near the “Pipeline”, one of Queenstown’s early bungy sites.
This glimpse into an important part of New Zealand’s history is the perfect family group activity. There’s nothing especially physical or frightening involved – there’s no need to even be able to swim! If you not a family person – relax, it’s not a prerequisite to have kids to do the trip!
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