Underworld Rafting

Experience a Cave Rafting adventure like no other – complete with spectacular formations, water-sculpted canyons and one of the World’s best GlowWorm displays.

Half way between Punakaiki and Westport, in the spectacular Paparoa National Park, lies the untouched Metro / Te Ananui cave, your gateway to the memories of a lifetime with the award-winning Underworld Rafting.

This is untamed, natural adventure at its best. Discover why

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Key information

  • Must be 10 years or over
  • Water confidence and personal fitness required – see Risk Disclosure below
  • Just bring your Swimwear and a towel – we’ll provide all other equipment
  • Allow 4 hours from our Underworld Adventure Centre in Charleston
  • Trips depart:
    • 9am & 11.30am Summer (October to April – Daylight Savings Time)
    • 10 am Winter ( May to September)
    • Please be here 30 minutes prior to your scheduled departure
  • We photograph your trip and provide free downloads

Important Note: If you are booking an adventure within 24 hours of intended departure – please call us now on +64 3 7888168

About the activity

Your Underworld Rafting adventure starts with your friendly, local guide at our modern base in Charleston. They’ll provide you with all of the specialised gear you need to stay safe and warm and brief you on the adventure ahead. Dressed and ready for your experience, it’s just a short drive in our van to the Nile River Rainforest Trains, Dorothy and Cecil. They will take you deep into the stunning West Coast Rainforest with towering limestone cliffs and prolific native wildlife.

A short walk leads to the entrance of the Metro Cave / Te Ananui, high above the Nile / Waitakere River. Stepping into this subterranean wonderland, you will explore a calcite paradise of stalactites and stalagmites, cross huge chambers, follow a maze of passages and wander through the heart of an ancient multi-level cave system. Enriched with stories and explanations from your knowledgeable guide, your ultimate destination is an underground lake in an enormous cavern.

Here you’ll find our famous galaxies of GlowWorms, where they line the entire roof of the cavern. We’ll navigate by their constellations through the awe-inspiring display and gently float on the lake to the resurgence of the streamway.

You leave this special place floating in your tube down the fun but gentle rapids of the pristine Nile / Waitakere River surrounded by the lush rain forest. Returning with the Rainforest Train back to Charleston for a hot shower, this special place remains hidden, but your memories will stay forever.

Please see our Frequently Asked Questions for more information. It’s also important you understand the risks associated with this activity – please read our Risk Disclosure prior to booking this activity and call us if you have any questions.

Prefer to stay dry? Try our GlowWorm Cave Tour – set in the same stunning Te Ananui / Metro Cave system, this all-ages tour encompasses beautiful formations, fascinating information from our knowledgeable guides and of course our world-famous GlowWorm display!