Explore Bookme forRotorua & Taupo

Riverbug - Tarawera River

Experience a unique whitewater adventure aboard a Riverbug!


  • A unique whitewater riverbug adventure
  • Easy and fun on grade 2 whitewater
  • No experience necessary - great fun for the whole family!

Ride the crystal clear water of the Tarawera River beneath the spectacular backdrop of Pūtauaki (Mt. Edgecombe) near the rural town of Kawerau. An awesome introduction to riverbugging at the site of the 2013 IRF World Rafting Championships.

Enjoy the fun grade 2 rapids which are perfect for learning the basics and challenging yourself, an easy walking track allows you to carry your bug back upstream for repeat runs on the 'Slalom Course' rapids.

We provide all the equipment you need including wetsuits, helmets along with a knowledgeable guide to ensure your adventure is safe and enjoyable.

Be prepared to get wet and have fun on this unique adventure, and be sure to check out the other highlights in and around Kawerau, such as Tarawera Falls, Maurie Kjar Memorial Thermal Baths (free entry), or take a Hikoi (walk) around the cultural sites of Kawerau, or one of their popular 'Mill Tours'.

Per person $99.00

What's included

  • 2.5 - 3 hour Riverbug experience (approx 1.5 hours on the water)
  • All equipment and safety personnel provided


  • 2.5 - 3 hours - approx 1.5 hours on the water


  • Departs: Firmin Lodge Waterhouse Street, Kawerau 3127, New Zealand. Please see drive times below.


  • Minimum height: 1.25m.

    Maximum weight: 120 kg.

    Participants MUST be able to swim.


  • Minimum height: 1.25m.

    Maximum weight: 120 kg.

    Participants MUST be able to swim.

Child Friendly

  • This experience welcomes families with children.

Bad Weather Refunds

  • If your experience is cancelled by the operator (because of the weather or anything else out of your control) you will be entitled to a full refund.


  • This tour may require a minimum of up to 4 customers to run.

    Getting Here:

    30 min drive from Whakatane.

    50 min drive from Rotorua.

    1hr 10 min drive from Tauranga.

Available Bookings from January 18 to January 24

Change Dates

All prices are shown in NZD ($)

Tue 18 Jan
Wed 19 Jan
Thu 20 Jan
Fri 21 Jan
Sat 22 Jan
Sun 23 Jan
Mon 24 Jan

  • Per person$79.00 Less than 6 at this price!

  • Per person$79.00 Less than 6 at this price!

  • Per person$79.00 Less than 6 at this price!

  • Per person$79.00 Less than 6 at this price!

Authenticated Reviews & PhotosAll of our reviews are from people who have booked and paid for this activity thru Bookme


4 reviews

Showing all 4 authenticated Bookme reviews

JimThomas Lee from New Zealand wrote on 15 January 2022

Highly recommended!

Friendly hosts, fun experience, and very refreshing!

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From Riverbug - Tarawera River

Kia ora Jim, A pleasure to have you join us!

Kelly from New Zealand wrote on 23 December 2021

Fantastic time!

Don was really good at explaining all the tricks and tips and keeping us safe. Would have loved more rapids but a relaxing time all the same!!

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From Riverbug - Tarawera River

Kia ora Kelly, thanks for your comments. True, the Tarawera has the 2 long rapids at the end and the rest is just cruisy flowing current – a taste of riverbug for beginners... If you want lots of rapids we'd love you to join us on the Action Bug Tour on the Rangitāiki river! Ngā mihi Don

Michaella Harris from New Zealand wrote on 30 November 2021

Worth every cent

SO much fun! I had never been on a river before rafting, or doing any similar water sports. Our guide Don helped build my confidence so by the end of the trip, I was going over rapids with no problems at all and loving it! Don was an excellent guide, explained things well, made us feel safe and most importantly allowed us to have fun! A very reasonable price for an excellent afternoon exploring such a beautiful part of our country.

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From Riverbug - Tarawera River

Kia ora Michaella, glad you enjoyed our riverbug adventure on the Tarawera River – we love to share our passion for riverbugging and we get a real kick out of helping our guests get the most out of their experience. Thanks for supporting us.

Donna Walker from New Zealand wrote on 27 October 2021

Fab afternoon of water activity

Very well organized, enjoyable and informative. Our guide was very experienced and safety conscious. I would recommend this activity to everyone.

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From Riverbug - Tarawera River

Kia ora Donna! Awesome to have guests from the Kapiti Coast visiting Kawerau to check out our riverbug fun on the Tarawera awa Ngā mihi Don & the team


10:00 a.m.Thursday 13 July

Spaces Left

Per person

    *This option must be made together with another price type.

    Qualmark Certification

    This award identifies a business with a high level of professionalism, a keen awareness of the impact it has on the environment and a commitment to a customer centric approach.

    This award is evidence of a sophisticated tourism business that consistently exceeds visitor expectations. Their proactive leadership and management ensure the business’s focus on continuously improving their economic, social and environmental performance to create genuine, constantly evolving and sustainable tourism experiences.

    This award recognises the best sustainable tourism businesses in New Zealand. It denotes exceptional customer experiences at the heart of everything the company does. This business is leading the way in making the New Zealand tourism industry a world class sustainable visitor destination.

    When you see the Qualmark logo, your activity of choice is endorsed by New Zealand Tourism’s official quality assurance organisation and backed by leaders in the industry. It’s your trusted guide to iconic activities and experiences that are awarded for their exceptionally high level of quality, safety and sustainability.

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