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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'.

Adult $159.00
Child $129.00 (Under 16 years old)

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.

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 16 Aug to 22 Aug 2022

Change Dates

All prices are shown in NZD ($)

Tue 16 Aug
Wed 17 Aug
Thu 18 Aug
Fri 19 Aug
Sat 20 Aug
Sun 21 Aug
Mon 22 Aug

  • Adult$95.00 Less than 6 at this price!
  • Child$129.00

  • Adult$127.00 Less than 6 at this price!
  • Child$129.00

  • Adult$95.00 Less than 6 at this price!
  • Child$129.00

  • Adult$127.00 Less than 6 at this price!
  • Child$129.00

  • Adult$127.00 Less than 6 at this price!
  • Child$129.00

  • Adult$127.00
  • Child$129.00

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

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


7 reviews

Showing all 7 authenticated Bookme reviews

Maxine Parker from New Zealand wrote on 03 April 2022


Absolutely awesome adventure, lovely people. I'm definitely going to do it again. Family friendly. Stunning scenery. Highly recommend. Give them a call if you are not sure, they will put you at ease. 🤩 Also yummy picnic provided at the end .

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From Riverbug - Tarawera River

Kia ora Maxine, thanks for the review! It was really fun to have your company on the river, Ngā mihi Don

Glenn Rood from New Zealand wrote on 25 February 2022


This was a lot of fun! Great scenery, floating down the river , mixed in with some white water thrills. Our guide was very friendly and helpful and made for an awesome experience. Highly recommended.

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From Riverbug - Tarawera River

Kia ora Glenn, thanks for the feedback – you guys were totally awesome and really fun to be on the river with! Ngā mihi Don

Rhonda Beet from New Zealand wrote on 27 January 2022

Fantastic adventure

We had a fabulous time in our river bugs. Don was super friendly and knowledgeable. We loved drifting down the river in the current learning our river bugging skills, then the real fun started with the rapids. Exhilarating! Don took sooo many photos of us so we’ll have great memories 🙂. Thanks Don for an awesome time!

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From Riverbug - Tarawera River

Hi Rhonda, happy that you enjoyed your trip and thanks for your feed back. It is our pleasure to get to meet really nice people like you are and spend some fun time together. Thanks again Don

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


10:00 a.m.Thursday 13 July

Spaces Left


    Child Under 16 years old

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

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