To mark the end of a very busy season, we decided it would be nice to do an adventure activity with our hardworking team from the lodge. Cave rafting at Underworld Adventures, Charleston, was the perfect option, and only a 25 minute drive from the lodge.
We were duly kitted up with wet suits, hard hats, headlamps, gloves & booties… and after the safety briefing were on our way. A short drive into the bush reserve, where we hopped aboard the Nile River Rainforest Train. Slowly chugging along in the train was a great way to view the spectacular landscapes of the Nile River Canyon in the Paparoa National Park.
We collected our inner tubes (for the rafting at the end), then hiked through the bush and up 131 stairs to the Nile River Cave entrance. Once inside the cave we worked our way down through three levels where we were treated to a spectacular array of stalactites and stalagmites in the upper dry levels of the cave and glow worms.
In the lowest level of the cave we walked across a gravel river bed, which glittered with fools gold lit up by our headlights, and came to the the slow moving underground river. Of all the levels of the cave, I think I enjoyed this section of the tour the most. We floated downstream into a massive cavern where we were treated to an amazing display of glow worms, then we saw distant sunlight streaming into the cave marking the exit.
Rafting the Nile River in an inner tube was a highlight. I thought I’d be more nervous than I was (as I’m not a swimmer by any stretch)… but it was so much fun being bounced around the white water rapids, it was a great way to end a fantastic adventure.
All in all, the whole excursion took 4 hours, and it was fantastic value for money. Our guides were super knowledgeable, friendly, safety conscious and extremely proud to be able to showcase this special jewel of the West Coast.
I highly recommend cave rafting to anyone wanting to experience the untamed natural wilderness of the West Coast!
NZ Freephone: 0800 11 6686 | Phone: +64 3 788 8168