Our Story

In the Beginning………..

Kaituna Cascades was the first operator to start rafting the Kaituna River way back in the early 90’s! Long time raft guide and local guru kayaker KEITH HUGHES, started this legendary company in 1991 – Obviously only after a lot of practice runs down the formally considered “un-raftable” river with any willing friends, family or whoever was brave enough to test it out…..! The stoke was high, the river was unique and amazing, and it proved to be as safe as grade 5 can be – the rest is history.

After 26 awesome years of business, Keith retired and handed the reigns over to Pete Lodge, a Rotorua local who had been working for him since he finished high school, and Christchurch born Julian Mathison aka “Blue” who had been working for Cascades for over 10 years. With a bunch of enthusiasm and new ideas, they continue to develop and pioneer new ways too have the absolute best time on our home river – the now world famous Kaituna River and “Tutea Falls” the 7 meter waterfall.

Our super friendly staff are our biggest asset, and are all hand picked due to their love of the outdoors and years of river experience in both extreme kayaking and white water rafting. The guides love being day to day comics with everyone that walks in the door! Having years of experience means that they can relax and entertain while keeping you safe! It’s like always hanging out out with your mates at work having the best time, and that vibe generates the best atmosphere to create epic rafting trips, great banter and memories for you and the crew!

After 30 years of safe rafting, we are locally owned and operated by a couple of mates still currently raft guiding and loving life.

Being out on the river is our absolute passion, We look forward to meeting you!!

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Meet our epic crew

 

Pete

Pete aka Peteasauraus

Owner / Senior Grade 5 Raft Guide

Years experience: 19 years

Countries rafted or kayaked: Canada, Colombia, USA, Spain & NZ

Blue

Blue aka Boss Man

Owner / Senior Grade 5 Raft Guide

Years experience: 20 years

 Countries rafted or kayaked: USA, Japan, Honduras, Costa Rica, Canada & NZ

Rob

Rob Aka Robadile

Senior Grade 5 Raft Guide / River Manager

Years experience: 9 years

Countries rafted or kayaked: USA, Austria, Colombia, Indonesia & NZ

Cobba

Cobba aka Tom

Grade 5 Raft Guide

Years experience: 5  years

Countries rafted or kayaked: USA, Australia, China, Japan & NZ

Malcolm

Malcolm aka Wind Rider

Grade 5 Raft Guide

Years experience: 5 years

Countries rafted or kayaked: USA, Morocco, Papua New Guinea, Australia, Micronesia & NZ

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Sam aka Ricky Bobby

Grade 5 Raft Guide

Years experience: 10 years

Other countries rafted: USA, Canada, Colombia, Chile, Argentina, Sumatra, Lao & NZ

Elvis

Elvis aka The King

Grade 5 Raft Guide

Years experience: 6 years

Countries rafted or kayaked: USA/Alaska & NZ

Ollie

Ollie aka Young Shaver

Grade 5 Raft Guide

Years Experience: 2 years

Countries rafted or kayaked: Chile, Indonesia & NZ

Kevin

Kevin

Years experience as a lawn mower: 2 years

Currently employee of the month!

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Hayley aka H-Dizzel

Grade 3 Raft Guide

Years experience: 2 years

Countries rafted or kayaked: New Zealand

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Eoin aka Owen

Grade 5 Raft Guide

Years Experience: 10 years

Countries rafted or kayaked: Ireland, Scotland, USA, Australia, Nepal, Canada, Zimbabwe, Slovenia, Austria, Italy, Costa Rica, Nicaragua & New Zealand

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Chris aka The Megaphone

Grade 5 Raft Guide

Years Experience: 10 years

Countries rafted or kayaked: USA, Australia & Honduras & NZ

Omy

Omayra aka Omy aka The Italian

Photographer Extraordinaire

Years experience: 5 years

& Kevin’s Caretaker

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Christy aka Christie

Senior Grade 5 Raft Guide

Years experience: 11 years

Countries rafted or kayaked: USA, Canada, Mexico, Honduras, Chile, Argentina & NZ