While many North Americans loaded the chairlifts over the Christmas holidays, the local paddlers of New Zealand’s Okere Falls readied themselves for an adventure more fitting to a 70°F degree December climate.
Launching the “3-stacker” raft on the Kaituna River has become somewhat of a tradition for locals in the area. Members of the Okere Fall’s tight-knit paddling community flock to the river to participate in–or at least witness–the wild ride of the ill-balanced invention.
Though the whitewater rapids on the Kaituna River are world-renowned, they are not just reserved for skilled paddlers. At 7 metres (approximately 22 ft) in height, Tutea Falls (one of the river’s crux rapids) is the highest commercially run waterfall in the world. The internet is riddled with videos of novice paddlers enjoying the ride of their lives as they drop over the intimidating waterfall.
Watch this year’s attempt at this bizarrely entertaining tradition here.
Video: Mitchell Lamb | Photo: Maurycy Prystupa