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Old 02-11-2009   #1
Fort Collins, Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 213
Zambezi or New Zealand Rivers

So with all of this warm weather these past few weeks I have started to think about where I will be next winter. I am a guide here in CO and really want to break into the international guide scene. I graduate in December so was thinking of taking off sometime in Jan next year and trying to work somewhere...So far I have come up with either the Zambezi or working for a company in New Zealand. I know some about both areas (just from looking on the net) but not nearly enough to make a decision on where to go. What do yall think...where is the best place to try and work (from Jan ish to May ish) the Zambezi, New Zealand, or somewhere else????

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Old 02-11-2009   #2
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Eastern Slope, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 2,403
You had better stay on the Poudre until you can keep them in the boat....

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Old 02-11-2009   #3
Fort Collins, Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 213
why...I am sure people float there just as well as they float here Randal
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Old 02-11-2009   #4
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SE, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,098
Don't know the Zambezi. But NZ has beautiful rivers, lots of whitewater, great beer (Speight's Old Dark), good-to-smashing food, and excellent transport and facilities. The Kiwis are a friendly lot, and dead keen boaters.

Where does the river company operate?
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Old 02-12-2009   #5
Randaddy's Avatar
Eastern Slope, Colorado
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Come over to the house and I'll introduce you to my Australian roommate. She lived in NZ and knows a river guide or two over there.

Also we will party.
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Old 02-12-2009   #6
phlyingfish's Avatar
Moscow, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 269
That's a tough timeframe to try to jump into a guide gig- a little early for the northern hemisphere and a little late for the southern.

I think January to May is high water time for the Zambezi (at least Jauary is), so I don't think there is a lot of commercial action then. When I was looking to go there I seem to remember the locals saying that late fall was optimal.

New Zealand will be going in that timeframe, but there won't be much rafting activity after about March (the end of summer). That said, there are a lot of good reasons besides work to go to New Zealand.

I think you'll be stoked with either place if you just go for the adventure.
"A river is more than an amenity, it is a treasure."
-Oliver Wendell Holmes writing for the majority in New Jersey v. New York
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Old 02-12-2009   #7
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Leadvillian, Colorado
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 381

NZ can be a little tough to break into. It's better to go earlier so you can complete the rafting association swiftwater course and qualify for class IV / V guiding jobs by checking out with an official guide instructor.

Around Rotorua you're pretty much guiding the Kaituna with an occasional weekend release on the Wairoa (you'd pretty much just train if you weren't there more than 6 months) and occasional trips on the Rangitaiki. There was a gluttony of guides when I was there in 2005-06.

There are also companies out of Queenstown on the Shotover and Dart (more snow melt dependant) and my favorite place and where I would try and work although it's tough to get a job... New Zealand Adventure New Zealand Adventure Lodges Rangitikei

Let me know and I'll send you a reference if you get serious about going.

You qualify for one work visa for one year anytime before you turn 30 in NZ and Aus so you should get on top of that.

I've never been to Africa, but I would guess there's a lot more opportunity to see a lot more rivers in NZ. Africa would probably be far superior for a cultural experience and might actually offer as good or better an opportunity for work...

Maybe try and work out of Cairns, Australia on the Tully where I hear it's easy to find work then take a month or two to go to NZ and paddle.

All of it sounds pretty great to me right now

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