Rangitikei River Explorer. Worth the trip!
Our group (11 adults and a 10-year old) chose the 5-day Rangitikei River Explorer trip, the longest, in both time and distance, of several rafting adventures offered by River Valley Rafting. Our trip began and ended with overnight stays at River Valley Lodge, and there were 4 nights in tents along the river. (Note that Rathmoy Lodge, the usual last-night accommodation nominated on the River Valley website, was unavailable then.) River Valley Lodge. The lodge occupies a tranquil bush setting on the west bank of the Rangitikei River, Rooms are modern, clean and comfortable. Meals are served family-style and feature fresh vegetables from the Lodge’s own gardens. The staff are friendly, attentive and responsive. The desk typically answered our numerous pre-trip inquiries within 24 hours. Rangitikei River Explorer. This rafting journey traverses an 80 km stretch of the river, starting at River Valley Lodge and ending near Hunterville. It follows a narrow, steep-walled 500-m deep valley, with sandstone cliffs and frequent steep waterfalls on either side. “Spectacular” hardly does the job of describing the scenery. Except for a rather exciting 15 minutes at the beginning, the river is easy going. Otherwise, rapids are bumpy, but easily negotiated. Our guides were, in a word, great, ensuring that the trip was safe, and that campsites, meals, and facilities were managed efficiently. Evaluation: Our group’s unanimous evaluation for our entire experience is Excellent, and the guides get an A+ for their leadership and hard work on-river.