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River Valley Safety Background and Frequently Asked QuestionsRiver Valley offers a number of activities with a degree of risk. We encourage you to read this section of this site in order that you choose an activity that is appropriate for you.
We would also like you to understand that participation in our activities does involve risk, and that River Valley cannot be held responsible for personal injury or for equipment lost or damaged while participating in these activities.
River Valley reserves the right to screen passengers, and cancel or amend trips due to river or weather conditions, or lack of numbers.
What training do our guides have?River Valley only employ guides who have been assessed and registered with Sports Fitness Recreation Industry Training Organisation (SFRITO), and the New Zealand Rafting Association.
Many of our guides also have international guiding experience, not to mention many seasons at home. All guides are trained in First Aid and CPR.
In addition, guides carry out on site regular scenario and skill training.
You may also have other questions which you will find answers to on this page.
How do I know River Valley is a reputable company?River Activities
River Valley has been rafting on the Rangitikei River since 1982. We are fully audited by the Maritime New Zealand, and undergo an annual review of company policies, practices and operations. In addition River Valley was awarded the Westpac Small Tourism Business Operator Award for 2004. This award recognised the overall excellence of the River Valley experience and operation, and the fact that it is in fact world class.
River Valley Stables carry's on a fine tradition of working with horses and the land that goes back generations within the family. River Valley has been involved with horse trekking since 1988, with many thousands of people having enjoyed the countryside of the northern Rangitikei District and often their first experience on a horse. River Valley Stables is a Qualmark Endorsed Visitor Activity.
Who can take part in our Activities?River Activities
We have an activity for almost everybody. Our Scenic Family Rafting Trips (Grade 2) are ideal for families, the less adventurous, and those wanting a slower paced interaction with nature. Our Grade 5 White Water Rafting trip is suitable for people aged 13 years and over, who have a reasonable level of fitness, and a sense of adventure.
River Valley Horse adventures are not suitable for children younger than 12 years old. Children younger than 12 years may be able to get a horse experience by prior arrangement. Please contact us.
Can my weight, body size or ability be an issue on trips?Rafting
Our Grade 5 rafting trip in particular does have restrictions on who can partake. This is a demanding trip. Basically if you cannot comfortably fit the gear, then you cannot take part. This is for both your safety, and other people on the trip. Maximum gear size is wetsuit size 7.
Scenic rafting trips are more flexible with a range of other comfortable river gear available meaning that wetsuits are not essential.
We do a have a range of horses available for most riding abilities, but to enhance your riding experience, please do inform our reception staff of your approximate weight and riding ability when booking. There is a weight limit which is 110kg.
What if I have a health problem?If you have a health condition such as diabetes, epilepsy, pregnancy, heart condition, asthma, etc, please advise us before trip departure. It is your responsibility to make sure we are aware of your condition, that you are fit enough for the activity, and that you have appropriate medication with you.
If you do not tell us, then this may put both your own safety and others on the trip in jeopardy.
What is our policy regarding illegal drugs and alcohol being consumed either prior to or during a trip?River Valley reserves the right to refuse participation in our activities to anyone suspected of consuming alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs before or during any trip. In addition River Valley is committed to operating a drug free workplace.
We will and do enforce this policy for the safety of all participants.
On multi day trips, alcohol may be consumed after the main activities of rafting, horse back riding or hiking have concluded for the day.
What do the different river grades mean?Have a look at the International River Classification system page on this site that details the meaning of each grade of rapid.
When to go?New Zealand has a temperate climate. Where River Valley is situated, we have 4 distinct seasons, though as with much of this country, weather conditions can change rapidly - 4 seasons in one day
If rafting, expect higher flows in the winter and spring, and more technical steeper rafting in the summer and autumn.
Spring - lambs, daffodils, fresh green grass
Summer - warm days, picnics, sunburn
Autumn - clear air, autumn colours, Stags roaring
Winter - Snow clad ranges and mountain
All multi day trips that involve camping take place from mid Spring to early Autumn.
What to bring?The most important thing to bring is a keen fun attitude.
If you are rafting, a towel and your swim suit are all you need. We cannot guarantee the safety of cameras or video equipment on the river, however on multi day and scenic trips, waterproof containers can be provided. We do not 100% guarantee the safety even then of your equipment.
If you are Horse Trekking, then long pants, sturdy foot wear and a camera are important.
What does River Valley provide?Recognising that you want to be comfortable and warm on your adventure, River Valley provides quality equipment and apparel.
Depending on the season, when you go on the river you are supplied with neoprene boots, neoprene socks, 5mm wetsuits, polar fleece tops, paddle jackets, lifejackets, helmets, and on especially cold days, neoprene mittens. All our rafts are self bailing, and regularly updated. On most white water trips there is also a photographer who captures those unforgettable moments.
Horse Trekkers are supplied with helmets, riding boots, chaps, good horses, stock and western saddles, and on wet or cooler days, long oilskin riding coats, and extra fleece tops and gloves.
What do I need for Multi-day Trips?When you book, you will be sent a list of items to bring.
We will provide waterproof drybags in which to put your personal gear.
What if you cannot afford the full price of one of our premier adventures, or accommodation options, but can pay it off over time.Some of our adventures and premium accommodation options give you the ability to book, place a deposit, then pay off your booking over time. You will be required to create an account, with all balances having to be paid in full 30 day before the start date of the tour or accommodation booking.
No question too sillyAnd here is the silly question section...occasionally we are asked questions that we feel we really should share with you. We have not printed any answers, we will let you make up your own!
Still got questions? Give one of our Adventure Consultants a call on 0800 248666 or +64 6 3881444 if calling from overseas. Please be aware of the time difference. Our office is open from 8.00am to 5.00pm NZ time.
- Do the rocks in the river go all the way to the bottom?
- If I fall in, how long do I have to hold my breath?
- Does the river go in a circle?
- Do we go up or down the river?
- Will I get wet if I go rafting?
- Do you still go rafting if it's raining?
- Where are the rails for the raft to go on?
Alternatively, send us an email.