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River Valley Blog
Changes to the Rangitikei River Explorer
A couple of years ago we introduced a new trip to our range of multi day rafting adventures on the Rangitikei River. This new trip was called the Rangitikei River Explorer and was inspired by a journey Brian did over three days, rowing a cataraft from River Valley Lodge to the sea, finishing on the coast at Tangimoana.
The four day Rangitikei River Explorer does not go all the way to the sea, (it would be more of an endurance event if it did) but does cover a good deal of the middle reaches of the river.
This original version of the trip has been successful, however we recently got the opportunity to add some difference to it.
New Additions to the Rangitikei River Explorer
There are two new additions to this trip.
First of all, we have extended the trip from 4 to 5 days on the river.
Second, we got the opportunity to finish the trip with a night at the luxurious riverside Rathmoy Lodge, before travelling back home the following morning.
So this is the trip for 2014 - 2015.
A nights Lodge accommodation at either end of the trip - River Valley Lodge the first night and Rathmoy Lodge the last night. 5 days rafting and 4 nights riverside camping in some spectacular campsites with great food and quality camping equipment.
Who Is The Trip For?
This is the perfect trip to enjoy in the company of friends and extended family. Groups size is a maximum of 8 guests.
More information can be found here
Book this trip in your favorites for next summer.
Posted by Brian Megaw on 24th April, 2014 | Comments | Trackbacks | Permalink
Tags: rafting new zealand, adventure holidays, adventure travel, multi day rafting trips, Rangitikei River, Rathmoy Lodge
Dates Released for Multi Day Adventure Holidays 2014 - 2015
As the 2013 - 2014 summer season winds down we have been reflecting on what worked, and what did not. What seemed to exceed our customers experiences, and what was just average.
Luckily there was very little in the average and plenty in the exceeding expectations categories.
One of the biggest areas of satisfaction for us was the growth in the number of both multi day horse trekking holidays and multi day rafting trips and the fun people had on them. We get a great deal of satisfaction in seeing people having the time to either build a relationship with their horse or settle into the rhythm of river time.
Knowing the amount of organisation and time planning that can be involved for you, our customers, before you even book one of these trips, we made a decision to open dates a month earlier for reservations for next season than what we have previously.
You can find details about multi day rafting trips here
You can find details about multi day horse treks here
Multi day adventure holidays such as these trips can be life changing. We hope to see you on one.
Posted by Brian Megaw on 17th April, 2014 | Comments | Trackbacks | Permalink
Tags: rafting new zealand, adventure holidays, white water rafting, natural horsemanship, adventure travel, multi day rafting trips, Multi day rafting
More on Stoats and Blue Duck Recovery
This last week was the time of the month for Stoat trap checking on the river and an adjoining farm, Pukeokahu Station.
We caught 5 more Stoats and a bunch of rats.
While this was a good result, and no doubt saved the lives of quite a few native birds, including Whio (Blue Duck), what is really interesting, and quite exciting, is the number of people in the local community who have come up to me and asked to join the project, either to help check traps or set up lines on their own properties. This bodes well for the future of the project.
Without the advantages of modern technology, it can be hard to see what difference we are making, and really picture the network of pest control that is slowly developing. This is where Google Earth comes in.
With the help of Bob Jordan, who set up the recording system at Blue Duck Station, you can now see the distribution of traps on this part of the Rangitikei River, and how effective each trap is. You can access the file from Dropbox by clicking here
To open the file, first save to your computer. You will need the latest version of Google Earth installed.
Next, go to Google Earth and do a File Open command and point the open command to that file you just saved.
As soon as it loads you will get the latest version of trap data. At any time you can make it ask for a later version by doing a Rt Click and selecting Refresh. It is easy as that.
If you would like to be involved in some way with this project, then send me an email.
Posted by Brian Megaw on 7th April, 2014 | Comments | Trackbacks | Permalink
Tags: rafting new zealand, New Zealand, Rangitikei River, conservation, New Zealand native birds, stoat trapping, Blue Duck
It is that time of year when there gets to be a bit more activity amongst the Lodge sheep than normal.
The cause of that activity?
Rambo is our newest addition to the flock at River Valley. He is a Dorper ram, short, muscled up and keen. Bit like Sly Stallone in his younger days, hence the name.
Just how keen we will see in about 5 months time, however for now he is doing all the things you would expect of a ram.
For those who are interested, Dorpers were a breed established in South Africa by crossing Dorset Horn with Black Headed Persian sheep. The breed is hardy, fast growing and fertile at a young age. They are especially good in arid areas, which might be a big plus if we keep getting summer droughts.
You will see Rambo and his harem wondering around the Lodge Golf course most days.
Meet Rambo, him in the white with the black hoodie
Posted by Brian Megaw on 30th March, 2014 | Comments | Trackbacks | Permalink
Tags: Dorper sheep, farming, River Valley Lodge
Talking About "The Old Days" - life of a River Guide
This weekend just gone I caught up with a bunch of old friends, people I had had time with on the river in the early 80s and later. Many of these people were retired river guides and even rafting company owners who had sold their businesses and moved on to "real" jobs.
We talked about where people were in their lives now, what they were doing for a job, and of course some talk of the "old" days.
For many of these people, being a rafting guide had been one of the highlights of their lives, and in many cases something in a way they still missed.
Food for thought. What is it that was missed?
No doubt for many these included the camaraderie of working as a team on the river, the opportunity to see nature in it's raw beauty in places few get to visit, and probably the adrenaline and sometimes fear of running big white water.
Time moves on however and except for an occasional revisit to a favorite river, those times are now for most, past.
Where does this leave those of us that still work the river, even as age threatens to over take us?
Incredibly lucky I guess.
Posted by Brian Megaw on 24th March, 2014 | Comments | Trackbacks | Permalink
Tags: rafting new zealand, adventure holidays, Rangitikei River, conservation
When Is Too Old?
Recently I have a couple of conversations that got me to thinking?
What was I thinking about?
What I was thinking about was the old question of when are you too old to be active on the river and adventuring in general?
What set me on these thoughts was talking to Jeffe Aronson, a 60 year old river guide with 35 years experience mostly on the Grand Canyon, and secondly an application for a trainee position on the river here from someone who is 50 years old.
Of course my own age of 55 years was a factor!
Do we lose something on our trips when all the guides are in their mid twenties as is the norm in most of the "adventure" industry? I think we do.
Of course the question is not only about the guides, but also about our customers. We regularly have people on our rafting or horse trekking trips who are in their 60s and even occasionally 70's, and sometimes even older.
I think the real point is, if we are physically capable, and just as importantly still passionate about adventuring, then it is a loss to the experience we provide our clients if we retire, just because we "think" we are past it.
Abraham Lincoln had that great quote that sums it up;
"In the end, its not the years in your life that count. Its the life in your years"
Clients or guides, it is good for our souls to continue to experience and share the things we are passionate about.
Posted by Brian Megaw on 8th March, 2014 | Comments | Trackbacks | Permalink
Tags: rafting new zealand, adventure holidays, Ngaruroro River, natural horsemanship
First OARS trip to River Valley and New Zealand
There is a cheese advert on New Zealand TV that talks about the art of making good cheese. In the advert the lead actor finishes off with the statement that good things take time.
Well that certainly was the case recently.
After several years of work and discussion, we finally had our first tour from OARS on the ground in New Zealand. OARS are an American rafting and adventure travel company who operate from California but also have operations on a number of other rivers including the Colorado through Grand Canyon.
The tour started in Auckland on board a sailing ship with dinner and quite a breeze. Over the next few days people got to experience some of the North Island. This included, black water rafting, Maori concert and hangi, jet boating on the Whanganui River and over nighting at the Bridge to No Where Lodge, a cycle winery tour in Hawkes Bay and a visit to the Pukaha MT Bruce Wildlife Centre.
Of course the tour would not have been complete without spending some time at River Valley. A couple of days here were busy with a farm tour, inflatable kayaking, horse riding, some visited Gravity Canyon, and a bit of time was taken for some relaxation.
What Sort of Group Were They?
I always find it refreshing to spend time with people who are a little older, but still adventurous, still interested in trying new things, and pushing themselves a little. This described the group.
The other thing I notice with these types of people is how interested they are in other people.
Thanks OARS and Carrie Aronson who put so much time into organising the tour.
Bob, (with mohawk) getting some sheep shearing tips during the farm visit.
Posted by Brian Megaw on 2nd March, 2014 | Comments | Trackbacks | Permalink
Tags: OARS, adventure travel, inflatabale kayaking, adventure New Zealand
Revisiting The Best River to Be On
While I have already visited this subject in a previous post, I think it needs revisiting.
Every time I take customers down the river I am always asked, "What is the best river I have ever been on?"
And what do I answer?
All of them
All those rivers have something special, something unique. It could be the powerful warm water waves of the Zambezi, the immense Canyon Walls of the Colorado through the Grand Canyon, the remoteness and beauty of the upper Rangitikei, the busyness of the first day on a Ngaruroro overnight trip, and so on. Too many to mention here.
However, what often as not brings these rivers truly alive is the people you are with, especially when they are also listening to and feeling the rhythm of the river.
"Best" can only be measured in some way in which facts and figures can tell the story - longest, steepest, most rapids, most big rapids, most fall outs and so on. And of course best for who?
When you are next on the river, just be present. Today, this river you are on is simply the best.
The Colorado River through the Grand Canyon
Posted by Brian Megaw on 15th February, 2014 | Comments | Trackbacks | Permalink
Tags: rafting new zealand, Rangitikei River, Ngaruroro River, New Zealand rivers, rivers to raft