Lodge to Lodge Horse Trek

A Multi-Day Horse Riding Holiday

Lodge to Lodge – A Multi-Day Horse Riding Holiday 2020-05-19T22:08:46+00:00

Lodge to Lodge Multi-Day Horse Riding Holiday

Duration: 2 Days / 2 Nights

Cost: $1655 2 Pax Twin Share or Double / $995 Single*

*Minimum requirement of 2 people per trip.  If you are travelling on your own please enquire to see what dates are available.

Season: 1st January to 30th March

Dates: 14-16th January 2021
3-5th February 2021
27-29th March 2021

If these dates do not suit you please enquire – as long as we have a minimum of 2 people and both lodges have accommodation free we can run a trip on any dates between January-March.

Riding Ability:  Intermediate – Advanced

Conditions:  Minimum Age 13 Years.  Maximum weight 100kg

The Drive into North Island High Country

Every corner a new vista, the great volcanoes of Ruapehu, Tongariro and Ngauruhoe out to the north, the Ruahine Ranges to the East.

You will become a part of these hills and deep river canyons while exploring and trekking over this, at times, dramatic landscape.

The True Base for Adventures

Dinner the first night inside River Valley Lodge a true base for adventures and holidays on horseback. There is the hustle and bustle of other people preparing for the next day, some white water rafting, some horse back riding. There is a sense of excitement in the air.

Leaving the main Lodge and heading back to your room, it is as if you have entered another world. The darkness is quiet, it is hushed, except for the ever present sound of the river.

A sound that is urging you to explore. Tomorrow you will answer that call.

Meeting the Horses

A hearty breakfast, then up to the Stables to meet the horses. Strong sure footed hill country trekking horses.

You will already have indicated the type of saddle you preferred, and as much as possible, this preference has been met. Soon you are mounted, and heading out of the yards for the big adventure.

And what an adventure. You will ride around the flanks of 3000′ high Pukeokahu, before following a trail down into the Rangitikei River Canyon.

A canyon of immense papa cliffs, river terraces, and crystal clear water. That water will need to be crossed a number of times as you travel downstream towards your destination, Tarata Fishaway Lodge.

Feet Up Time

Late afternoon, horses have been fed and let go, you can put your feet up, a well earned glass of wine, and soak in the hot tub.

After relaxing, it will be time to head over to the Tarata Homestead for dinner. Conversation round the table of horses, rivers, fish and landscapes.

Bed with dreams of Horses, Rivers and Landscapes

Bed that night feels so good. On the breeze you can hear the river talking to you still, telling you about tomorrow. Come and explore more it says.

The next day, as you head back towards River Valley Lodge, there will be more river crossings, and then up and over the summit of Pukeokahu. Everywhere you look is full of one picture postcard scene after another. A late lunch is spent taking it all in.

Home and the Magic of Memories

All too soon, the gate into the Stables yard closes after the last horse. Home. This adventure is over, except for the magic of memories.

The Details

Minimum Age – 13 Years – (we do make exceptions to this if a younger person has extensive riding experience)

This ride is only suitable for people who have at least an Intermediate riding ability. It is not suitable for novice or beginner riders.

What Is Included:

  • Riding Boots, helmet, leather chaps, and long oilskin riding coats for changeable weather.
  • Meals provided – 2 x Cooked Breakfasts, 2 x 3 Course Dinners, 2 x Trekkers Lunches.  A complimentary drink each night with dinner.
  • Rides – 2 x full days riding
  • Accommodation – Deluxe ensuite guest rooms for 2 nights.

What Is Not Included:

  • Travel Insurance (recommended)
  • Transport to/from River Valley before and after the trip.
  • Any extra food or beverages purchased at either lodge.

What you need to Bring:

  • Long pants
  • Warm top on cooler days
  • Sunscreen
  • A camera suitable to be taken riding
  • Lodge clothing
  • Swimwear
  • A full list will be sent to you upon booking.


The first night is spent at River Valley Lodge.  Check in any time from 3pm and relax in a deluxe ensuite guest room.  Enjoy a 3 course dinner made with free range, organic meat and fresh vegetables from our on-site gardens.

The second night is spent at Tarata Fishaway lodge.  To recover from your day in the saddle, take a soak in the hot tub, overlooking the river.  Then head over to the homestead for a home cooked dinner.

Rooms can be made up as doubles or twin.

Make sure you bring your swimwear to enjoy complimentary use of the spa facilities.

Lodge to Lodge Horse Trek with River Valley Stables

Testimonials & Reviews

“What a fabulous few days away. Accommodation in the Riverside Deluxe room at River Valley was great. Food was excellent and really friendly relaxed environment and hosts. And as for the riding it was better than I ever expected. Autumn was an excellent guide and great company. I was so impressed with Dakota, the pinto gelding that I was matched with. He was so obedient, well behaved and super responsive. Had lots of energy and really soft. Fell in love with him. A real credit to the River Valley Stables for such a happy and energetic horse who loves his work. And of course we also stayed at Tarata Lodge. Spectacular scenery and lodge. Great food and wine and the spa bath on the deck overlooking the the chasm that is the river is very special.”

Helen Down


“Originally due to come with my sister who is the more experienced horsewoman, I arrived solo for a 2 day riding trip.  The river was too high, so a slight change of plan from 2 long days on the saddle. Which suited this horse rider just fine. Nicola and her team at the stables looked after me so well. The horses are happy, well loved and cared for and the opportunity to ride freestyle ( halters, no bits) was fantastic. I am converted.  To you all at River Valley – thank you very much for your warm hospitality and opportunity to ride bitless in an incredibly beautiful landscape.  I left invigorated, reflecting on why I had settled in Aotearoa some 18 years ago. My weekend was a timely reminder of how extraordinary this land is. The people ain’t too bad either.  Time for exploring again…”

Nicola T


“The “lodge to lodge” horse ride was simply amazing. Everything that you could ask for in a great ride for experienced and intermediate riders. The horses were responsive and matched well to us as riders. Nicola and Ayla were so friendly and helpful and a pleasure to spend a couple of days with and the whole operation is professional and well organized. The views on the ride were simply stunning. The meals and accomodation were also fabulous. First night we spent in river valley and it was so beautiful. Second night we enjoyed the hospitality at the Tarata fishing lodge which was fantastic. Thanks River Valley.”

Renee McDermott


“Just returned from Lodge to Lodge trek with my daughter and it was incredible. Awesome company too, with Autumn our guide, and Dani. Learnt a lot along the way too! Highly recommend.”

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Jeanine Mitchell


An Interview with Lisa & Lisa

“… we were completely happy with everything. It’s been great.”

“We have had a great weekend, hanging out together. It was easy. It just felt normal.”

What was the Biggest Obstacle to going on a River Valley Stables Lodge to Lodge Trek?

Lisa 1: The biggest obstacle for me was organizing the family while I was away. I was not so worried about the trek, as I felt I was coming somewhere where it’s all pre-organised.

Lisa 2: The biggest obstacle for me was that my friend kept ringing up, and telling me that I was going to fall off all of the time.

Lisa 1: And nobody fell off!

Lisa 2: It was tough finding the right trek to do. We did fluff about and looked at several before booking this one.

Lisa 1: We were looking for that balance of girly weekend, and good horse riding.

Lisa 2: Also we didn’t want to sleep in a tent each night.

Lisa 1: Especially as we knew our butts would be a bit sore!

Did the Trek meet your expectations?

Lisa 1: The horse riding has absolutely met my expectations. In fact it’s exceeded it. And I was just saying to Lizzy (one of the guides) today, it’s a feeling of owning your own horse without owning your horse. For the last two days we’ve groomed, we’ve fed, we have washed, we’ve done everything to the horses. So from start to finish, we have been completely in control of our ride.

The variation in terrain made a difference as well, as it did not feel like that pack horse mentality.

Lisa 2: I was blown away. I loved it because you have your expectations– you’re not quite sure, because you wonder about what kind of horse you will get or will you be able to control it? Or is it going to do what you want it to do, or is it going to be one of those horses that’s just going to doddle along and not be very responsive.

But I think to see the types of land that you have to travel over and to see how well the horses cope with that, it made me feel very safe. I felt that the horse that I was on completely knew what he was doing, was very sure footed and made me feel quite secure.

The variety of terrain made it quite exciting. One minute we were going through rivers and then down steep hills, but I still felt confident on that horse (Bling). I never felt like I was frightened or somewhere where I was in danger. I always felt that I was well looked after.

What were the specific features that you liked most?

Lisa 2: I loved the scenery. I was just completely blown away. We travel up and down the road, from Wellington through Taihape all of the time but we had not taken the opportunity to get out and see what the scenery in this part of the country really looks like.

Just to be on the back of a horse, riding through those rivers looking up at those cliff faces, I was blown away. That’s what I really loved the most of the whole thing.

Lisa 1: For me, it was the sense of this being completely my weekend. If I wanted to go off for a canter, I was more than able do that and was never told that I couldn’t do that.

I felt that I was in control of the day from start to the end. And again, I can only say it felt like it was my horse for two days and I was allowed to do what I wanted in a secure and controlled environment. It was really good.

Would you recommend River Valley?

Lisa 1: Absolutely. In fact Lisa and I have already talked about making this a regular girls weekend, and next time, we would know which horses we were asking for and which guides we were asking for and we’d say we’ll do a different route so each day we would see more of the scenery.

Lisa 2: Absolutely exceeded our expectations. I don’t think you’re ever really sure of what to expect when you book bought something?

Lisa 1: That’s right

Lisa 2: But we were completely happy with everything. It’s been great.

Is there anything else that you would like to add?

Lisa 1 & Lisa 2: We have had a great weekend, hanging out together. It was easy. It just felt normal.

lodge to lodge horse trek panorama


Contact one of our friendly adventure consultants who would love to answer any questions you might have.

0800 248666 / +64 6 388 1444