Mountains to Vineyard

Overnight Rafting Trip on the Ngaruroro River, Hawkes Bay

Overnight Rafting trip on the Ngaruroro River 2019-07-19T02:16:32+00:00

Mountains to Vineyard

Duration: 2 Days / 2 Nights

Cost: 2 Pax Twin share $1519 / Single $845.

Season: 4th October to 4th December (water levels permitting)

Conditions:  This trip requires a minimum of 3 adult fares to run. If you are a solo, please contact our reception on 0800 248666 or check our list of guaranteed departures, to join an existing trip.

From the Mountains of the Kaweka Ranges, to the Vineyards of the Heretaunga Plains

Have you always had a desire to do an overnight river rafting trip, but been put off by the thought of “roughing it”?

You know, all those mental pictures of poor food, being cold, wet, tired, and sleeping on uneven ground?

If Roughing It Is Not You, Then Is This?

River Valley’s Mountains to Vineyard overnight rafting trip on the Ngaruroro River, could be the trip you are after. This is unique amongst activities in Hawkes Bay in that it matches the regions strengths of wine and food with a great adventure.

Imagine a comfortable amount of rafting on each of the two days. Rapids not exceeding Grade 3 – that is fun but not too challenging – and most of the time surrounded by the spectacular Hawkes Bay wilderness scenery of the Kaweka Ranges.

So who is this trip especially for?

People like Brian (our boss!).

Is This What You Would Want?

This trip is for people who want:

  • Moderate adventure
  • Great food and good wine
  • Comfortable riverside camping
  • The fun of riding rapids
  • And all of this surrounded by beautiful scenery

A Very Short Season

The season for the Ngaruroro is very short as Hawkes Bay being on the eastern side of the North Island has full summer come early. We have departures during October, November and early December only. After this date the river generally has insufficient water.

Click on the Booking Link on this page to check availability and to Book your trip.

Custom Departure Dates Are Available

Custom dates are possible if no published dates suit your schedule. Please make an enquiry with one of our Adventure Consultants if this is the case.

There is a minimum group size of 3. We may have other people who are interested in the same dates – so ALWAYS ENQUIRE!

What we Provide:

  • Wetsuit or fleece lined paddle pants, helmet, lifejacket, neoprene booties, fleece top, paddle jacket, and on cooler days, neoprene gloves and neoprene socks.
  • Tents and luxury sleeping pads.
  • 1 night in a deluxe ensuite guest room at River Valley Lodge the night before departure on the river.
  • Meals provided – 2 x Cooked Breakfast, 2 x Lunch, 1 x on river Dinner. 1 x Dinner at River Valley Lodge the night before trip departure

What you need to Bring:

Towel, Swimsuit and a thirst for adventure

Sleeping bags

A complete gear list of what you will need to bring, will be sent to you on booking.

Video of rafting the Ngaruroro River

Testimonials & Reviews

“Watching the skill with which our guides navigated the rapids and the braided river channels. They made it look easy, but their experience and strength was a constant reassurance.”

The approach to River Valley filled us with anticipation as we drove deeper into the Ruahine Range and eventually descended into the Rangitikei Valley and found the lodge nestled beside the river.

The setting is stunning and the buildings are in harmony with their surroundings. We were immediately given a warm welcome by the Manager, Brian and made to feel at home. All the staff and volunteers were really friendly and the food was excellent.

It was a 4 hour drive down from Cambridge, and the thought of another 1.5 hour drive to the put in the following morning wasn’t great. However, the scenery was impressive and it was new country for us so the journey didn’t seem that long.

It was the same on the way home: the extra time in the minibus was a small price to pay for the splendour and isolation of the Ngaruroro Valley. We were on such a high that our drive back to Cambridge that evening flew by amid recounts of falling out of rafts, camping in the wilderness and navigating braided river channels.

The highlights of the trip were as follows:

The total sense of isolation and wilderness that began within 10 minutes of launching the rafts and lasted until we saw some fishermen an hour before reaching the take-out site. This was exactly what we had been looking for when researching a rafting experience for our family. Although we were only away for two days we felt we had been on a big adventure, and at times it felt like we were exploring uncharted territory!
Experiencing the different stages of the river, from shallow riffles to deep pools, calm sections to raging rapids, steep valley to open braided floodplain. And throughout its course, no evidence of human interference.
The Ennis and Jones families.

(Jan 2011)

To read the rest of Peter’s comments, please click here.

The Ngaruroro River is a river that has always interested me, but one which I seldom had much connection with.

For quite some time I had been entertaining the idea of creating an overnight trip on the section of river below Kuripapango, where the Napier – Taihape Road, The Gentle Annie, crosses the river.

I had done the upstream section before, and this is also a great trip, but really more like three to four days than two.

Needing to put thought into action, two of the other guides, Tom and Liam, and myself, paddled the two days in one in July 2010 – the middle of winter!

We were pleasantly surprised!

The scenery was everything I expected it to be and more. What was a real surprise however was the sheer number of Grade 2 – 3 rock garden style rapids. Just straight good fun rapids.

Being lower in altitude than the Rangitikei, the river and air temperature are also substantially warmer – in fact we normally bargain on Hawkes Bay being at least one month ahead in their spring coming out of winter, of where we are at River Valley.

Because the Ngaruroro catchment is not as big as our home river, the Rangitikei, low water conditions prevail for much of the year.

With this in mind, we are only running these trips in spring.

We put a lot of thought into who these Mountains to Vineyard are really for. This is no hard core adventure trip. Our idea is a leisurely, fun, adventurous trip, riding the many rapids, excellent food, wine and interesting conversations around a camp fire.

If this is the type of trip that you think you would enjoy, then give us a call.

Brian Megaw – River Valley
Click here for further Testimonials

“Our idea was for a leisurely, fun, adventurous trip, with excellent food, wine and interesting conversations around a camp fire.”

rafting on the ngaruroro river, hawkes bay



Speak to one of our friendly adventure consultants who would love to help you out.

0800 248666  /