Rangitikei River Explorer

Rangitikei River, North Island, New Zealand

Multi-Day Lodge and Camping River Expedition on the Rangitikei River, North Island, New Zealand 2019-08-01T23:44:47+00:00

Rangitikei River Explorer

Duration: 5 Days and 6 Nights

Cost: $1530 per Adult, $1330 per Child

Season: 1st November to 31st March

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.

The canyons of the Rangitikei River offers some of the most beautiful river scenery of any river in New Zealand, including better known names such as the Whanganui or Clarence. And yet, for the most part only a select lucky few venture to truly explore it.

It has always been somewhat of a mystery to us why this has been the case.

We realised there were probably two reasons for this.

1/. People are not aware of the beauty of this river
2/. They are aware, but don’t know how to access it

If you have ever wanted to really know what lies in that spectacular river canyon that you only occasionally glimpse while traveling on SH1, then this is the trip for you.

The Rangitikei River Explorer, is a river expedition that allows you to access the canyon, and lets you see the beauty of this unique waterway

You will encounter few (if any) people as you take in how the canyon walls rise dramatically from the river, appreciate clear fresh water, and relax at camp sites that are quiet and secluded.

Unlike most multi day river trips, this particular trip has a mix of camping and staying at beautiful riverside Lodges.

Who is The Rangitikei River Explorer For?

This trip is especially for you if you have a desire to explore this river, discover some of the seldom visited scenic highlights just short walks from the water, and relax into “river” time.

A Rangitikei River Explorer is ideal for older family groups or groups of mature friends who want adventure and time out together. There is a minimum age of 10 years.

How Much Time do I Need to Allow?

The Rangitikei River Explorer is five days on the river, with four nights camping on the river in some idyllic camping spots. The night before departure is spent at River Valley Lodge in deluxe guest room accommodation.

80 km downstream at Rathmoy Lodge is where we spend the last night together. We will have a farewell dinner before heading back to River Valley Lodge the following morning.

What Route Does the Trip Take?

The Rangitikei River Explorer starts from the Lodge and travels downstream, ending at Rathmoy Lodge, a distance of 80 km

Rapids are generally no more than Grade 2, except for two just downstream from River Valley Lodge that go to Grade 3 and may be portaged. All the rest are just good fun.

The scenery changes day by day and hour by hour, from tight boxlike papa (mudrock) gorges, to native bush lined shores, to patches of more open farmland.

Where Do We Stay Each Night?

The Rangitikei River Explorer is a whitewater rafting, camping and Lodge based trip. We would urge you not to be put off by the camping compnent. Camping equipment and comfort has come a long way over the last few years.

While enjoying the beauty of each campsite, you will be able to sit in a chair around a crackling campfire, eat food worthy of a restaurant, and sleep in fully waterproof tents on extra thick sleeping pads.

What Sort of Boats Do You Travel In?

This trip is run in a mixture of rafts and for those wishing a little more excitement, inflatable kayaks. You can of course swap around and have a turn in both.

What Happens at the End of the Trip?

We stay the final night at Rathmoy Lodge. The following morning you can either be shuttled back to River Valley Lodge, or if required, your vehicles may be shuttled to the trip end point.

If this trip does not suit your requirements, you may wish to search for a more suitable rafting trip here

What we Provide:

  • Wetsuit or fleece lined paddle pants
  • Helmet
  • Lifejacket
  • Neoprene booties
  • Fleece top
  • Paddle jacket
  • On cooler days, neoprene socks or gloves.
  • Tents
  • Extra thick sleeping pads
  • Dry bags for your gear

What you need to Bring:

Sleeping bags.
A complete gear list will be sent to you on Booking.
Alternatively, follow this link to download the “What To Bring List

Meals and Accommodation Provided:

Testimonials & Reviews

“We did a 5-day rafting trip in January. Fantastic, awesome and fabulous don’t do it justice. Our guides and assistants were just wonderful; hot percolated coffee each morning followed by great food every day. The river is beautiful and it’s serenity was just what I needed. Thank you doesn’t say enough. Making the Rangitikei accessible and available like this is truly wonderful. Unfortunately, there are only 5 stars…”

facebook logo

Mark Shipman


“We completed the 6 day epic adventure from River Valley down to Rathmoy Lodge. What a fantastic experience this was, with excellent guides, great food, and amazing campsites along the Rangitikei River. I would thoroughly recommend this adventure to anyone. Its a great opportunity to leave your cellphone turned off and feel the wind in your hair, the spray on your face and the warmth of the campfire at night. Thanks to the whole team at River Valley but especially Nathan & Eddie – very professional and very friendly !”

“Wow what a fantastic trip my teenager and I loved it. 5 days 6 nights, 80 km of river and amazing scenery. The guides were funny, relaxed and very experienced. This is definitely a hidden gem, amidst the many NZ rafting options. Small group enriched the experience and camping was a breeze even for a novice. Plenty of time to either self paddle in the “duckies” or raft in the larger rafts with the group. If you are a warm climate person I would recommend opting to take a wet suit supplied by River Valley for potential windy / rainy days, and take sturdy “jandals” for walking across the rocks and river beds. Thanks to River Valley we’re rafting converts.”

Alison M.




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

0800 248666  / [email protected]