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.
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.
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, and on cooler days, neoprene socks. Tents, extra thick sleeping pads.
What you need to Bring:
A complete gear list will be sent to you on Booking
Alternatively, follow this link to download the “What To Bring List“
Testimonials 'n Reviews
“Driving on SH1 between Mangaweka and Hunterville I could not keep my eyes off the white cliffs on the river side.”
My name is Martin and I have been running rivers since the age of 15, when I ran my first river in a fibreglass canoe. My home country was called Czechoslovakia back then and since those days I have paddled more than 200 rivers in my kayak, canoe, or a raft.
My passion for paddling has taken me to many countries and I have been fortunate enough to visit places where I would not have gotten otherwise.
I have known the Rangitikei River since 1996 when I first paddled the gorge with a friend. In the following years even with my home on the other side of the globe I still managed to visit River Valley a couple of times to paddle the river during my brief visits to NZ, as I thought it was well worth it.
It was only after moving to Taihape with my family that I started paying more attention to the parts of the river above the gorge and below. Driving on SH1 between Mangaweka and Hunterville I could not keep my eyes off the white cliffs on the river side. It did not take long and I started taking my friends and family on the river.
We have spent days and days canoeing and rafting the Rangitikei and I have discovered a totally new dimension to a river that I thought I knew pretty well.
I enjoy life on the river very much and the Rangitikei is a beauty that enables me to share my hobby with the people I care about.
In a word, this is a relaxed, rewarding and memorable experience.
From the first to the last moment, our four days with River Valley were entirely satisfactory. Accommodation, service and food at the well-appointed Lodge is excellent and pitched perfectly to the needs of its clientele.
Provision of the right gear and safety considerations are uppermost, allowing for a confident and enjoyable time. Campsites are well-chosen, care and good dining seemed effortless. There is, rightly, much emphasis from the guides on the considerable work they are engaged in, in keeping the beautiful river scape protected from exotic predators of the animal and poor farming kind.
Campfire conversation is wide-ranging and informed. In a word, this is a relaxed, rewarding and memorable experience. All in all, you couldn’t ask for more.
“From the first to the last moment, our four days with River Valley were entirely satisfactory. Accommodation, service and food at the well-appointed Lodge is excellent and pitched perfectly to the needs of its clientele.”
JOIN US ON A JOURNEY OF DISCOVERY DOWN THE BEAUTIFUL RANGITIKEI RIVER