All In The Family

Four guides, three passenger rafts, one very loaded gear raft, two inflatable kayaks, plus, eight adults and eight very excited children!

For a number of years we have been steadily growing the multi day river trip side of our rafting operation. This growth has involved both a greater range of trips – we now operate on the Whanganui and Ngaruroro Rivers, as well as at home on the Rangitikei – and more departures.

Why Go In This Direction?

A key part of what we see as the present and future direction of River Valley is reconnecting people with the natural world. A great place to experience this connection is on a multi day river trip.

Four Families

Over Waitangi Weekend 2018 (a New Zealand public holiday celebrating the 1840 signing of the Treaty between Maori Chiefs and the British Crown), we had four families head off downstream on a Mokai Canyon Trip. This is a three day trip, with two nights camping, and also, prior to departure, includes the first night’s accommodation at River Valley Lodge.

So How Does A Trip Like This Flow?

The rhythm of each day starts with the “Coffee” call. A morning ritual where you get up to freshly brewed coffee, or if you prefer tea or juice. This is followed by breakfast, cereal, fruit, toast, plus something cooked such as bacon or sausages and eggs. Then more coffee.

While the guides breakdown and stow the camp kitchen you can head off and pack your own gear, take down your tent and roll up that extra thick sleeping pad.

Mid morning sees us in our rafts, cruising downstream and feeling that unique anticipation as you wonder what lies around each twist and turn of the river, and what fun rapids await.

This is summer so the children make the most of every opportunity to swim and generally play round in boats.

The day is broken around noon for a picnic lunch, followed by a leisurely afternoon float, arriving at camp between 3 and 4 pm.

The Morning In Reverse

What happens now is a reverse of the morning pack. The gear raft is unburdened of all the multiple drybags and pieces of camping equipment that are required to make a river camp such a comfortable experience. It is not long before the children – and some adults – are back swimming and finding small ledges to jump into the deep clear water. The air is full of the sounds of fun, laughter and delight.

Late afternoon and it is time for pre dinner drinks and snacks. All the chairs have been unfolded and set out. From now until dark is a very social time of the day, interrupted only by dinner – build your own burgers tonight, followed by cheesecake.

As the dark closes in the sounds of camp become muted. The children, exhausted by all the days adventures are sound asleep. The adults, slowly follow them and drift off to their tents. Camp falls silent other than the haunting call of Ruru, the Morepork owl, the constant song of the river, and the occasional snore, heard now that camp is quiet.

The sun starts to warm camp. Coffee! Comes the call. A new day on the river.

What lies around the next bend?

The Rhythm of a Multi Day River Trip

Sarah, one of the parents had this to say about their trip – “Thank you so much to you and your amazing team for providing a great trip. We all absolutely loved it!

Kirk, Eddie, Justine and Nathan were just outstanding – especially with the kids. Such a great mix of total professionalism and safety with a hell of a lot of fun. Upmost respect to them all – what fantastic guys. Please pass on our thanks again to them.

I’ll place some feedback for you on trip advisor / FB etc soon – When I get the chance – I want to make sure to do it justice!

Eddie on the of the guides, said this – “It just seemed like hanging out with Whanau (family), Didn’t really feel like work at all.”

Multi day river trips, connecting with nature, and the unexpected benefit of reconnecting with each other. The perfect family holiday.


Brian Megaw

"Three passenger rafts, one really loaded gear raft, four guides, eight parents, eight children, and enough gear for three days"