Years ago, river guides here at River Valley found late summer and early autumn a frustrating time of year – especially for getting out on the water on the Rangitikei River.

The Rangitikei River is natural flow, meaning no dams, and river levels that respond to rain or the lack of rain. Generally in our part of the world, there is not a lot of rain at this time of year, so consequently river flows that are too low to boat in conventional rafts.

Contrast this to yesterday morning.. There was an edge of excitement in the air. Guides were excited, customers had no real idea about what they were in for, but were feeding off the guides. The reason why?

This was the first “duckie” trip of the season!

Duckies or inflatable kayaks (not really a kayak at all, more like a miniature raft), are two person boats that are simply awesome fun at lower river levels. Customers guide and crew their own boats, while the guides try and keep them pointing in the right direction and out of trouble.

The end result is a tremendously fun couple of hours on the water running all the big name rapids. rapids such as The Gates, Max’s Drop, Fulcrum, Foamy and See Thru.

It was fantastic to see all the happy smiling faces at the end of the trip, and hear people saying – “That was so much fun!”

Because this trip is so weather related we cannot guarantee how long “Duckie” season will last. this summer.

If this level of fun sounds like you, then you can simply book a standard Grade 5 rafting trip, and if the river is in the right flow range, then “Duckies it will be”. Alternatively, send us an email – or phone 0800 248666.

Trips depart daily.

Brian Megaw

Thrill and spills in Duckies on the Rangitikei River