Heading out this morning was our last multi day river trip of the season, a 5 day Rangitikei River Explorer.

While our seasonal window for multi day trips runs for another 3 weeks, it would take a late short notice booking to see another go out.

Where has the summer gone?

It seems only yesterday, but was in fact 4 months ago, the very beginning of warmer weather, that our first multi day trip of this summer left the Lodge. In the ensuing time we have spent days in the Headwaters, and we have floated down the Rangitikei River as far as Rathmoy Lodge near Hunterville. Many seasons we also spend time on the Ngaruroro River, and occasionally, journeying in our hand built river dories, we explore the Whanganui.

What is the lure of a multi day river trip?

Having been a part of multi day river trips on many different rivers, in quite a few countries, the lure for me is more about the scenery, wildlife, beautiful campsites and great company. While some fun rapids are also a good part of the mix, they are not essential. In fact recently I read some articles extolling the virtues of flat and calm water!

I’m not sure I’m quite ready to go to that extreme yet.

How Lucky Are We In New Zealand?

On this type of trip, multiple days on the water and camping each night beside the river, we often do not realise just how lucky we are in New Zealand.

First and foremost, on most multi day trips we do, with the exception of the Whanganui, other human beings are seldom seen. Contrast this to so many places overseas where the demand is such that numbers are strictly controlled to avoid overcrowding at campsites, and maintain a vestige of a wilderness experience while on the river.

We don’t have snakes or scorpions! Of course all is not perfect as we do have pesky sandflies.

We don’t have wildlife that would quite like to eat you, such as crocodiles. It is only when you cannot dive into the water for a swim, or dangle your hand over the side of the boat, that you realise that you miss these simple actions. Of course being a meal for a crocodile would not be great either.

On most sections we do trips on, we can still drink the water direct from the river. Even in New Zealand we are steadily losing the places we can do this. This is just one indictment on the negative effects of agricultural intensification.

Next Summer

Luckily, as you missed out doing a multi day trip this season, there is always next summer.

Put a multi day river trip into your planner!

We will be publishing next seasons scheduled departures on our booking system by May at the latest. However, this is New Zealand, and there won’t be thousands of people on the river that we have to work around. What this means is that if you have a date in mind, contact our reservation team and we will make it work for you.

A trip like this is always best with a few friends, so work on them, give them plenty of time to plan, and get them to come along with you.

You will be pleasantly surprised by how easy the whole process of organising and booking is, and how much fun a trip like this can be.

A Final Recommendation

One final bit of advice, plan on a minimum of 3 days on the river, with 2 nights camping and one night (the first prior to departing on the water) spent at River Valley Lodge. With a shorter trip, it often seems that you are no sooner on the river, than you are getting off at the other end.

See you on the water.

Brian Megaw

Camp fire with fish being smoked

Relaxed camping on a multi day river trip