In this post, I would like to present an idea we have and get your feedback. You can either comment on Facebook or send Brian an email –

In these changing times, with the effects of Covid likely to last for years, businesses like River Valley have some real challenges. We have to adapt, give our present and future customers what they want, and hopefully surprise them with special extras.

Here at River Valley, a crucial part of our strategy encourages guests to stay longer at the Lodge. Suppose you are like me when I visit somewhere for a few days, and while I certainly like downtime, I also like a few options of things to do. A nice mix of comfortable accommodation, time out, good food, and a choice of adventures – as I get older, more soft undertakings, please – is right up my alley.

At River Valley, our present adventure offerings centre around both river trips and experiences with horses. Both offerings include trips from half a day to multi-day—with the latter ranging from two days to eight days. Our horse treks are orientated towards “Rides for Riders”, while on the river, we offer from Grade 5 white water rafting (exhilarating) to beautiful scenic trips.

For those familiar with where River Valley is located, you will know we are in an area with some stunning hill and high country scenery. While the road out to River Valley Lodge is sealed, most roads in our local area are gravel and worth some time exploring.

The Plan Requiring Feedback – (Have you noticed how cycling is the new golf?)

Here is our plan, in two stages.

Stage 1:

We will offer a shuttle service to customers where we take guests and their own bikes up to the junction of Mangaohane Road with the Taihape-Napier Road (The Gentle Annie), from where they can then ride back to the Lodge. The distance is 35kms on a backcountry gravel road, set amid some absolutely stunning scenery. There are two significant climbs and three very long downhills (see elevation profile picture). We would offer a gourmet lunch that riders could take if they wanted to make more of a day of it.

Annie to the Lodge Elevation

I think for most people, allowing a stop at the river, maybe for a swim, would make it a three hour, maybe longer, adventure. Of course, you could do it quicker (or slower!).

Riders would be given a map displaying the route and information on the area they are riding through.  The road winds its way through some large sheep and cattle stations, each with its own fascinating story and history.

Gentle Annie Cycling

Stage 2

As stage 1, but also offering bike hire – most likely e-bikes. Stage 2 would only be implemented if there was sufficient demand for Stage 1.

The attached photos give some idea of the landscape. From my point of view, having of late got back into cycling, all I can say is it is a really lovely ride, with a couple of big hills, but some very long fun downhills.

cycling panorama

If we go ahead with this, it will be available this season. So when coming to stay, make sure you bring your bike!

Would you be interested in such a shuttle service? Would you be interested in hiring bikes if we offered them?


Any comments and feedback are appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

Brian Megaw

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