After the darkness of winter and the frustrations of Covid induced lockdowns, it is that time of year when our thoughts inevitably move towards the warm long days of summer.

For the team at River Valley, warmer days and more sunshine lead to thoughts of multi-day river trips! We cannot be the only people with these thoughts as we have already received our first bookings for the coming season.

If you had not considered incorporating a multi-day river trip into your summer break before, now would be an excellent opportunity to change that. If you don’t know where to start, here are a few options. But first, who are such trips as these for?

Like everything in life, the answer is, it depends.

For instance, our three-day Mokai Canyon trip on the Rangitikei River is a tremendous amount of fun for families, or even several families or a group of friends going together. It has beautiful campsites, fun rapids and great scenery. No wonder it is our most popular multi-day river trip. A Mokai Canyon trip can be extended by a further two days, making it a five day (six night) Rangitikei River Explorer, finishing the last night well downstream with a stay at Rathmoy Lodge.

Part of the river section rafted on a Mokai Canyon trip is also travelled on a Lodge to Lodge River trip. This offering is for those who like days on the water, but like a little more luxury, with their evening accommodation in a Lodge rather than a tent.

kid on Mokai Canyon multi day river trip

Mokai Canyon & Lodge to Lodge Multi-Day River Trips

I have often wondered why so few people have been on the upper Ngaruroro River in sunny Hawkes Bay. This two-day wilderness trip is ideal for those who want challenging rafting but are short of time. The Ngaruroro is a small river with a short season. Departures start in October and seldom last after November. It really is a case of the early season rafter catching the water.

Thinking of more significant challenges brings us to The Epic Rangitikei and The Rangitikei Headwaters Expedition. These trips, three or four days, respectively, both involve exciting rafting, dramatic scenery, and a helicopter fly-in in the case of the Rangitikei Headwaters Expedition. A minimum age of 13 years is required for both of these trips. The Rangitikei Headwaters expedition, in particular, is very much a wilderness trip.

Mountains to Vineyard

The Narrows - Grade 5 Rafting

The Epic Rangitikei

Rangitikei River Headwaters Multi Day River Trip

Rangitikei Headwaters Expedition

Finally, we come to our unique river dory journeys. River Dories are beautiful custom hand-built wooden boats that we only operate on the Whanganui River, journeying through Whanganui National Park. We offer departures of four, five and six days. Camping each night is at Department of Conservation campsites. While open canoes are generally the type of river craft used on the Whanganui, our dories offer a level of charm, comfort and stability that is entirely missing from a canoe.

River dory trips are especially suitable for people that for whatever reason, would prefer to avoid the rigours or physical exertion of paddling a canoe. We have had guests read books, film, take photos and even knit while taking in the beauty of the national park. If you have ever thought your days of undertaking such adventures as the Whanganui Journey were over, the opportunity to explore the river in one of these beautiful boats may be just right for you.

Whanganui River Dories

We are often asked, what is the best multi-day river trip?

As mentioned above, it truly does depend. We think the selection of river trips we offer has something for everyone. Do I have a favourite? Again, all I can say is that it does depend. Often it is as much about who I am with as anything else. As most of our departures are single groups, these trips are great opportunities to spend quality time with friends and family.

What is well proven is that we all need time in nature. A multi-day river trip could be exactly what you and yours need.

If you want to know more, go to our website and investigate the offerings.

Hope to see you on the river.

Brian Megaw

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