River Valley Happenings of 2019
So much of our lives, we are constantly looking forward. Planning this, building that, New Year’s resolutions, this year is going to be much better than the previous year. And so on.
However, how often do we spend time looking back? Treasuring the highlights, remembering the low points, and feeling gratitude for all, both the special and not so special moments.
With this in mind, in the following, I thought I would detail, in no particular order, a few highlights and happenings that occurred at River Valley over 2019
Kiwi Experience Drivers Awards for Best Accommodation and Best Activity in New Zealand
At an event in Auckland, coinciding with adventure travel company Kiwi Experience’s 30th birthday, River Valley was the recipient of two awards, one for the drivers choice award for best accommodation on the Kiwi Experience circuit, and one for drivers choice award for best adventure activity, in this case, our Grade 5 White Water rafting trip.
Our Grade 5 White Water Rafting Trip Being Named by Red Bull as one of the Top 8 Rafting Trips on the Planet
We did not even realise that Red Bull had included our Grade 5 rafting trip in their shortlist until a customer pointed it out to us. This inclusion is great recognition for a superb section of white water on our local river, the Rangitikei.
The First 8 Day Horse Treks Fully Booked for 2020
After several years of research and working on the logistics, River Valley Stables in conjunction with the international horse-based travel company, Globetrotters, has released our first 8 Day Horse Trek. The first two treks are already full, while one more departure this summer still has a few vacancies.
This trek is an exciting development and the product of much hard work by Nicola in particular.
We Extended the Vegetable Garden and Erected a New Tunnel House
The vegetable garden just keeps growing! Each year we think the current fenced area should be big enough, but no, such is the demand by the Lodge kitchen for fresh organic produce that we never seem to be able to keep up. Maybe this year?
We Have Some New Owners
Okay, just to be clear, we have not sold. Rather, daughter Janey, and her husband Tom, have joined Nicola and me as owners of River Valley. This process is part of a planned succession which will see them, over time, taking a greater grip on the management of the company.
Carried on Tree planting and Regeneratively Grazing Animals
We are now into our fourth year of using a regenerative grazing model to feed our horses. This system of grazing is increasing biodiversity on our land, enhancing soil life, sequestering carbon, and hopefully making our property more resilient.
We are running out of places to plant trees! I suppose this is a good thing. This last winter, we primarily planted fruit trees.
Thelma and Louise
Late last summer we received two new arrivals, Thelma and Louise. These polled (hornless) Highland cattle were the first bovines we have had on the property for many years. We expected them to be quiet and friendly. They were, particularly at first not quiet at all, in fact quite wild. However, over time they have mellowed somewhat, and with their calves, Buffalo and Brad, form a small herd which most of the time works in with the horse trekking team.
We Worked With Some Great People
It takes a special person to flourish in the working environment that is River Valley. It can either be a really busy place or extremely quiet. It is in a sense isolated but has thousands of people come through the door. The people you work with are also invariably the same ones you both live with and recreate with.
I can easily say that I am grateful to the people that choose to work here and help make River Valley that special place.
Finally, to you, all our customers and guests. Thanks for choosing River Valley to be part of your holiday, function or breakaway. We hope to see you again soon.
All the best for 2020