Scary, or is the Scent of a Multi-Day trip in the Air?

We are just seeing the last of the sunshine of what has been ten incredible days of July weather. A little bit of snow in the forecast now, and certainly cooler temperatures for the next few days, but nothing too bad.

I had a quiet beer with one or two farmers a couple of days ago, and the subject of this weather came up, as talk of the weather invariably does come with any gathering of rural folk. The overall consensus from these farmer types was that a run of highly unusual weather like this at this time of year, while to be enjoyed, was also, in a way, a little scary.

Now July, in Pukeokahu, central North Island of New Zealand is generally a miserable month, so to have ten days of warmth, sunshine, even with crisp cool mornings to be sure, has been quite incredible. What this run of weather has done is heightened expectations of Spring and the belief it is just around the corner.

No doubt some of these expectations will be dashed with a few more late winter or early spring storms, but there is no denying that winter is on the wane.

Winter being on the wane always turns my thoughts to multi-day river trips. I can almost smell in the breeze, the hints of summer, sunblock, straw hats, warm water and hot afternoons.

I have always had a bit of a love affair with multi-day river trips, so I have to own up to being biased. However I truly do believe that a multi-day river trip is one of the best ways imaginable to kick back and relax, but at the same time have an adventurous holiday. What has been heartening for me, but also for River Valley, is to see the steady year on year growth in the numbers of other people who seem to think likewise.

Those people who seem to think likewise have already booked a number of the following multi-day trips:

But There is a Trip Missing

There is one trip missing, however. This trip that is missing is what we call Mountains to Vineyard.

Mountains to Vineyard is a single night trip (one-night camping, two days on the river) on the upper Ngaruroro River. This trip only runs early in the Spring, (there is not enough water at other times of the year), and really is a corker. Think, lots of fun technical Grades 2 – 3+ rapids, stunning and changeable scenery, a pretty campsite and no other people.

The put on point on this section of the Ngaruroro River is only a little under one and a half hours drive from River Valley Lodge, though this is on the other side of the range in sunny Hawkes Bay. The drive itself is a bonus extra with the trip as we drive the very scenic Taihape – Napier Road, or more commonly called the Gentle Annie.

The other highlight of this trip, at least for me, is the wilderness aspect. The landscape we journey through, especially on the first day, is rugged and generally untouched. All the above makes the Ngaruroro one of my favourite shorter overnight trips.

mountains to vineyard multi-day rafting trip on the ngaruroro

The landscape we journey through on a Mountains to Vineyard trip, is rugged and generally untouched.

So, get outside, sniff the air, is there a hint of woodsmoke? Maybe that smoke comes from a campfire on a river, with touches of warm water and hot afternoons.

Disclaimer and warning: Multi-day river trips can be addictive — book with care!

Brian Megaw

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