Experiencing River Valley Lodge

New Zealand's beautiful North Island offers many different activities and exciting adventure opportunities. With unforgettably impressive natural scenery, diverse native wildlife and friendly welcoming people the area is a fantastic place to visit. At one of New Zealand's original adventure lodges, River Valley, you can enjoy a variety of the most popular things to do in the North Island, all in one place.

This family run lodge started in 1982, and the three generations of guides really know and love the area. They will catch you up in the magic of discovering the natural beauty of the surroundings. You can experience rafting trips and horseback riding, and enjoy delicious dining and comfortable accommodation. The remote location has allowed the team to develop a very special environment with an emphasis on a harmonic relation with the environment, including growing their own organic vegetables and using natural horse training techniques.

 River Valley Lodge

The stunning grounds of River Valley Lodge (Photo credit: River Valley Lodge)

The lodge offers some of the best Taihape accommodation available, with luxury riverside or garden suites, or there are bunkhouses offering traditional tramping style accommodation, as well as a campground. Different packages are available to suit all tastes and budgets. Situated on the banks of the Rangitikei River at the foot of the Ruahine Ranges and close to Mt. Aorangi, this is the perfect place to relax and enjoy. Treat yourself to a soak in the hot tub set among the beech trees beside the river, or enjoy a sauna either an intimate Far Infra-Red one or a traditional wood-fired Finnish sweat.

In the restaurant, you can enjoy healthy local home-cooked food. The set dinners include roasted meats or casseroles, soups, salads and local cheeses, perfect after an active day. Relax with your choice of beverage from the well-stocked fully licensed bar. In the morning, start the day right with a hearty breakfast and an excellent cup of coffee in the café. 

rapids on the Rangitikei River

Experience some amazing Grade 5 rapids on the Rangitikei River (Photo credit: River Valley Lodge) 

During your stay at River Valley Lodge, you can experience some of the best New Zealand rafting waters on the Rangitikei River or on the Ngaruroro across the range at Hawkes Bay. Choose from various rafting options including an intense and exhilarating 1/2-day trip on a Grade 5 section, or a gentle family float for a full day of peace and fishing, or wilderness trips up to the headwaters, lasting several days. The expert guides at River Valley will make whichever trip you choose an unforgettably enjoyable experience of either tranquillity or adrenaline rush! 

 horse treks at River Valley Lodge

River Valley Lodge offer a range of scenic horse treks (Photo credit: River Valley Lodge)

Experience a different type of horse trek at River Valley, where all the hoses are trained using natural horsemanship training techniques. That means that you will be riding with just a halter instead of a full bridle with a metal bit in the horses mouth. A fascinating introduction to this natural style is offered before each trek, and those who want to learn more can participate in the Home on the Range package which can last several days and focuses on developing your skills of horsemanship and developing a solid relationship between horse and rider. Or combine a horsemanship arena session with a 2-hour or a whole day trek for a unique riding experience. The 2-hour traditional Shepherds trail trek through the rolling foot-hills is suitable for all levels of riders, or for those with more experience take the 4-hour Freestyle ride or the challenging 5-6-hour ride up to the top of Pukeokahu you will be sure to have a fantastic experience. Other horse treks include the spectacular sunset ride, complete with bubbly and snacks or a 2-day Lodge to Lodge experience.

With scenic surroundings, great accommodation options and exciting attractions, a visit to River Valley Lodge is a must do North Island activity. To get to the lodge from Wellington, pickup your Wellington car rental from Omega Rental Cars and take State Highway 1 north to Taihape.