It kicked off with a very pleasant drive down from Auckland around the eastern side of Lake Taupo and then on down to Tiahape for provisions (Tonic for the Gin and a few snacks) and then out to River Valley. On arrival it reminded me that Dave Dobbyn could just as easily have been singing about this particular "slice of heaven". We were there Dec 21-22 so it was not so busy. Checked in, settled down and poured a G&T.
A bit of a mix up with dinner on night 1 but not a biggie thanks Klare, an entree, main and desert of macaroni cheese is good for the soul...Dinner on night 2 was good home cooked roast lamb. The rafting was brilliant, the guide apart from being a lanky pom (just joking) was brilliant, his girlfriend who we went horse riding with was a fantastic girl and clearly very passionate about the environment and her horses...
The owner of the business commented to me the hardest job is to get the people to come.. My tip is make the time and go if you want to see the real NZ. Then head across to Hawke's Bay and take the Gentle Annie road for some even more fantastic scenery. Hawke's Bay houses some of the best wineries in the world so do yourself a favour and go.. The bar is totally dangerous, again lodge style so no one is standing on ceremony but a good spot to sample some local brew, mine is Speights..
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The basis of the River Valley Experience is what happens outside the Lodge. A family run business now into its 3rd generation of raft guides, River Valley started as a rafting company on a family farm, in the back blocks of Taihape. With one of the world's top half day Grade 5 rafting trips literally on the doorstep, it was a natural progression. A horse trekking stables was added over time, and it is these two adventurous activities, rafting the beautiful Rangitikei River, and exploring the magnificent hill country which is at core of River Valley. River Valley Lodge is an Adventure Lodge. It was built as a base for rafting and horse back riding, and this has not changed. What has changed is the clientele! The Lodge caters for young backpackers after an adrenaline fueled Grade 5 rafting trip, through to veteran mature adventurers, with an accommodation mix from bunk rooms to en-suited riverside suites. The Lodge restaurant and cafe serves a selection of fresh country style food, much not only prepared on site, but also grown in the extensive vegetable gardens. If shopping and cell phone reception are critical to your daily existence, then River Valley is certainly not the place for you. ... more less
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