Check out the Google map of the area. Follow around to New Zealand and look for the flags!
You can switch from either map view – best for driving, or satellite – best for getting an idea of the topography of the area. The hybrid view is a bit interesting as it shows roads that were never more than surveyed, and do not in fact exist. Don’t use this view as a driving reference!!!!
If travelling South on SH1, turn left at the River Valley signpost, 18km after Waiouru. This will take you onto Spooners Hill Road. Look out for a sharp left turn on to Pungatawa Road at 9 km. From there, follow the signs all the way to the Lodge.
If you are travelling North, use the Gretna Hotel in Taihape as your starting point. Turn right and follow the road past the Gretna, on your left and Liquorland on your right. Continue out of town, over the Hautapu River Bridge, until you reach a junction with Pungatawa Road on the right. Do not turn off onto any other roads within the town.
Turn right and follow Pungatawa Road. The route is clearly signposted from that junction all the way to the Lodge.
The 32km drive will take you around 35 – 40 minutes from Taihape. It will take you through some of New Zealand’s finest and most picturesque hill country. Please follow the regular signs to River Valley (we don’t recommend following Apple Maps or any other GPS). Google Maps works fine if you use Taihape as your starting point. Apple Maps and some GPS units have a habit of sending you onto long detours, or worse.
After turning off State Highway 1, you will cross two bridges if coming from Waiouru and three bridges coming from Taihape.
The last 1.5 km’s are gravel and take you to the Lodge at the end of Mangahoata Road.
We also offer a shuttle service from Taihape. Please contact us to book if you require a pickup
Cost: $90 return trip