Testimonials

A collection of river valley experiences told through the eyes of those who have experienced them.

Kevin T
Kevin T
2020-09-18
Verified review
Remote but beautiful..... We stayed over for a night en route travelling further South. It’s way off the beaten track but worth making the journey. The staff were brilliant and the food was excellent. Plenty of room choice and the communal area around the fireplace was lovely. Enjoy......
Jack
Jack
2020-06-13
Verified review
Awesome Spot Visited this place with Kiwi Experience back in February. Easily up there as one of my favourite spots on the whole tour. You're encouraged to take part in some of the activities on offer - so I did the rafting. Was great fun despite the water level being very low at the time. All of the staff were super friendly, interesting, and got stuck in to the dinner with the rest of us. There's no phone signal at this place, so you're forced to socialise face to face - which was the most alien experience for me as an 18 year old.
GEA
GEA
2020-05-04
Verified review
Heaven on earth !!!! I participated in an 8 day riding trip with Globetrotting based out of the River Valley Stables. I spent 4 nights at the lodge and loved everything about it. Rooms were spotlessly clean and comfortable, and we even received little welcome bags with homemade lip balm and bug repellent (although we didn't need it!) a sweet treat and some info about the area. The cooking was delicious and copious at every meal and the dining area had a lovely homely feel. Most of the produce came directly from the garden - real farm to table feel! Great place to get to know other people staying at the lodge and chat to the staff, who are all super friendly, welcoming and keen to get to know guests. Wifi was limited in some of the rooms but very good connection in the main building. The location is heaven - went for a swim most afternoons in the river which is v cold but so clean and refreshing. So peaceful and unspoilt. The stables themselves are an excellently run operation - the focus on natural horsemanship is lovely and makes a great change to classical riding styles that I grew up with in the UK. It pays off - the horses are all very well behaved but with strong personalities that made the trip incredibly special as I got to know mine during the week. Would recommend this to anyone who wants to get back in touch with nature and/or riding - they were very accommodating of all our levels of riding and we all loved it!
Julia S
Julia S
2020-04-04
Verified review
Empfehlenswert! Die Lodge ist wunderschön und sehr gemütlich! Zusätzlich war ich dort ausreiten. Ich war Ende Januar dort und es war wunderschön! Die Pferde haben es so schön dort und sind super ausgebildet. Unsere Leiterin war auch total nett und der Ausritt war ein Highlight des Trips! Definitiv zu empfehlen!!
Maddy
Maddy
2020-03-23
Verified review
Absolutely AMAZING I have just finished doing the 8 day trek and it was one of the best holidays I’ve had. The food was amazing, the riding was varied and fun with beautiful scenery and the people were welcoming and fun. I arrived thinking that it would be a week of somewhat roughing it out with the horses and my expectations were blown out of the water! A nice break from the real world and stopped me from obsessing about my phone haha. Would definitely recommend it to people who love getting away from the cities and who want to experience genuine kiwi hospitality. Maddy
Anouk Janess
Anouk Janess
2020-03-19
Verified review
Rudest Staff You’ll Ever Meet I recently stayed one night here while on the Kiwi Experience tour. I will forever be astounded by the level of rudeness and unhelpfulness of the staff. I was made to feel as if every question I asked was an inconvenience and stupid. For example, we stayed during the corona virus outbreak and when we asked about the WiFi, just to get in touch with our parents during this global pandemic, the barkeep refused the password to us and treated us like we were screen addicted teenagers. The next day, when I was trying to open a can of tomatoes, I found the can openers provided in the guest kitchen were broken. When I went into the commercial kitchen to ask for help I was spoken to like my very reasonable request was the biggest nuisance ever. That afternoon when filling my water bottle up with some chilled water from the fridge I was actually sworn and shouted at! Apparently those bottles were for dinner and by filling my water bottle up with it, I had contaminated the water somehow. He told me to fill my bottle up from the tap, which I would have understood if the staff hadn’t yelled at me and there were some signs signaling that the chilled water wasn’t to be used by guests. In conclusion, during my stay at the River Valley Lodge my friends and I were humiliated, yelled at, and made to feel stupid. I would never recommend this lodge to anyone.
anna
anna
2020-03-19
Verified review
Extremely uncomfortable stay Nice getaway but we were approached with such rudeness by the staff and felt very unwelcome. Would not recommend to anyone... Couldn’t ask questions without getting shouted at, couldn’t access the wifi unless it was „super important“ and were made fun of because of our names. wtf
trevorf868
trevorf868
2020-02-22
Verified review
Fantastic Getaway Spur of the moment adventure so we did not partake in the whitewater rafting or horse riding. This lodge ( think backpackers with a couple of very nice en-suite rooms rather than luxury lodge) was great. Friendly staff and great roast evening meal. All eco friendly and locally sourced, vegetables grown onsite and their free range hens provided great eggs. Right at the rivers edge with large swimming hole, spa, sauna, pétanque and volleyball courts. WiFi provided. Family run with a conservation ethos. Well worth visiting.
Veronique Hauacker
Veronique Hauacker
2020-01-27
Verified review
The most uncomfortable place to stay....... we arrived around 4h30 pm, had to walk in a dusty offroad track for 300 meters, arrived and got a speech related to the activities on the coming morning.. It was the top place to stay so we took a private room rather than a dormitory. We paid 83 AU dollars (the most expensive booking all over my tour) and we handed up on the mezzanine room over the restaurant and bar. What a hell, we couldn't sleep until 1.30 am music, party non stop. At 6.45 am the first clients arrived into the restaurant with babies, talking and laughing...Impossible to rest anymore and at 8.00 the music started again and the speakers were mounted just at the corner of our door...You have to check out of the room at 10.00 am !!!! This private rooms have no toilets so you have to take this steep staircase and walk through the bar and restaurant and end up outside to brush you teeth .... Activities are rafting or horse riding (prices are very expensive) and only 8 people of our group whent for this activities...So we had no options just to stay around and wait until 1 pm to move back up on the dusty offroad to go back to the bus... Really so desappointed and feeling to be stucked for 24 hours... The only positive review was the dinner...Tasty and good value for the price...
Elly Mack
Elly Mack
2020-01-07
Verified review
I got it wrong I definitely got things wrong when I booked to stay here. NOT because it isn't a lovely place - it is. The room was nice, the bathroom was great - the kitchen facilities were limited, but definitely good enough for what we needed. I underestimated the amount of time that it would take to get here from the main road through town - it was forever. For one night with no other rafting or adventure activities booked it really wasn't worth it. The river was beautiful and the kids and I all went for a swim. I just wanted to post a review in case anyone else is just kind of touring the country with their kids - it might not be what you are looking for if it's just for one night or if you have younger children. Definitely more of a backpackers than a 'lodge' - we felt so stared at as we passed through the main areas of the lodge that my son even remarked on it as though we were somewhere we weren't supposed to be - conversation would die and we would just be watched. "Why are they staring at us?" I didn't know if they were staff or guests, but we for sure didn't feel welcome. This happened each time we came through. The nicest person we dealt with was the lady at the bar who had to come and unlock our bathroom. No key was provided for the room, and there was no key for the bathroom. Also the family room is hidden right away in the corner with a view of an electrical transformer and the backside of another cabin. Wifi signal barely reached the room and only worked sporadically. The river was definitely beautiful though.

What people say

Horse Trekking in New Zealand with River Valley Stables

Horse Trekking in New Zealand with River Valley Stables

“I decided to try River Valley Stables because I really wanted to go somewhere that was going to let me ride how I ride. You know, not go and plod around some field with 10 other people.

And that is what I actually found with this experience… Read More

To watch an interview with four beginner Scandanavian Girls on a Two Hour Trek, click here
How does a new rider rate a Dromgool Horsemanship Clinic? click here

Alex Hoskins-Smith

Auckland, NZ

Grade 5 Rafting, Rangitikei River, New Zealand

3 Day Mokai Canyon Rafting Adventure

“My biggest obstacle in doing a Grade 5 rafting trip with River Valley was a previous negative kayaking experience. As it turned out, if I had had the cash and time I would have done a second trip the next morning!

Having now done the trip, I find that I have developed a craving… Read More

Neil Duxbury

United Kingdom

3 Day Mokai Canyon Rafting Adventure

3 Day Mokai Canyon Rafting Adventure

” The chill spray and rush of the water is instantly energising; and your attention is quickly focused on the river’s flow – wild and white, mildly ruffled, slickly swirling, or calmly clear. When it is quiet, you take in your surroundings: towering cliffs, canyons and hill sides, shoals of fish darting past the rafts, wild ducks and ducklings at the river’s edge, birds of prey wheeling in the vast… Read More

Richard

Have any questions?

Speak to one of our friendly adventure consultants who would love to help you out.
thelodge@rivervalley.co.nz / 0800 248666 / +64 6 38 8144