The Big Trip: River Valley

Upon leaving Taupo, we headed back into the Tongariro National Park to Whakapapa Village for a couple of waterfall walks.

The first walk we did was to Taranaki Falls.  The 3.3-mile (5.3km) walk takes you through alpine scrub and beech forests.  There was a point where it felt like we’d walked into Dartmoor and we half expected to see the Hound of Baskervilles!  On a clear day you are able to see Mt. Ruapehu, Mt. Ngauruhoe and Mr. Tongariro but sadly it was too overcast during our visit to be able to see very far into the distance.

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The second waterfall walk was to the Tawhai Falls.  The walk was easy and a couple of guys on our bus even decided to bomb off the waterfall!

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After the waterfall walks we made our way to River Valley Lodge.  The lodge specialises in white water rafting, a grade five experience on the Rangitikei River, and natural horsemanship lessons and rides.  Both activities were due to take place the following morning allowing us time to explore the area before dinner.  If you’d like to see a quick tour of the area surrounding the lodge, be sure to check out our video here.

The lodge puts on a special night for Kiwi Experience; a roast dinner followed by a party.  The lodge kindly catered for our dietary needs and we stayed for a couple of drinks after the meal but went back to our riverside cabin for some peace and quiet.  The party continued until the early hours and there were several worse for wear people wandering around the following morning.

As we had chosen not to take part in either activity, we were able to leave for Wellington early.

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