One of our last stops in the North Island was River Valley, where we would be staying in a lodge, and the main event – white water rafting! After my experience in Colombia I was so excited to get back on the water again, so this was one of my highlights of the North Island.
We arrived in the early evening, giving us a couple of hours to chill out before dinner. We had opted for the provided dinner there – which was an amazing roast dinner! After months of not having one, I can’t tell you how good it was!
The evening consisted of drinking games mainly, however I adamantly stuck to one cider, as we had to be up at 5:30am the next morning for white water rafting, definitely something I did not want to do on a hangover.
It was a cold early start; we got kitted up in fleeces, wetsuits, helmets, etc, and headed down to the river. As you can see, we had a really good morning for it.
Our boat consisted of myself, Grace, Tom, Jess, Leigh and our guide Daniel (also known widely as “blue eyes”).
The whole of the 05:30am session:
The first stage consisted of actually getting the boat in the water, which involved sliding it down a grass hill – which was actually more scary than it looked, haha.
After some practicing on the water with some of the different instructions we headed down river, but not before practicing all jumping to the front!
And then going head first into a rapid…. (yes that is me right at the front getting drenched)
Before some of us decided to take a little early morning swim… *cough* Grace *cough* Leigh *cough*
We then headed into the real rapids, that went up to Grade 5, so the same as when we were in Colombia. However, this time around, it was a lot more safety conscious, and we had to wait for all the boats, in case we need to “rescue” anyone. Which we actually ended up doing when another boat flipped on one of the rapids!
Here’s some of the best shots:
There was a long calm bit in between some of the rapids so we got a chance to chill out for a while, and have our breakfast – a mars bar. Super healthy. Then we got into the final stretch of the river, with some of the big drops.
Of course we had to pull off our best poses for the camera
Original… for our final big drop
Once we had finished we headed back to the lodge for a quick shower and change before heading down to Wellington for a short stay before making our way to the South Island. North Island, it’s been a pleasure!