Stay on a working family farm off the South Pacific coast.
Enjoy an unforgettable night in a private luxury campsite with breathtaking views of the Kaikōura mountain ranges. We offer two luxury tents (each sleeps 4), a central farm cottage with kitchen, lounge and a large outdoor hot tub nestled into the hillside.
When you're ready let us know and we'll take you on your choice of either our Farm Tour or River Journey.
Our Farm Tour
Experience a way of life which hasn’t changed for over 100 years.
River Valley Farm is a 5th generation sheep, beef and deer farm with lots of animals and bird life.
Feed the animals and be part of daily life on a traditional working family farm.
Our River Journey
Let us take you on an exhilarating journey on the Hurunui River down to the Pacific Ocean.
Come explore the endless shallow river braids, beautiful canyons and large boulder fields.
Experience a part of our country rarely seen by visitors on the only commercial boat on the Hurunui river.
Included in your tour
Afternoon tea on arrival and a continental breakfast
Your campsite is equipped with the following:
- Two lotus belle tents each sleeps four people
- Bedding configuration in each lotus belle tent:1 x queen bed 2 x single beds
- Full linen, towels and bedding are supplied
- Board games, petanque and plenty of space to kick a ball
- A fully equipped kitchen for cooking your own meal
Included in the Single night package is the choice of a Farm Tour or Jet Boat tour:
- For farm tour we supply helmets and first aid kit
- For jet boat tour we supply life jackets and rain jackets
Need to know
The campsite is self-catering. We provide afternoon tea on arrival and continental breakfast for the morning. For dinner just bring your own food and drink, and cook meals using the facilities provided in your camp kitchen. You'll find all the cutlery, crockery, pots and pans that you'll need.
If you want a break from cooking at any stage, Cheviot is just a 15-minute drive away. The Twin Rivers café/gallery with Mt Beautiful Wine Tasting room comes highly recommended. The Paddock bar and restaurant and Cheviot Trust Hotel offer good hearty meals for hungry glampers. If you want to go further afield, the Waipara wine area is 40 minutes South, or Kaikoura is 1 hour North.
There's swimming and fishing available at the Hurunui River, 10 minutes drive away, and surfing and swimming at Gore Bay, 20 minutes away. The Manuka Bay DOC track from the Hurunui River mouth to Gore Bay is a 10-minute drive away.
The campsite at Tawanui Farm is completely off-the-grid, with solar power providing lighting in the camp kitchen and a USB port for phone charging. Energy for hot water and cooking is supplied via LPG gas bottles. LED lanterns provide lighting for the tents.
Full linen, towels and bedding are supplied. Queen beds are made up with 100% cotton linen. Linen for the single beds will be provided. All beds have either wool duvets and blankets.
We think the campsite best suits either one to two families, 2 couples or up to 8 adults, depending on your sleeping preferences. Please BYO portacot if bringing infants.
What to bring
- Warm clothes - it can be very chilly in the mornings and at night.
A warm jersey and long pants are a must
- Shower toiletries
- Sunglasses for tours
- An extra chilly-bin - especially if you're a large group.
- Walking shoes or boots - so you can explore the property by foot
- Prior booking is essential, a minimum of 48 hours in advance.
- Tour operates on Monday to Sunday September to June only.
We’re located an easy 1 hour 15min drive north of Christchurch or 1-hour drive south of Kaikōura. We can also arrange transport to and from Christchurch and Kaikōura.
Meet your guides
Your hosts at River Valley Farm are Mike, Elspeth and Tim Loughnan - and a nicer bunch of people you couldn't hope to meet.
The Loughnan family are the fifth generation to farm and live in the Blythe Valley. Tawanui Farm is situated towards the mouth of the Hurunui River and overlooks its beautiful waters
Mike and eldest son Tim share the responsibilities of running the 450ha sheep and beef farm along with its tourism ventures, Energy Jet and Tawanui Farm Glamping and farm tours. Elspeth teaches at the local Cheviot Area School. Tim’s other siblings Virginia and Hugh are both involved in Environmental Consultancy in Christchurch
The neighbouring Hurunui River has been a huge part of their lives, mainly on a recreational level. Showing people their part of the country is huge passion for the family. Combining the novelty of glamping with the thrill of jet boating and farm tours has given them a great platform for introducing their beautiful corner of the world to visitors - both Kiwi and international.