A Family Adventure Since 1981

About Us

Awastone, originally Rangitikei River Adventures (1981) and then Mangaweka Adventure Co (2002), is a river adventure company operated by the Eames family for over 35 years around the small quaint village of Mangaweka, New Zealand.
Your hosts Paul, Tricia, Jack and Kelsey Eames have expanded the family business to include a licensed cafe, two riverside campgrounds and cabin accommodation to create a relaxed atmosphere where everyone is welcome to come and get refreshed.​

Mangaweka is the gateway to the middle gorges of the Rangitikei River, the best for family adventures and whitewater kayaking. Awastone is an idyllic base for all adventures or courses as well as a favourite for family reunions and social gatherings, the varied camping options and sitting at the relaxed riverside licensed cafe, open throughout the summer, where you can watch the river fun from the patio. The Rangitikei River runs from high up on the central plateau, through the North Island High Country and out to the Tasman sea. It has cut spectacular gorges on its path, cliffs up to 200 metres high provide dramatic backdrops to a wide range of rapids and pools. Most of these rapids are Grade 2, ideal for family rafting adventures and an excellent learning ground for Whitewater Kayaking. The Rangitikei River also features a section of Grade 5 Whitewater, the best half day or two day whitewater trip in the world!​

You don't have to play on the river to enjoy Awastone... but why wouldn't you??
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Our Mission

The forefront of our business has always been showing guests to beauty of the Rangitikei with great customer service, professionalism & diverse products.
We continue to strive for excellence and are always updating/upgrading our products & experiences.


Welcome to the township of Mangaweka.
Mangaweka, found between Taupo and, is the home of rafting, kayaking, river swimming and camping.

Mangaweka is right at the northern end of the Manawatu Scenic Route and the Manawatu Cycleway, part of the New Zealand Cycle Trail. The old main street is frozen in time and makes a great spot to wander down and get some photos.
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A Step Back in Time

Originally Rangitikei River Adventures, we started in 1981, a family adventure business that has grown to become a leader as an established tourism operation in the Rangitikei.
Originally the brain child of five local farmers, the starting of Rangitikei River Adventures was a pioneering step in the world of adventure tourism. As rafting was still in its infancy the locals brought in an experienced US 'boatman' , Tom Kemper, to guide the business through her beginnings. Pretty soon the Kiwis were catching on and the staffing became a little more homegrown, however we never stopped enjoying having our international friends coming in to inject a little outside flavour into the scene.As the company evolved so too did its range of operations. Rangitikei River Adventures developed a roadside base throughout the 80's and, just to gather a little bit of attention, plonked aircraft on a pedestal right on State Highway  in Mangaweka.

During the 90's adventure tourism started to change and a new sport called Bungy Jumping charged onto the scene. Not to be left behind the team at RRA built first one, then two Bungy sites in the Rangitikei, the former Mokai Gravity Canyon. The company had internal changes throughout this period as well, with John and Viv Eames taking over the whole of the company, hoping that one day it might be something their boys, Paul and Mark might like to run.
The boys became well involved in the industry, both as raft guides and whitewater paddlers, first travelling around to see a few more rivers before returning home to work the Rangitikei.
Paul and Tricia Eames took the reigns of the rafting part of the business in 1999 and changed the name to Mangaweka Adventure Company.

For many years the DC-3 aircraft was a significant feature of Mangaweka, some would say it put us on the map. It's currently closed and awaiting redevelopment. In 2021 the plane was moved to the town of Shannon for restoration. Mangaweka eagerly awaits her return...

Meet the Crew

We have a very diverse and ever-evolving crew here at Awastone... meet some of the friendly faces that make our family business what it is today.
Boss Man, Raft Guide, Kayak Instructor, Multisport Extraordinaire
Growing up on the banks of the Rangitikei River, PaulE knows the area like the back of his hand. He's spent years around the world rafting & kayaking but his love for the Rangitikei always called him back home. Alongside Tricia, he took over the family rafting business in 1999 and together they have made Awastone what it is today.
Boss Woman, Front of House, Cook, Cleaner, Bartender, Mum.
Hailing from the mecca of Los Angeles, Tricia met Paul in 1998 on a river trip. She must have liked Mangaweka (or maybe just Paul) because she's been here ever since! Tricia is the glue that holds Awastone together and is an "all hands on deck" manager.
Raft Guide
Took his first rafting trip at 1.5 months of age and loved it. Jack's setting up to take over the rafting side of the business, but not before he's done his fair share of overseas rafting seasons!
Marketing Behind the Scenes
The first of two Eames children. She doesn't really do much, but she did make this website!
Emma "Bird"
Front of House & Cleaner Extraordinaire
A true blue West Coaster who fell hard for the Rangitikei. Her enthusiasm and friendliness towards work and life ensures lifelong friendships with everyone she meets.
Te Raana
Raana's river experience, attention to safety and detail make him a valuable asset to Awastone. For now, you'll find him mowing lawns at the local golf course and hanging out with his groms Lila & Te Awahou.
Short for What-A-F*cking-Mission, Mish spends her summer months enticing guests to throw her a stick down at the river. If you're there, she probably will be too.
Paul "Connor"
Raft Guide & Multisport Instructor
What he lacks in good looks, he makes up for with a sense of humour. Connor has rafted through America, Australia and Italy. He is awesome at keeping the conversation going inside and outside the raft.
Cath whips up some of the meanest feeds in the kitchen. Currently looking after the kids; Lila, Awa & Raana.
Cesar & Ana Maria
Front of House, Cocktail Makers & River Guides
La Riverwoman & El Riverman... the two MexiCANs who've stolen the hearts of many guests. Cesar loves to show you the river and Ana Maria is our best coffee artist!
Front of House
All the way from MaNcHeStEr, Mia keeps everyone in line and always on edge!
Paula "Ma"
Her kiwi kai is always filled with aroha. Gives massive hugs too.

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