The Lavender Run

Explore the upper reaches of the Whanganui River, jet boat down the challenging rock strewn white water rapids and enjoying the breathtaking scenery of farmland and bush clad hills & gorges. Relax & grab a coffee at the Lavender Farm.



2 hours

Difficulty Level

Easy - Med

The little pocket of Provence

Relax & grab a coffee at the Lavender Farm.

Just 30 minutes by jet boat downstream from Taumarunui, is Lauren's Lavender Farm & Cafe. This little pocket of Provence softly vibrates with the hum of honeybees, as lavender fields heavy with scent rise above the Whanganui River to greet visitors.

After a gentle, short climb from the River up a newly rebuilt stairway, we’re greeted by the unmistakable scent wafting from Lauren's Lavender Farm. Lavender’s wonderful properties are here on display. Owner Lorraine Gawith harvests the herb for its precious oil, to create her own delicately scented candles, soaps and skincare. 

The time here is yours. Indulge in coffee and cake, or grab a freshly prepared picnic lunch, then meander through lavender fields, taking in the lush native bush clustered along the Whanganui River’s banks. 

Or simply sit and close your eyes, as you open your ears to birdsong. Keep a little of that peace with you as we re-board our trusty jet boat and return to Cherry Grove, Taumarunui. Revel in the return journey, feeling deeply refreshed

Important Information

 A 40km return jet boat adventure to remember.

  • Enjoy beautiful scenery and short fun rapids
  • Bask in the tranquility of Laurens Lavender Farm, Cafe and Gift Shop
  • Stroll around the gardens and lavender fields

Duration: approximately two hours

Time: Check in at 11:15am at the Forgotten World Motel, 9 Hakiaha St, Taumarunui

Departing: 11:30am   Returning: 1:30pm

We suggest you bring/wear:

  • Sunglasses
  • Camera (there will be great opportunities to use it!)
  • Binoculars
  • Water and extra snacks if required
  • Windproof/rainproof jacket with hood even in fine weather
  • Dress in fine layers rather than bulk (we love merino and cashmere)
  • Hat, scarf and gloves, sturdy footwear and warm socks you can walk in comfortably
  • Pack a rainproof coat and over-trousers
  • Any personal medication as required
  • We may meet local artisans at some of our stops.  You may like to bring along a little cash in case something appeals.


Book The Lavender Run

Route Map

  • My wife and I went on the River and Rail Run and it was one of the best trips we have done. The rail run was something completely different from anything we're done before. All of the staff were great attending to our every need. Maree in particular was very knowledgeable and great fun too. I would definitely recommend this trip to everyone.

    Louis Lincoln, Spain

  • We booked as a surprise for our respective partners, the river and rail trip. From being greeted like lost friends at the front office by the girls to Alan on the jet-boat and Ray, Rob and Mitchell on the rail-carts and Vaughan on the bus, they have assembled an enthusiastic crew that made the day a pleasure wit their little quips, a great knowledge of the area and the scenery was second to none. A very professional setup that I would recommend to put on everyone's bucket list.

    B T Stiling

  • Fantastic day highly recommend to all! - We did the river and rail run and had a fabulous time learning the history and taking in the wonderful countryside along the way. The guides were excellent and all the staff were very friendly and informative. Had a great lunch set up after the jet boat ride to prepare us for the rail run.

    Willeson, Auckland

  • We've wanted to go on the railcarts for some time and a visit from my brother and sister in law was the perfect excuse. We were greeted my big smiles when we arrived at FWA HQ. Those smiles were on every staff members face as we came across them at different junctures of the trip. The railcart was easy to drive and to trip to Tokirima was fun, scenic and informative. Our guide, Ray, drew on his personal knowledge of the people and area to make our journey very personable - I felt connected. The jetboat ride had the usual jet boat thrills but the Wanganui River is a very different character to the Shotover or Waikato. She's an old lady with lots of history and stories - and rapids of course.

    Tim, Owhango

  • Relaxing, kiwi adventure. Great scenery, old relics and history. Informative friendly guide. Recommend it for family and friend groups. Close encounters with locals and animals and nature.

    Susan Bones