Rakaia Gorge Walkway

An Easy day walk along the braided Rakaia River at the edge of the Canterbury Plains, with Mt Hutt as the backdrop.

This walkway offers several unique features of geological and historic interest. For a significant part of its 5 kilometre length, it traverses the edge of the Rakaia Gorge.


Entrance off State Highway 72 INLAND SCENIC ROUTE on the northern edge of the Rakaia River, upstream of the Rakaia Gorge Bridge. Christchurch 1 hours drive (75kms). Methven Mt Hutt Village 10mins drive (11kms).


The walkway passes through several forest and shrub communities before climbing the gorse lined ferryman's track to the site of the cottage and the ruins of a homeguard fortification point. Continue along one of several glacial and river carved terraces to a good lookout point. The walkway follows the rim of the gorge through spectacular geological areas,showing lava flows of rhyolite, pitchstone and andesite. It then descends into a gully under a canopy of montane forest and shrub, to the site of the Snowdon coal mines. The entrances to several coal mine shafts can be inspected, along with the remains of equipment that was used for extraction.

The track then climbs out of the creek to a signposted junction. The walkway forms a loop from this point , with the right-hand track climbing across tussock covered terraces and providing the most direct route to the lookout point. The alternative left-hand track passes through the bush with a steep climb to the lookout point. A side track descends to the river to provide access to the walkway for jet boaters, rafters and canoeists. For a short trip we recommend jetboating up the river with Rakaia Gorge Scenic Jets and walking back down the track. For more information see http://www.nzlordoftherings.com/walk.htm


  • SkiwiHouse Great thing about this walk is you can do as much as time allows because, until the loop which is near the end, it is the same route up and back
    6 December 2004
  • walkingkiw A loverly family day walk. Great scenery.
    2 December 2004
  • Randy Camp Easy and worth a quick blat around if you have the time when travelling through. Watch for small black flying pepper corns.....AKA Mr and Mrs Sandfly.
    15 March 2004
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Added 24 May 200324 May 2003 by golfingkiw. No revisions.
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