Rakaia Gorge Walkway

10.4km walk along the top of the Rakaia Gorge - around 3-4 hours return. The track goes through forest, then shrub, up to the ferryman’s track.

Rakaia Gorge Walkway
Distance 10.4km return, 3-4 hours return.
This walkway offers several features of geological and historic interest as it traverses the edge of the Rakaia Gorge.

Getting there.....
Take state Highway 72 Inland Scenic Route on the northern edge of the Rakaia River, upstream of the Rakaia Gorge Bridge. It is a 10min drive from Methven and a 1 hour drive from Christchurch.

Along the way.......
The walkway passes through several forest and shrub communities before climbing the gorse-lined ferryman’s track to the site of a cottage and the ruins of a home-guard fortification point (redoubt). 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 lave 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 seen here, and the remains of equipment used for extraction.

The track then climbs out of the creak to a sign-posted junction. The walkway forms a loop from this point, with the right-hand track climbing across tussock-covered terraces directly to the lookout point.

The track then passes through the bush to loop back to the junction. A side track off the loops descends to the river (boat landing track 121m) From here the Discovery Jet Boat can pick you up and take you back to the bridges.

For more information on this, or to make a booking contact the Methven i-SITE  Visitor Centre.

The Methven i-SITE Visitor Centre can also arrange guided fishing tours of this region. Including transport, jet boat transfers, equipment, license and guide. These trips are available in full or half day options.

Note – the walkway goes over private farmland; show your respect to landowners by keeping to the track and not disturbing stock. Dogs and horses are not permitted.

This information is from the DOC Around and about Mid-Canterbury brochure. This and other brochures on the area are available from the Methven i-SITE  Visitor Centre.


Methven i-SITE Visitor Centre

160 Main Street
Phone 03 302 8955
Email methven@i-site.org