Rakaia Gorge Walkway

The Rakaia River begins in the Southern Alps, and travels 150km before entering the Pacific Ocean.   For much of its journey it is braided, through a wide shingle bed.  But for a short distance it is confined in a narrow canyon, known as The Rakaia Gorge.  On the northern side of this gorge is a picturesque walkway, called The Rakaia Gorge Walkway.  It is about an hours drive from Christchurch.

The Rakaia Gorge bridges

The Walkway begins at the Rakaia Gorge Bridges, which cross the river at a narrow point, and make use of an island to create two bridges.  The bridge on the left was built in 1882, and is heritage listed.


The walkway follows the rim of the gorge, over glacier-carved and river-carved terraces.


Silt in the glacier-fed river gives the water a bright shade of ming blue.


The track is 10km return, with the river almost always in view.



The river jet boat service offers trout and salmon fishing,  adrenalin pumping spins, or photographic safaris, taking in the dramatic scenery of the gorge with the Alps as a backdrop.

To see the Rakaia Gorge Walkway in spring, click here.

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