Take a jet boat ride, go fishing, head out on a scenic walk with stunning views or just enjoy the incredible turquoise hues of this river gorge.
The Rakaia River cuts through the foothills of the Southern Alps, creating the picturesque Rakaia Gorge. From its rim or from its river, enjoy the views of the Southern Alps, the gorge’s cliffs and the stunning blue waters below.
Put on your hiking boots and set out along the Rakaia Gorge Walkway. This 6.5-mile (10.4-kilometer) long track takes most walkers 3 to 4 hours to complete. As you follow the initially forested track up, it takes you along the Ferryman’s Track a historic walkway lined with gorse. Farther along you will see the remnant rocks of old lava flows. The track finally dips into a gully with old coal mine shafts. Look for the remains of basic mining equipment left by coal miners.
Gaze down into the Rakaia River and marvel at its vibrant color when the sun hits its surface. Due to the sediment in the water from the Southern Alps, the river takes on a bright turquoise color most of the time. This color can drift through various shades depending on the seasons, water flow and weather.
Experience the gorge at a much faster pace with a jet boat ride along the river. The Discovery Jet offers trips of different lengths and levels of adventure. You can even take the boat up the river to the half-way point of the walkway and hike back for a great combination experience.
Try some other ways of embracing the scenery with a combination package from Discovery Jet. Choose between a leisurely horse ride, a thrilling white-water rafting adventure, or a helicopter ride for bird’s-eye views of the gorge. Of course you can always just go fishing, a more gentle way to spend a few hours in the sun. Arrange gear and transport through the Methven i-Site Visitor Information Centre.
Rakaia Gorge is located 7 miles (11 kilometers) from Methven and 47 miles (75 kilometers) from Christchurch. Discovery Jet is open daily, but pre-booking is advised. Guided trips depend on availability, river conditions and the weather. The walkway is publicly accessible at all times and free of charge, despite it crossing private farmland. The scenic walk is classed as easy and suitable for children.