One hour away from Christchurch you can find the Rakaia Gorge, a perfect destination for a day or half a day trip. The road to get there is already worth the drive, going through a pretty countryside where cows and sheep graze peacefully in front of the mountain ranges.
Hiking in Rakaia Gorge
At the bottom of the Southern Alps, the Rakaia River flows directly from the glaciers sitting upstream and dug for millenias the large gorge in which it winds its way nowadays. The river displays a bright milky-turquoise blue colour, not without reminding us of the waters flowing in the Hokitika Gorge, on the other side of the island. The Rakaia Gorge is well known to be the base of a jetboat company, from where tourists can embark to get their load of speed sensations on the rapids. But for the ones who are looking for a quieter activity, the Rakaia Gorge also offers a several hours beautiful walking track with amazing views on the river and on the mountains in the background.
We park the car near an old bridge jumping over the river and follow the path going upstream, listening to melodious native birds songs. The track follows the waters before suddenly climb up the gorge. From the top, we can enjoy an incredible endless view over the canopy…
We walk a little more than an hour until we reach a beautiful lookout. The track goes on, but we’ve only planned to walk a small part on it today, just enough to satisfy our need of fresh air. We are certain that the rest of the track must be amazing nonetheless… We’ll have to come back another day!
Enjoying the warmth of this late sunny afternoon, we come back to Christchurch, lungs filled up with fresh air and eyes full of all the natural beauty of Rakaia Gorge scenery!
Tintin & Riette