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Rakaia Gorge

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.

*Savings based on all vacation package bookings with Flight + Hotel on Expedia.com from January through December 2019, as compared to price of the same components booked separately. Savings will vary based on origin/destination, length of trip, stay dates and selected travel supplier(s). Savings not available on all packages. For Free Flight or 100% Off Flight deals, package savings is greater than or equal to the current cost of one component, when both are priced separately.


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Best Lodging Options Near Rakaia Gorge

See all 72 Properties near Rakaia Gorge
Terrace Downs Resort $222
Terrace Downs Resort

Terrace Downs Resort

623 Coleridge Road, Windwhistle
     
    5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located near the slopes, this Windwhistle resort is on a river, within 6 mi (10 km) of Rakaia Gorge and Washpen Falls, and close to winter sports such as skiing lessons and snowshoeing. Mount Hutt Skifield is 23.9 mi (38.5 km) away.

    Quickenberry Guesthouse
    Quickenberry Guesthouse

    Quickenberry Guesthouse

    Coleridge Road, Windwhistle
       
      4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

      Situated in a rural location, this luxury guesthouse is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Rakaia Gorge and 4.1 mi (6.6 km) from Washpen Falls. Awa Awa Rata Reserve and Hororata Golf Club are also within 20 mi (32 km).

      Mt Hutt Highview at Terrace Downs
      Mt Hutt Highview at Terrace Downs

      Mt Hutt Highview at Terrace Downs

      Windwhistle, Canterbury
         
        0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Conveniently located near the ski slopes, this Windwhistle apartment building is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Rakaia Gorge and within 16 mi (25 km) of Hororata Golf Club and Washpen Falls. Mount Hutt Skifield and Awa Awa Rata Reserve are also within 25 mi (40 km).

        Ski Time Lodge $69
        Ski Time Lodge

        Ski Time Lodge

        39 Racecourse Avenue, Methven
           
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located near the slopes, this Methven lodge is next to a golf course, within 9 mi (15 km) of Rakaia Gorge and Awa Awa Rata Reserve, and close to winter sports such as skiing lessons. Mount Hutt Skifield and Trott's Garden are also within 20 mi (32 km).

          The Blue Pub $46
          The Blue Pub

          The Blue Pub

          2 Barkers Road, Methven
             
            2.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Situated in Methven, this inn is 7 mi (11.3 km) from Rakaia Gorge and 9 mi (14.5 km) from Awa Awa Rata Reserve. Washpen Falls and Mount Somers are also within 20 mi (32 km).

            Gunyah Country Estate $108
            Gunyah Country Estate

            Gunyah Country Estate

            Sleemans Road, Windwhistle
               
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located near the slopes, this Windwhistle guesthouse is in the mountains, within 9 mi (15 km) of Rakaia Gorge and Hororata Golf Club, and close to winter sports such as cross-country skiing. Washpen Falls and Awa Awa Rata Reserve are also within 25 mi (40 km).

              Methven Motels & Apartments $76
              Methven Motels & Apartments

              Methven Motels & Apartments

              197 Main Street, Methven
                 
                4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Situated in Methven, this motel is 6.7 mi (10.7 km) from Rakaia Gorge and 8.5 mi (13.7 km) from Awa Awa Rata Reserve. Mount Hutt Skifield and Trott's Garden are also within 20 mi (32 km).

                Mount Hutt Motels $77
                Mount Hutt Motels

                Mount Hutt Motels

                205 Main Street, Methven
                   
                  3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Situated in Methven, this motel is 6.6 mi (10.6 km) from Rakaia Gorge and 8.5 mi (13.6 km) from Awa Awa Rata Reserve.