Rākaia River Hazard Zone

The Rākaia is a large, braided river with an unsettled shingle bed. Even in low flows it is not possible to cross the river on foot anywhere near Te Araroa's trailhead on the north bank. As a result, Te Araroa Trust has declared the Rākaia a hazard zone which does not form part of the trail. Instead it marks a natural break in the continuum, just like the Cook Strait.

The trailheads on either side of the Rākaia make natural beginning or end points for Te Araroa section trampers and it is really only through-trampers that have to deal with the issue of getting from one trail head to the other. Don't risk a foot crossing. Instead go around the road in a vehicle. Doing so will not compromising the integrity of a through-tramp.

Information poster about the Lake Coleridge area

On the north bank of the Rākaia, Lake Coleridge Lodge is on Hummocks Road, which is within Lake Coleridge Village. With a spa and sauna the Lodge offers some luxury for walkers with good quality dinner, bed, and breakfast packages or alternatively a guest kitchen. Free wi-fi internet, supply package storage and laundry are offered to Te Araroa guests. Transport between the Lodge, Methven and the Clent Hills Track on the south side of the Rākaia River can be booked for an additional charge. For more information visit its website.

Note: There is no camping near Lake Coleridge Village. The only official campgrounds in the Lake Coleridge area are at Harper Village (free) and Rākaia Gorge (small charge). There are no areas where Freedom Camping is legally permitted between these two campgrounds and with increasing numbers of walkers enjoying Te Araroa, landowners are becoming more likely to move people on who are camping illegally. If you are solely camping you need to plan your journey to use the official campgrounds.


Do not attempt to cross the Rākaia on foot.

How to get here

Track Elevation

Map of Track

More information

Te Araroa Canterbury trail notes, including information about accommodation, transport and resupplying

Mountain Safety Council Plan My Trip
Page last updated: Jan 6, 2021, 9:17 AM