Rangitata River Hazard Zone

  • Walking

The Rangitata is a large braided river with an unsettled shingle bed. It poses a significant danger to trampers on foot and, as a result, Te Araroa Trust has declared it a hazard zone which does not form part of the trail. Instead it marks a natural break in the continuum like Cook Strait does.

The Potts River and Bush Stream trailheads on either side of the Rangitata, make ideal 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 trailhead to the other. Trampers are urged not to risk a foot crossing. It's best to find an alternative way around and doing this will not compromising the integrity of a through-tramp.

While trampers are cautioned not to attempt to cross the Rangitata on foot, fit adults experienced with river crossing techniques have been known to cross safely in low-flow summer conditions. The best crossing point is above the confluence with the Potts River. Conditions suitable for a foot crossing are most likely to occur in the late summer months. Be aware though, even in high summer this river can flood and become impassable at any time. 

Alps 2 Ocean offer a number of transport options in this area. Check out their website for information and to book, or phone 0800 425772.

Geraldine is the gateway town to the Two Thumbs Track and offers a range of services. 

Geraldine Community Vehicle Trust offer a service to Peel Forest Store on weekday mornings. Cost $14.00.

P: 03 6931007 - E: geraldine.mini.bus@gmail.com

There is an infrequent mail run from Peel Forest Store that passes the trailhead, and can take walkers for a small koha, but should not be relied upon to run every day. This wont be suitable for groups of walkers.

To arrange, speak to The Greenman at Peel Forest - P: 03 6963567 or www.thegreenmanpeelforest.co.nz

Alps 2 Ocean is a more reliable service and recommended.

The Bush Stream trailhead is 2.5km beyond Mesopotamia Station, 52km from Peel Forest, 60km from the Rangitata River bridge (near Arundel) and 75km from Geraldine.


River crossings - Never cross flooded rivers. Do not attempt to cross the Rangitata without gaining plenty of advice and checking river flow levels

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, 9:18 AM