Last Updated: 14th Apr 2024


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Rakaia Rush

Methven, Canterbury

Submitted by Thomas Dames

Last Updated: 14th Apr 2024


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I've done it Done

Grunt Factor: 17 ?

Gnarl Factor: 30 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Front country - easily accessible


Undulating, small hills only

Open farmlands

Open tussock/grasslands

Run Makeup


Farm Road / 4WD Track

Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +16.6%

Average Downhill Gradient: -16.3%


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Estimated Times to Run







The walkway follows the rim of the gorge through spectacular geological areas, showing lava flows of rhyolite, pitchstone and andesite. It then descends into a gully under a canopy of montane forest and shrub, to the site of the Snowdon coal mines. The entrances to several coal mine tunnels can be seen here, and the remains of equipment used for extraction. The track then climbs out of the creek to a signposted junction. The walkway forms a loop from this point, with the right-hand track climbing across tussock-covered terraces directly to the lookout point. The track then passes through the bush to loop back to the junction.

Historic coal mines.

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Parking at the start of the track

17 km

16 minutes




follow the markers


Long-sleeved thermal top, Windproof jacket, Gloves, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map, Headtorch and spare batteries

After 10-15 mins water can be gathered at the boat landing site

Pretty muddy in winter, ground will most likely be frozen in shady parts

The Butcher's Pie Hororata Cafe & Bar
2 Hobbs St, Hororata 7572
good pies

Trail Legend


Billy Powell

has completed Rakaia Rush 3 times in the last year.

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Trail Reviews

I’ve done this one a couple of times now, and I really should do it more often! Lovely trail, nice views, plenty of korimako to sing to you while you run. Can be a little busy on weekends, so consider running early and catch a spectacular mountain sunrise.

Kristie Leigh

May 15, 2023

This genuinely has a bit of something for everyone. Just love the views at the upper gorge lookout, just wow. I don't know if it would be much fun after rain though, some serious dropoffs if you put a foot wrong in some areas! Good amount of vert for a 10km too. Cheers!

Tony Sharpe

April 24, 2021

Great trail with nice variety in bush and open. Pretty hilly but mainly short ups and downs and the views of the bright turquoise river below is your reward. There are a couple of short muddy bits between km 3 and 4 but plently of stones to bounce across to keep your shoes clean.

Kirstine Collins

April 24, 2021

Great trail to do on a sunny day for best views and to see the turquoise coloured water. Approx 70% of the walk has good tree coverage to protect against 30C+ sunshine. Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy the panoramic scenery.

John OConnell

February 1, 2021

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