The walkway passes through several forest and shrub communities before climbing the gorse-lined historic ferryman's track. Continue along one of several glacial and river-carved terraces to a good lookout point. This will take about 45 minutes.
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 sign-posted 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. A side track off the loop descends to the river. This boat landing track is around 121 metres long.
This walkway goes over private farmland. Keep to the track, and do not disturb stock. Dogs or horses not allowed.
The track starts off State Highway 72 Inland Scenic Route on the northern edge of the Rakaia River, upstream of the Rakaia Gorge Bridge, mid-Canterbury. It is 75 km from Christchurch 75kms and 11 km from Methven – 10 mins drive.
Wasp populations reach high numbers from January to March – wear light coloured clothing and carry antihistamine cream/tablets as a precaution.
Eligible people must be fully vaccinated to use DOC accommodation.