Lake Coleridge and Rakaia

Lake Coleridge was built around New Zealand's first state-owned hydroelectric power station, which was constructed between 1911 and 1914. Discover the history of the area with a great range of tracks from easy walks to longer day hikes.

Lake Coleridge Arboretum

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Time to complete: 5 to 30 minutes
Starting point: Lake Coleridge Domain information board

Key highlights:

  • Stunning colour display in autumn
  • Excellent walk for families
  • The first tree was planted here in 1933, with more than 200 specimens now in the area

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Lake Coleridge Tailrace Walk

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Time to complete: 5 to 30 minutes
Starting point:
 Lake Coleridge Domain information board

Key highlights:

  • Visit a place which is reputed to be a moa cooking site (discovered in 1960)
  • Spectacular views stretching up the valley to the head of the Rakaia River
  • Stunning colour display in autumn

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Lake Coleridge Village Historical Walk

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Time to complete: 30 minutes - 2 hours
Starting point: Lake Coleridge Lodge

Key highlights:

  • Learn about Lake Coleridge area history

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Rakaia Gorge Walking Track

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Time to complete: 3 - 4 hours return
Starting point:
 The track starts off State Highway 72 Inland Scenic Route on the northern edge of the Rakaia River, upstream of the Rakaia Gorge Bridge.

Key highlights:

  • See spectacular geological areas, showing lava flows of rhyolite, pitchstone and andesite
  • View the Snowdon coal mines
  • Enjoy the view of the bright blue crystal clear water of the Rakaia River

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Rockwood Bush Walk

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Time to complete: 1 hour 
Starting point:
 Rockwood farm, Darts Road (off Washpen Road). Please note access permission is by advance arrangement with the land owner.

Key highlights:

  • See native ferns, black beech, matai, white pine and bird life
  • Walk alongside the Rockwood stream

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Te Araroa (the long pathway); New Zealand National Walkway

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Time to complete: 4 hours return
Starting point: Hart Arboretum Gate on Intake Road in the village.

Key highlights:

  • The Te Araroa Trail is a national walkway covering the length of New Zealand, with a portion of it going through the Lake Coleridge area in 3 sections.
  • Walk alongside wetlands, farms, pine forest and the lake.

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Washpen Falls

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Time to complete: 3 hours return
Starting point: 380 Washpen Road

Key highlights:

  • Walk through a canyon formed by an ancient volcano
  • See waterfalls and views across the Canterbury Plains
  • The track is full of native bush and bird song

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