Day 211 on the Road
Jet Boating on the Rakaia River to the Rakaia Gorge Walkway
Today we’re experiencing the best of the Rakaia Gorge with Discover Jet and the Rakaia Gorge Walkway! If you like this video and want to see more 365 Days: 365 Activities then head on over to our awesome YouTube Channel!
Today we’re gonna be making the most of the Rakaia gorge by taking the jet boat up the river and hiking our way back.
This morning we are making our way to the beautiful Rakaia Gorge and our ride has arrived. We are gonna be hopping on the jet boat of Discover Jet and we are making our way through the beautiful gorge.
The goal today is gonna be to speed upstream with the team from Discovery Jet and when we arrive about halfway up the gorge we’re gonna hop off the jet boat and tackle our way back through the beautiful Rakaia Gorge Walkway.
The journey up the Rakaia Gorge is absolutely stunning as we’re thrown completely wilderness area. The further down the gorge we go the higher the gorge walls get the more forest there is around us and the more stunning these milky blue waters get. It’s amazing what these jet boats can do and our driver Blaire in negotiating up all these different river channels because the Rakaia River is actually a braided river. This also means that the water is super shallow but that doesn’t stop this jet boat it can just speed right on top of the water’s surface.
A jet boat ride also means that there’s lots of near misses with towering gorge walls and also a couple of 360 spins thrown into the mix where the boat does a full 360 spin right on one point.
This marks our halfway point for today we’re gonna be hopping off the jet boat now Blarie is telling us where we need to hike and which direction we need to go to find our campervan back and we are now on our own.
We only realise how windy the Rakaia Gorge are as soon as we get off the jet boat because of the speed we did not realise that this is one of the windiest place of the whole of New Zealand.
We are now climbing on the cliff of the gorge. It’s a pretty steep track but it’s a beautiful one. We’re really well sheltered from the wind now so just feels much much much nicer than in the gorge.
The hike from there is gonna be taking us about 2 hours to be reunited with our campervan at the base of the Discovery Jet. it’s a really cool hike there is heaps to see and Laura just can’t help herself from taking heaps of pictures of literally everything.
To her credit those flowers are looking absolutely gorgeous. The whole track is a mix between exotic flowers and native bush it’s a very interesting mix and something unlike we have seen at all in this entire trip.
Not only is the vegetation super diverse along this track but also the geology of the area is as well with different coal and limestone cliffs we can see we’re walking along glacial and river carved terraces as well and there’s even ancient lava flows in this area.
Among all the awesome sights and picture opportunities the trail itself is pretty adventurous it’s really rugged it’s very vary on this single trail we have all these roots to climb over there’s a lot of pebbled streams to cross and some muddy sections to cross as well but it still makes this track really awesome to do.
The first section of the trail is mostly going uphill as we make our way to the highest point of the gorge on the Rakaia Walkway and it’s a really good ratio between being in the forest and out of that really strong wind and also coming to some really awesome viewpoints where we can see extensive views over the river and all the way out to the Southern Alps.
About midway through the walk we find ourselves a little sidetrack pointing to an old coalmine. When we get to the coalmine it’s the most terrifying thing we’ve ever seen as we look into this really deep and dark tunnel.
We are looking at the Snowden Coalmine right here and honestly it looking like a pure horror movie there is no amount of money that you can give me to get me to work in something as scary as that.
The hike then takes us through beautiful native forest and to amazing viewpoint we get to see some amazing views of the Rakaia River as well as some really awesome native wildlife.
The Rakaia river is actually new Zealand’s largest braided river it is an absolutely stunning sight because of its milky blue waters and all the light grey coloured rocks surrounding it. It makes it pop so much through the green lush New Zealand scenery.
And it’s actually quite a rare sight because braided rivers of this size can only be found in Alaska, Himalayas and it Canada. So in New Zealand we are the fourth country in the world where you can find those rivers and that’s pretty unique it’s one of those things that New Zealand is underestimated for. We have sceneries that are not only gorgeous but absolutely unique.
And despite the wind we get to see a lot of people around the river because this is a fishman’s paradise. There’s heaps of salmon and trout in the Rakaia River so it makes it a really big hotspot for any keen fisherman and the reason we know that is because our jet boat driver, Blair, could only talk about fishing he’s crazy about his trout and his salmon.
We are finishing our hike. The whole forestry is changing from native New Zealand bush to pine forest the pine forest were planted here by English settlers that wanted a fast growing tree for both construction and for heating their houses.
It was an awesome hike and we’re now making our way back to Methven.
So we make our way to the coalmine and oh my God there in no way I’m working here. Ever. Hell no. This is crazy I’m considering myself so lucky for the advance in both technology and labour laws. This is just beyond me. There is no way you’re making me go through that unless I’m wearing a helmet and I have a tube to do some black water rafting.