The Tenahaun Track through the Rangitata Gorge was one of many NZ walks to exceed expectations. Starting near an irrigation canal diversion, the track is through private farmland almost the whole way, but the majority of it through the Rangitata Gorge is spectacular. When out of the gorge you can continue in a couple of directions, but we stopped on some rocks for views over plains to the Harper Range and over the Southern Alps. A very satisfying day out.
One reason we stopped a bit earlier than planned was due to being chased by a large-ish (35-40) herd of cows. I hope that they merely thought we were the farmer and might have something to offer, but I have subsequently read that cows sometimes maim or even kill walkers! Gulp. I suspect few people do this walk. We didn’t see any other people on the day we did it at least, and I can’t find many pictures online.
Track notes at the end.
Rangitata Gorge on the Tenahaun Track: The Scenery
Most of these photos were taken on the way back in favourable afternoon lighting, so scroll down a bit for the best shots of the Rangitata Gorge.
On an obvious and marked (often poled) track the whole way. There’s more info on walks in the area on the DOC website.
5 thoughts on “Rangitata Gorge on the Tenahaun Track, Canterbury NZ”
Yeah, we didn’t see anybody the whole day. And yes, this was a little easier (no peak involved I suppose) because my wife Sophia had bruised her ribs falling in the Chain Hills a week or two before. I think this is why I was pleasantly surprised – didn’t really expect so much out of a valley walk.
A shorter easier walk than your usual ones. Bishopdale Trampers even do this one sometimes – but a long drive in the bus from Chch. We last did it in 2020 (see report on trip reports, 2020). I don’t think the cattle are killers – just very curious and a bit bored.
One time we found the track very muddy at the beginning, other times have had jet boats to entertain – but no tourists now?
How long did it take you to complete?
Hi John. It was roughly 4-5 hours return. The route does go further than what we did, so it could be longer depending on where you turn around.
Sorry for the tardy response. Thank you for getting back to me. We are in Methven at the moment doing our annual roadie from Raglan but weather looks a little inclement so will probably revisit the walk on our way back home in a few weeks time.