Waimakariri River
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5.0
5,0 de 5 burbujas4 opiniones
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WatchmeR8you
Canterbury Region, Nueva Zelanda53 contribuciones
5,0 de 5 burbujas
ago de 2018 • Amigos
Love this river so many hidden walks! Great for swimming with a bunch of friends in the summer! Definitely and always do recommend checking this beauty out!!!
Escrita el 5 de agosto de 2018
Esta es la opinión subjetiva de un miembro de Tripadvisor, no de Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor realiza comprobaciones de las opiniones.

CarolDM1900
Montpellier, VT3.353 contribuciones
5,0 de 5 burbujas
abr de 2018 • Parejas
I have to echo the sentiments of the last reviewer, who wrote more than 5 years ago, that this "unpublicized" yet "iconic" river is a great place to visit. This is especially true for kids, who will delight in the freedom of exploration made possible by its wide, shallow, "braided" course.

Nature-lovers of all ages will appreciate the interesting ecology of the place, as ongoing efforts make headway in reviving the Waimakariri through restoration of its native vegetation, including grasses like Tussock and the thorny bush or small tree called Matagouri that is particularly suited to riverbeds and other stony places.

There are easy access points on the way to Arthur's Pass National Park if you know where to look.

One is at the Mt. White Bridge, which crosses the river near Goldney Saddle (Hill) at the turnoff from SH 73 onto Riversdale Road. If you go over the narrow wooden bridge to the far side, you'll see rough parking areas not far from the bank and - possibly - some Freedom campers enjoying a stay there.

This is an interesting point, where the Hawdon River joins the Waimakariri, increasing its rather spindly water flow at this time of year. If you turn left on the Mt. White Road very quickly after crossing to the far side of the river, you'll find a campground at the Hawdon Shelter about 2 km from the bridge.

The smaller Cass River also joins the Waimakariri a short distance away, coming in from the near side opposite and downstream of the Hawdon. It's a fun side stop. You can easily find your way there from the turnoff back onto SH 73 to the tiny town of Cass, pop. 1. This was the railhead for a few years in the 1910s while the further track and the tunnel at Arthur's Pass were being built. The TranzAlpine still runs through there. You'll just need to retrace the SH 73 route a few miles to find the turnoff. How many of you have ever visited a one-man town? Here's your chance!

The other river access point is further along SH 73 toward Arthur's Pass. There's a carpark on the left at Cloudesley Rd. used by hikers on the Bealey Spur Track. Near there, on the right side of the road, you'll see a gate where you can pick up the Waimakariri Valley Walk, which does double duty as a running trail. Initially, Bruce Stream will be on the left, but you will soon get to the Waimakariri. There's even a short cut that forks to the right, saving 2 km.

The main trail runs along the wide riverbed before turning back to SH73 along Broad Stream. Roundtrip, including the walk back on the highway to the car park, is about 7-8 km and will take 2-3 hours, depending on how long you stop to explore. Of course, you needn't do the whole route, just enough to reach the riverbed if that's what you have in mind.

What's to see and do there? For starters, you'll find a picnic table on the main trail, if you want to stop for a bite. The river is very interesting here, with channels often popping up from underground, burbling along for a short distance, and then diving back under. Pick up a rock along the shore and turn it over. If you look carefully, you will likely see May fly larvae, a food source for fish and a good indication that this is a clean, healthy river.

You'll find trout, and there's an impressive salmon run Nov-April, when the Pacific Chinook salmon return from sea to spawn here.

There is also very interesting and varied vegetation, including many mosses and large, bright green alpine cushion plants that often have tiny, colorful flower-like plants growing within them. These plants are adapted to live in wet, windy, exposed places. Look carefully: they're beautiful.

As noted earlier, Matagouri is regaining its foothold here. This is a particularly useful plant because its thorns offer predator protection to many birds and sometimes to lambs in areas with sheep stations. As one example, the nearby Wilderness Lodge, on 4000 acres of property across SH 73, has a working sheep ranch, which seasonally uses an area adjacent to the river that is now full of Matagouri and other native plants. You may see sheep in a fenced area, depending on when you visit.

Finally, there are the magnificent views of the mountains on both sides of the river valley. These include big ones like Mt. Rolleston elev. 2275 m/7463 ft and high peaks of the Polar Range on the far side of the river, and the Black Range on the near side as the river descends from Arthur's Pass.

There is much more here than at first meets the eye. In my visits, including two accompanied by naturalists, I have been fascinated by the unexpected beauty and diversity of it all. I highly recommend you give it a try if you are anywhere near Arthur's Pass National Park. I don't think you'll be disappointed, and kids will have a good chance to play on the rocky riverbed and see what interesting things they can find hidden there.
Escrita el 27 de abril de 2018
Esta es la opinión subjetiva de un miembro de Tripadvisor, no de Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor realiza comprobaciones de las opiniones.

Ольга С
Кострома275 contribuciones
5,0 de 5 burbujas
oct de 2013 • Parejas
Я сама выбрала эту экскурсию во время круиза!
Так было здорово: нашу группу посадили в лодку, которая была прицеплена к трактору!!
Нас привезли к берегу и аккуратно спустили на реку. А потом была изумительная поездка с реактивным мотором! Скорость была такая, что было реально трудно вдохнуть- воздух бил в лицо. Речка с многочисленными каменными перекатами, русло очень извилистое на поворотах дух захватывало! А потом на берегу нас ждал изумительный чай на костре и прогулка на машинах по горам. Красота была вокруг потрясающая!!!
Escrita el 9 de septiembre de 2014
Esta es la opinión subjetiva de un miembro de Tripadvisor, no de Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor realiza comprobaciones de las opiniones.

AnnaDBJ
Melbourne, Australia137 contribuciones
5,0 de 5 burbujas
jul de 2012 • Familia
I really wanted to give my kids the opportunity to explore the Waimak, an iconic braided Canterbury river. The tourist office wasn't able to suggest any access points so we ended up just driving out the back of the airport near Orana Park and hoping for the best. And happily, we discovered the McLeans Island area of Waimakiriri River Regional Park, a gem of a park that facilitates all the activities we were hoping for! There are biking and walking trails, and we drove down to the end of Haul Road (unmarked gravel road) and found the perfect place for kids who like exploring and rocks. I'm not sure it's suitable for swimming (and in July that wasn't really a concern!) but it's a great area for kids to walk around the different fingers of the river, throw rocks, balance on hilly bits, and just enjoy the environment. Note that there's a bunch of electricity transmission towers in one direction heading out for the Alps. This area is rough and ready, but there are bathrooms (and maybe bike hire?) in the McLeans Island section.
Escrita el 19 de septiembre de 2012
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