Rakaia - New Zealand's best Salmon Fishing Location

50 kms south of Christchurch, after crossing the longest bridge in the Southern hemisphere, you’ll be welcomed by a striking salmon landmark heralding some of the best salmon fishing in New Zealand in one of the world’s best examples of a braided river. Fishing season is October to April and the annual Rakaia Fishing Competition attracts anglers from all over the world. There are tons of water adventure options from fishings guides to white water rafting in Mid Canterbury. 

Stretch the legs along the Rakaia River Walkway, following the banks of the river.  Strap yourself in and experience the excitement of a jet boat through the Rakaia Gorge, a helicopter flight over the Mid Canterbury Alps, a balloon flight over the Plains and more.

Stop and look around. West off SH1 is the rest of the town — the "old town" if you like. Take a wander around and you'll be amazed at what there is in the way of old buildings and the number of houses. Yes, take a look and Rakaia is much bigger than the drive down SH1 indicates.

And, if you've got the time, head west along the southern bank of the Rakaia River and have a look at Barrhill — where early land owner John Cathcart Wason tried to create a typical British village. He didn't get very far, but the church and the school are still there and the avenues are neatly laid out and planted with English trees. It's a fascinating place.

Several private gardens are open to the public. The domain on the western edge of the town and the reserve by the Salmon Statue provide attractive, landscaped picnic areas, children’s play area and clean toilet facilities.