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We camped next to the Rakaia Gorge Walkway

We camped next to the Rakaia Gorge Walkway

February 2020 · 3 min read · Canterbury

We had our first - and only - camping experience in New Zealand in Rakaia Gorge. The small campsite is next to the Rakaia River. The Rakaia River is a river in the Canterbury Plains on the South Island of New Zealand. It is one of the largest intertwined rivers in New Zealand. As you may can see in the photos, the river looked like it was frozen. It wasnt, but it was still to cold to swim in. The campsite is also where the river is leveled by Rakaia Gorge. We had bought a tent and lots of warm blankets for camping. In retrospect, I had to say that I am not a camping person and still prefer the soft bed in a warmed up room ;) Nevertheless, I am glad to have made this experience, as it was on our bucket list from the start, in New Zealand to camp.

My sister sitting sitting at the riverside :)
My sister sitting sitting at the riverside :)

Our experience at the Rakaia Gorge Campingground are very personal and probably other campers who spent a few days there in a real camper will experience the campsite very differently. It must said that we decided to go camping there relatively spontaneously and therefore did not inform ourselves exactly about the campsite. The campsite itself was very well maintained and the view was awesome. The campground was actually right on the river and it was only a few minutes walk to the bridge that you can see in the last picture. However, there were no possibilities to cook at the campsite, there was a shower but everything was very sporal. Very important: we had no electricity, which caused us a few problems with our smartphones battery at the end of the two days. But thats why you actually go camping right? - just to completely disconnect from the outside world and enjoy nature.

To be honest, we only stayed there for two nights. Five nights were planned and we had already paid for the entire time. The camp owners there were very friendly and gave us the money back. In contrast to us, the other campers drove up there with their campers ans stayed in their campers, where they had electricity and mosquito nets and water. Although, we hadnt protect ourselves enough against the mosquitos. All in all, I am glad that I have made this experience once, but would only repeat it with our own camper. So, if you have your own camper and plan to spend the night there, I highly recommend it. The nature there is incredible. The Rakaia Gorge Walkway is right next to the Campsite. We walked it a bit. You can also pass a beautiful old bridge, which you can see in the photo below. As so often in New Zealand, the water is really beautiful turqoise and yellow flowers grow on the shore. What as very pleasant too: We hardly met anyone there, so if you are looking for a place to come down, nobody will bother you there ;)

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the really beautiful old Rakaia Gorge bridge
the really beautiful old Rakaia Gorge bridge

direct fir trees on the shore
direct fir trees on the shore

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