The Rangitata River is famous for its salmon fishery.
It originates high in the Southern Alps and is prone to floods and freshes from high rainfall and snowmelt, particularly from warm nor’west wind conditions that occur throughout the main salmon season from November to March. But the duration of unfishable periods is usually short and good fishing can be experienced as discoloured waters begin to clear. Best fishing at the mouth is generally over December and January. Up river salmon fishing is better from January to March.
The Rangitata is also noted for its sea-run brown trout early in the season.
There are fishing hut settlements on both the north and south side of the river mouth. To reach the north side huts travel via the Hinds-Rangitata Mouth Road which turns off from SH1, 2km south of Hinds township. Travelling from the south, turn off immediately north of Rangitata Bridge along the Ealing-Coldstream Road. For the south side huts; travelling from the north on SH1 turn off at Rangitata Store along Edgar Road and follow the sign post directions. From the south turn off at Temuka township and again follow the sign posts.
North Bank – North Bank Huts to SH1
Between the North Side Huts and SH1 there are two main points of access from the Ealing – Coldstream Road at the irrigation outfall (8.5km) and Old Main South Road (16km). It is 2.5 from here to SH1.
South Bank – Mouth to Mesopotamia
On the south side, access to the river is available at Badham Road (known as Wades Crossing, 12km from mouth), Dip Road (15km), Brodie Road (18km), and Old South Road (19.5km). It is a further 2.5km from here along the Rangitata Island Road to SH1.
Proceeding upstream via Arundel-Rangitata Road, the river can be accessed at Lewis Road (6km from SH1) before joining SH72 at the Arundel Bridge (10km). Best parking at Arundel Bridge is on the South Side.
From Arundel Bridge, travel via Ferry Road to Peel Forest and then along the Rangitata Gorge Road. Access to the river is at Ferry Road, Peel Forest camping ground, Lynn Stream, Mt Peel Station and Raules Gully (19km from Arundel Bridge).
At this point the road swings away from the river but rejoins at Whiterock Station. At Rata Peaks 10km upstream from here, Fishermans Lane leads to the river. Access is also available at Forest Creek, a further 8km towards Mesopotamia.
North Bank – Arundel to Klondyke
There is only one access point in this section. From Arundel Bridge continue along SH72 for 6km and turn off at the Five Crossroads corner along the Ealing Montalto Road. A further 14.5km brings you to the Klondyke Terrace Road. This is a public road only as far as the Rangitata Diversion Race (RDR) bridge (2km). Beyond there for the next 4km to the river the road is owned and maintained by RDR Management Ltd who allow vehicle access at your own risk.
The road ends at the RDR intake; beyond there the landowners of Klondyke and Tenehaun Stations permit foot access only to allow anglers to fish the gorge area. All they ask is that anglers recognise they are on private land and they observe the following public courtesies. No guns or dogs and observe all signage which has been erected for your protection and safety.
This information gained with thanks from NZ Fish & Game
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