The Rangitata Gorge walkway is a favourite trek for Alison Hydes.
Alison is a member of the Mayfield ladies walking group, which meets regularly to take on some of the great walks in the district.
She says the track offers great views and can be walked year-round, though take the right clothes in winter months.
The Rangitata Gorge walkway starts at the Rangitata Diversion Race (RDR). To get there drive to Mayfield, then turn onto the Mayfield Klondyke Road. At Montalto, turn left onto Mayfield Klondyke Road, then at the crossroads go straight ahead onto Klondyke Terrace. This road continues to the RDR intake of the Rangitata River.
At the car park is a map of the surrounding area.
To start the walk, go along the irrigation canal intake. At the intake gates, head up the Tenahaun Conservation Area track.
The track climbs above the Rangitata Gorge. In the past rafts can be seen going down the river. After about an hour the track heads down the hill past the gorge as the area opens up into farm land.
A privately-owned hut is reached after about 2 hours 15 minutes. From here there are more tracks for the keen or those who want to camp out. The track is suitable for most ages with the terrain being up and down, but not too strenuous. Some hiking ability would be required, but it is a good track to do for just an hour and then back out.
The track would be suitable all year round but if there was snow about it would be harder going.
It can be bitterly cold at the RDR intake. Take the right clothes.
The track offers great views and the terrain is varied with narrow track walking, sheep tracks, paddock walking and some rock formations to pass by.
This is a most enjoyable walk with the varied views and terrain. Ice creams can be bought at Mayfield on the way home.