19 March 2012
Lake Coleridge & Rakaia River
The Rakaia river is considered to be a "hazard zone" by the Te Araroa Trust and for the safety of walkers they suggest that you get transport around the river. However, in good weather we had heard it was possible to walk across and we hadn't had rain for a while. I was very keen to give it a go, Madeleine was less so but I wasn't going to put either of us in danger...
We had been advised where to cross and another guest at the lodge, Joe, offered to drive us up the river to where we thought we would be able to scout for a safer place to attempt the crossing. It is a huge river bed several kilometres across and from the bank it was impossible to see how many strands of the river we would have to cross.
We chose our spot carefully and started to cross by holding on to each other which is the safest way. There was a pretty strong current and I was hip deep in water and struggling to hold my footings. So I told Madeleine that we were heading back but as I turned I was able to hold my position better against the water and slowly we edged the last few feet into shallower water. Yippie - but how many more strands like this would there be ahead of us? As it turned out, none! We walked the rest of the river bed to the bank and we were both jubilant.