8. The Rakaia River Mouth

This was the start of moving upstream along the Rakaia River over several days. I am going to blog each part separately as there are so many photos. You wouldn’t believe how many I am taking, but it’s a great way to remember where we have been and what we’ve seen and done, even to remind us of some of our conversations with other people. I am only blogging a very few of the overall totals I’m taking!

We stayed for two nights at Rakaia Huts near the mouth of the Rakaia River. This was a great start to the river trip. The community here seems close knit and active and best of all down-to-earth. It had a really good feeling about it.

Lots of sandstone, conglomerate, quartz and jasper pebbles to be found on the beach – and that’s Kevin walking along in the background.
Hello Batman!
Juvenile shags/cormorants – I think they are Spotted Shags but I’m no expert.
The very fine dust goes puff! puff! with every step. The mud patches around here are so dry – while some are cracked across the surface you can still walk across them, but ones like this have gone a step further and become loess.
Many people were making the most of Waitangi Day to go fishing for salmon and trout. One man said there used to be two river mouths but now there’s just one due to less water in the river – a combination of hotter summers and water being drawn off for irrigation over the Canterbury Plains. There’s about 72 cubic metres of flow (cumecs) in the Rakaia River today. He said the mouth can move with one good storm depending which way the shingle is tossed. Wow! Another man told me that the day was being terrible for fishing and hardly anyone was making catches. The water was roughed up with a weather front. Yesterday would have been perfect – but yesterday wasn’t a public holiday (I did feel sympathy but couldn’t help laughing either). He said that 90% of the fish are caught by 5% of fishing folk – I bet this is true!
The fresh river water runs into the sea, creating wave tossing! You can see the marked difference in the colours of the waters.

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