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For other uses, see Rakaia (disambiguation).
The Big Salmon of Rakaia
The Big Salmon of Rakaia
Rakaia is located in New Zealand
Coordinates: 43°45′S 172°01′E / 43.750°S 172.017°E / -43.750; 172.017Coordinates: 43°45′S 172°01′E / 43.750°S 172.017°E / -43.750; 172.017
Country  New Zealand
Region Canterbury
Territorial authority Ashburton District
Population (2006)
 • Total 1,080

The town of Rakaia is seated close to the southern banks of the Rakaia River on the Canterbury Plains in New Zealand's South Island, approximately 57km south of Christchurch on State Highway 1 and the Main South Line. Immediately north of the township are the country's longest road bridge and longest rail bridge, both of which cross the wide shingle beds of the braided river at this point. Both bridges are approximately 1750 metres in length.

Rakaia was also the junction of the Methven Branch, a branch line railway to Methven that operated from 1880 until its closure in 1976. An accident at the railway station in 1899 killed four people.[1]

A township of under 1000 people, its most obvious feature is a large fibreglass salmon. The river from which the town takes its name is known for its salmon fishing and jetboating.


  1. ^ McLintock, A. H. (1966). "Rakaia Railway Accident". An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 27 November 2011. 

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