Waiau, Canterbury

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A small town set in a valley seen from one of the surrounding hills. A shingle river is in the background
Waiau seen from the Leader Road. The Waiau River is in the background
Waiau is located in New Zealand
Coordinates: 42°39′16″S 173°02′33″E / 42.65444°S 173.04250°E / -42.65444; 173.04250Coordinates: 42°39′16″S 173°02′33″E / 42.65444°S 173.04250°E / -42.65444; 173.04250
Country New Zealand
Region Canterbury
Territorial authority Hurunui District
Population (2006)[1]
 • Total 252
Time zone New Zealand Standard Time (UTC+12)
 • Summer (DST) New Zealand Daylight Time (UTC+13)
Postcode 7332

Waiau is a small town in north Canterbury, in the South Island of New Zealand. It lies 30 kilometres (19 mi) east of Hanmer Springs on the northern bank of the Waiau River, some 30 kilometres (19 mi) from the river's mouth.

Waiau is the largest town on State Highway 70, also known as the Inland Kaikoura Route. From 1919 until 1978, Waiau was the terminus of the Waiau Branch, a branch line railway that ran to the town from a junction with the Main North Line in Waipara. There were proposals to extend this line beyond Waiau as part of the Main North Line and some 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) of formation was made for a route to Kaikoura, but construction ground to a halt and a coastal route via Parnassus and Hundalee was chosen for the Main North Line instead.

Waiau shares its name with several much smaller settlements and farming communities within New Zealand. The name is Maori, and means flowing water.


  1. ^ "QuickStats About Waiau". 2006 Census. Statistics New Zealand. Retrieved 7 April 2010. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Waiau, Canterbury at Wikimedia Commons