Waimakariri River

Waimakariri River

river_name = Waimakariri River

image_size = 300px
caption = The Waimakariri with Christchurch in the background.
origin = Southern Alps
mouth =
basin_countries = New Zealand
length =
elevation =
mouth_elevation = 0 metres
discharge =
watershed =

The Waimakariri River is the largest of the North Canterbury Rivers, in the South Island of New Zealand. It flows for 151 kilometres in a generally southeastward direction from the Southern Alps across the Canterbury Plains to the Pacific Ocean.cite book
last = Logan
first = Robert
authorlink = Robert Logan
title = Waimakariri. The story of Canterbury's "river of cold rushing water"
publisher = Robert Logan
location = Christchurch
year = 1987
isbn = 0473005204

The river rises on the eastern flanks of the Southern Alps, eight kilometres southwest of Arthur's Pass. For much of its upper reaches, the river is braided, with wide shingle beds. As the river approaches the Canterbury Plains, it passes through a belt of mountains, and is forced into a narrow canyon (the Waimakariri Gorge), before reverting to its braided form for its passage across the plains. It finally enters the Pacific north of Christchurch, near the town of Kaiapoi.

Chinook salmon ("Oncorhynchus tshawytscha") were introduced from California in the 1900s and persist today. [McDowall, R. M. (1990) New Zealand freshwater fishes: a natural history and guide. Heinemann-Reed, Auckland, 553 p.]

In Māori, "Waimakariri" has several meanings, one of which is "river of cold rushing water".cite book
last = Logan
first = Robert
authorlink = Robert Logan
title = Waimakariri. The story of Canterbury's "river of cold rushing water"
publisher = Robert Logan
location = Christchurch
year = 1987
isbn = 0473005204

In the 1850s European settlers gave the river the name "Courtenay River", but it lapsed into disuse. [ [http://www.teara.govt.nz/Places/Canterbury/Canterbury/6/en Canterbury, discovery and settlement] , Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand website, retrieved 18 April 2008.]

Geological evidence indicates that the river mouth has been very mobile, at times flowing through the current location of Christchurch and even flowing into Lake Ellesmere south of Banks Peninsula for a time. [ [http://www.ecan.govt.nz/Our+Environment/Land/Parks+and+Reserves/Waimakariri+River.htm Waimakariri River, An important asset to the region] , Environment Canterbury website, retrieved 18 April 2008.]

Instead of being unoccupied crown land as are most New Zealand river beds, the bed of the Waimakariri River is vested in the Canterbury Regional Council (Environment Canterbury). [Waimakariri River Improvement Act 1922, [http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/local/1922/0022/latest/DLM42599.html Section 17(1)] - Parliament of New Zealand.]

The river is known colloquially in Canterbury as "The Waimak".


In 1923 the river was investigated for a hydroelectric dam to supply electricity to Christchurch. It received support from the community but the dam was never built since the Government offered inexpensive electricity from the Lake Coleridge scheme. [cite news
last = Crean
first = Mike
coauthors =
title = Waimak's elusive dam
work =
pages =
publisher = The Press
date = 2008-04-26
url =
accessdate = 2008-06-23

The Central Plains Water Trust is proposing to take 40 cumecs of water from two points on the Waimakariri River as part of the Central Plains Water enhancement scheme. [ [http://www.ecan.govt.nz/Resource+Consents/Central+Plains+Water+Trust.htm Central Plains Water Trust applications for resource consent] Environment Canterbury Resource Consents webpage, retrieved 6 October 2007.]


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Waimakariri River — mit Christchurch im Hintergrund …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Waimakariri River — River, east central South Island, New Zealand. It rises in the Southern Alps and flows 100 mi (160 km) southeast to Pegasus Bay of the Pacific Ocean. The river s delta constitutes a major portion of the Banks Peninsula and part of the Canterbury… …   Universalium

  • Waimakariri — can refer to a number of geographical features in the province of Canterbury, New Zealand: *The Waimakariri River *The Waimakariri Gorge *The Waimakariri District …   Wikipedia

  • Waimakariri District — The Waimakariri District is a political district of New Zealand, located in the South Island, on the eastern coast of north Canterbury, New Zealand. It is north of Christchurch and the Waimakariri River and is a part of the greater Canterbury… …   Wikipedia

  • Waimakariri Gorge — The Waimakariri Gorge is located on the Waimakariri River in inland Canterbury in New Zealand s South Island.Like its neighbour, the Rakaia River, the Waimakariri runs through wide shingle beds for much of its length, but is forced through a… …   Wikipedia

  • river — river1 riverless, adj. riverlike, adj. /riv euhr/, n. 1. a natural stream of water of fairly large size flowing in a definite course or channel or series of diverging and converging channels. 2. a similar stream of something other than water: a… …   Universalium

  • Crow River (Canterbury) — For the tributary of the Karamea River, see Crow River, West Coast. Crow River Origin Mount Rolleston Mouth Waimakariri River Basin countries New Zealand Length 8 km (5.0 mi) …   Wikipedia

  • Braided River — Luftbild eines verflochtenen Flusses am Zusammenfluss von Yukon River und Koyukuk River in Alaska. Das dunkle Wasser des Koyukuk River (links) mischt sich mit dem silthaltigen hellen Wasser des Yukon River (rechts) …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Cust River — Origin Canterbury Plains Mouth Cam River / Ruataniwha Basin countries New Zealand Length 51 kilometres (32 mi) The Cust River is a river in the Canterbury Region of …   Wikipedia

  • White River, New Zealand — The White River is in the South Island of New Zealand.It drains from the eastern flanks of the Southern Alps into the Waimakariri River. It is accessible by getting to Klondike Corner on State Highway 73, following the Waimakariri up to… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”