Our Rivers

Ashburton River

Q: Why is it named the Ashburton River?

A: Both the town and the river are named after William Barring

Q: Where is the main stream?

A: The main stream is the largest stream within the braided river.

Q: Who was one of the first people to cross it?

A: The Turton's, Ashburton's founders, were one of the first. Before there may have been sheep headers and drovers. And before them Maori may have crossed at this site too.

Q: How was the Ashburton River formed?

A: The river was formed when a small lake in the surrounding hills and mountains flooded and rushed down across the plains forming the Ashburton River.

Ashburton Bridge:

Q: Why is the Rakaia Bridge bigger than the Ashburton Bridge?

A: The Rakaia River is wider than the Ashburton River and so the bridge has more space to cross.

Rangitata River:


Q: What is the meaning of Rangitata?

A: Rangata is a Maori word meaning 'a day of lowering cloud'.

Q: How is the Rangitata River contected to the Ashburton and Rakaia Rivers?

A: Through the mountains and streams that feed the rivers there are connections . These streams often feed more than one river.

Q: How does the water get into the Rangitata Lagoon?

A: Water flows in from the sea and through the river mouth. The lagoon has a mixture of salt and river water.