Wairau Valley Hydro Road

(0 routes)

St Arnaud to Hanmer Road
Built in the 1950s to service the hydroelectric power pylons marching northwards, this follows a historic droving route up the Wairau Valley and into Canterbury. The historic cob-built Tophouse accommodation house (near St Arnaud) is still in use, while the old Rainbow Homestead (also cob construction) is used during summer when the road is open to the public. It is a public road as far as the Rainbow Skifield turnoff.


This is a public road as far as the Rainbow Skifield turnoff. Just beyond here, there is a gate at Six Mile Creek. During summer, this is usually open, and a $25 per vehicle road toll collected at the old Rainbow Homestead, 10.5km further. The DOC Visitor Centre at St Arnaud can advise on the road opening times. Although 4WD is seldom needed, the road can get washed out in several places, making it difficult for lower suspension or 2WD cars. However, it's easy for mountain bikes.
Locked gate information
The road is a toll road managed by Rainbow Station (Star Holdings Ltd) and is open from 26 December to 5 pm on Easter Monday. There is a $25 toll per 4WD vehicle, $15 per motorbike, $2 per mountain or push bike, $2 per tramper.
Outside the open period contact Star Holdings Ltd to arrange access through the station to 4WD, tramp, hunt, fish or mountain bike.
The DoC website also has information.


Type Title Link to edit content
Valley Rainbow River (0 routes)
Valley Paske Creek, upper Rainbow River, and Begley Creek (0 routes)
Valley Connors Creek (0 routes)
Valley Hamilton River (0 routes)
Range Raglan Range (5 routes)