The low hills behind Hakataramea township hide the surprisingly large Hakataramea Valley from the Waitaki traveller. In the 1860’s the New Zealand and Australian Land Company leased most of the valley from the Crown. Settlers began free-holding from 1878 and settlement flourished when the Kurow bridges opened in 1881.

One hundred years of traditional farming practice came under scrutiny in 1985 following a drought and wind erosion of the soil. Farmers and scientists combined to find conservation tillage techniques and pest/drought tolerant plants, both of which protected the soil to provide sustainable pasture production.

The Hakataramea River, noted for its brown trout fly fishing, offers excellent swimming, picnicking and camping spots. In the early 1900’s it was the site of New Zealand’s first salmon hatchery, an endeavour that spawned the now famous Waitaki salmon fishery. The scenic drive to the headwaters, bounded by mountains to the west and hills to the east, then on through Haka Pass, is a superb introduction to the Mackenzie Country.

Things to do in Hakataramea