Awa Awa Rata Reserve, Methven, Canterbury

Crossing the bridge on the Scotts Saddle Track in the Awa Awa Rata Reserve near Methven in Canterbury, New Zealand

Awa Awa Rata Reserve, Methven Mt Hutt

The Awa Awa Rata Reserve is at the base of Mt Hutt and has a great short walk for all of the family.  Within 20 minutes up the hill, you can see out through the trees over Canterbury.

Jen from Backyard Travel Family gazes at the native flora and fauna in the Awa Awa Rata Reserve, an hour from Christchurch, New Zealand

How to get to the Awa Awa Rata Reserve

To get here:  Follow the signs for Mt Hutt Ski Field.  When the road turns right for Mt Hutt, just go straight ahead down the gravel road and its signposted to the end. We park on the grass up the back of the reserve. We don’t head up the dirt track because it can be a bit hard to turn around up there if there are other cars parked.

Jen backpacks 1 year old Emilia from Backyard Travel Family over the wrangly tree roots in the Awa Awa Rata Reserve at the base of Mt Hutt, Methven, NZ
Narrow muddy track on the Scotts Saddle hike in the Awa Awa Rata Reserve, Methven

How to find the Awa Awa Rata Track

Walk up the dirt path right to the end and you will see a bridge to your right, and to your left (or kinda straight ahead) theres a track straight up the hill. (Opuke Track)  I usually walk straight up the hill to the left (its starts a little steep but isn’t too bad once you get going) and it will be 20 minutes to the top, then turn right and walk 20 minutes across the ridge, then head down the track to the right to where you started again.  The track to the right (which you come down) is quite rocky and requires a bit of care. I held onto our 2 and 4 year olds hands and it was a little slow but older kids will find it interesting, otherwise you can come back the way you climbed up which is more a dirt track with tree routes.

There is also a 15 minute track along the creek.  So over the bridge to the right, then turn right and follow the creek and you end up near the entrance to the reserve.  A good wee track to let the toddlers roam for a bit.

Jen from Backyard Travel Family negotiates the mud and tree roots while climbing uphill in the Awa Awa Rata Reserve

Other activities within an hours drive of the Awa Awa Rata Reserve walk

Backyard Travel Family highlight the benefits of traveling to the AwaAwa Rata Reserve for a family walk
Parking and facilities in the clearing at the Awa Awa Rata Reserve // Backyard Travel Family
Jennifer

Jennifer

Founder of Backyard Travel Family

Jen is a super organiser when it comes to travel. Having travelled extensively in Europe and Africa, has lived in London and the USA and holidayed in many parts of Asia, she is not a newbie to the travel space

Jen has three young children, 5 and under and travels around New Zealand with them.

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what you need to know

Travel

- At the end of Mclennans Bush Road
- Follow the signs for Mt Hutt Ski Field.
When the road turns right for Mt Hutt, just go straight ahead down the gravel road and its signposted to the end We park on the grass up the back of the reserve. We don't head up the dirt track because it can be a bit hard to turn around up there if there are other cars parked.

The trail

- dirt track with lots of tree roots and stones
- an hour loop track

Facilities

There is a hut with toilets when you enter the reserve to your left. Grassy areas for picnics. The whole walk is pretty sheltered by the trees so you are not in direct sunlight or wind

What to bring

Just your lovely selves and some water

Food options

- No food options close
- Methven Township (15 mins)

What the critics thought

"I got to climb down all these rocks on the way down. Mum told me to be careful"
Backyard Travel Family / Your go to for practical advice for active families travelling around New Zealand
Nathan
5 year old adventurer
I often come here for a short walk with the kids because its not too difficult, and its so hard to find any uphill around Ashburton for a wee workout, so this one is pretty easy for everyone
Backyard Travel Family / Your go to for practical advice for active families travelling around New Zealand
Jen
Chief Travel Organiser
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