New Zealand is an island nation located in the southwest Pacific Ocean. There are more than 100 small and big rivers here. Only 10 of these rivers are over 200 km in length. Now you must want to know, what is the longest river in New Zealand? I will discuss this in detail later.
New Zealand is a favorite destination for tourists. Every year many tourists come to enjoy the beauty of this country. Two point one percent of New Zealand’s total land area is water. Tourists are particularly attracted to the country’s rivers, mountains, and springs. So let’s see about the seven longest rivers in New Zealand.
1. Waikato River – 425
Waikato is the longest river in New Zealand. The length of the river is 425 km and flows through the North Island of New Zealand. The river rises from the top of the North Island volcanic region. It is 2797 meters above sea level. The river then flows into Lake Taupo.
It then flows into the Tasman Sea after a journey of 425 km. The main tributary of the Waikato River is the Waipa River, which joins it at Ngaruawahia. The name Waikato comes from the Maori language. It means flowing water.
2. Clutha River – 334
The Clutha River is the second-longest river in New Zealand. Its length is 334 km. The Clutha River is known as Mata-au in the Maori language. It is the longest river on the South Island. The water flow of this river is so fast that it can stand against the Amazon River. Its water flow is 614 cubic meters per second.
The source of the river flows into the north end of Lake Wanaka near the saddle of Haast Pass, at the head of the Makarora River. Eventually, the river splits into two branches, both rivers flowing into the Pacific Ocean. The tributaries of Clutha River are the Hawa River, Lindis River, Manuherikia River, etc.
3. Wanganui River – 290
The Wanganui River is a major river on the North Island. It is the third-longest river in New Zealand. It was the first waterway in the world to be given legal status, meaning that the river has the same rights and responsibilities as a person. The Whanganui River’s length is 290 km. It is one of the longest navigable rivers in New Zealand.
Its tributaries are the Whakapapa River, the Pungapunga River, the Ohura River, the Retaruke River, the Tangarakau River, the Whangamomona River, and the Manganui and Te Ao Rivers. The source of the river is Mount Tongariro. The river travels 290 km and finally meets the Tasman Sea.
4. Taieri River – 288
The Taieri River is the fourth longest river in New Zealand. The length of the Taieri river is 288 km. But only the last 20 km is navigable. Its main tributary is the Waipori River, which joins the Taieri near Henley on the Taieri Plain. Towns along the river include Middlemarch, Outram, Allanton, Mosgiel, Henley, and Tairymouth.
The source of the river is Lammerlaw Range. It primarily flows north. It then flows east around the Rock and Pillar Ranges before turning southeast. After crossing 288 km from the Lamarla Range, the river finally flows into the Pacific Ocean.
5. Rangitīkei River – 253
The Rangitikei River is one of the longest rivers in New Zealand. It is the 5th longest river in New Zealand. The river and its surrounding district are named Rangitikei. The source of the river is Nagapuketurua, and the length of the river is 253 km. In 1897 the river flooded, and all the bridges built over it were damaged or destroyed.
In Peter Jackson’s movie, The Lord of the Rings, part of the river is the Anduin River. Its tributaries are the Mangamaire River, the Wakaurekou River, the Kawhatau River, etc. The Rangitikei River finally flows into the Tasman Sea.
6. Mataura River – 240
The Mataura is a river in the Southland region of the South Island. It is 240 km long. The headwaters of the river lie in the Eyre Mountains south of Lake Wakatipu. From there, it flows southeast, where it turns south.
It then passes through the town of Mataura and enters the Pacific Ocean at Totos Bay on the south coast of the South Island. The source of the river is the Mataura Saddle. The tributaries of the Mataura River are the Nokomai River, Waikaia River, and Mokoreta River.
7. Waiau River – 217
The Waiau River is the largest in the Southland region of New Zealand. The length of the river is 217 km. The river is an outflow of Lake Anau, flows 10 km south of it into Lake Manapouri, and flows south for 70 km before reaching Foveaux Strait 8 km south.
After traveling 217 km, the river finally flows into Te Waewae Bay in the Tasman Sea. The Waiau River was once a mighty river in the Southland. But as a result of hydropower production, the flow of river water has decreased.
These were the seven longest rivers in New Zealand. Finally, we can say that if you want to soak your feet in the river during summer and enjoy the beauty. Then these rivers will be best for you. But, New Zealand’s rivers are under threat today due to pollution from various sources. After 1991, the country’s government has taken several steps.