The methven walkway

The Methven Walkway opened in 1979, is 12 kilometres long, and is intersected by various country roads so that it is possible to walk through various sections or to complete the walkway from beginning to end which will take from 3.5 to 4 hours.
One of the walkway features is the man-made Rangitata Diversion Canal, which provides irrigation water in the summer and hydro-electric power in the winter. The 68 kilometre canal carries water from the Rangitata to the Rakaia River with gates along the way controlling irrigation water out. The canal attracts many kinds of ducks and other wildlife and along the way there are unimpeded views of the Southern Alps featuring the Mt Hutt, Mt Taylor Range and Pudding Hill mountain ranges.

Recently the Methven Lions have undertaken to upgrade the existing walkway and to add further loops to connect the original sections with Methven. When finished, it will be some 12.5 km long, surrounding the town and to a standard that’s navigable by people of all ages and capabilities. Some of it is already wheelchair capable. The two loops that have been completed start at the town centre, run up past the Cemetery, skirting the A&P Showgrounds to Barkers Road and pass through the wooded areas to the West of town on Mt Hutt Station Road to connect via the RDR, Mt Harding Road and Forest Drive back to the centre of town.


The trees alongside Holmes Road have always been a popular place to walk as part of the Methven walkway. There have always been a number of fantails flitting around the trees and when the Enchanted Forest started to come to life, an idea was hatched to create a Piwakawaka walk. It has been a true community effort. Committee member Liz made a template and Estella aged 14 cut the first 20 fantails out of wood when she was staying with her grandparents. These were distributed to the local Brownies who painted them.

The word got out and soon fantails were being painted by local families, artists, playcentre and schools. Methven Aged Care residents have also been involved in the painting of these beautifual birds.
The Piwakawaka walk can be enjoyed as a walk on its own or as part as the Methven Walkway. The wooden fantails are bright and colourful and are dotted along the walkway in both directions.

During the walking festival there are several walks through this part of the Methven Walkway or you can just explore and enjoy yourself anytime!


The Enchanted Forest is a part of the Methven walkway section that runs beside the Methven Racecourse just after the Opuke Hot Pools entrance. Methven Lions club members have being maintaining and upgrading the track for a number of years and it is well used by walkers, runners and bikers.

During one of the covid lockdowns, locals Sonia and Athol McAlpine noticed how many people were stopping to take photos by the fairy door at their mailbox.

They started making fairy doors to go on the trees along the walkway. It then became known as the Enchanted Forest.

Lots of families enjoy walking through the trees, looking for the fairies and seeing all the painted rocks that have been left along the walkway.

We think the Enchanted Forest is a magical place. We hope you do too.

During the walking festival there is the Family Day Walk  through the forest or you can meander through here at any time yourself.