Rakaia is 20kms from Ashburton and is considered an outer suburb of the larger centre. But the difference being Rakaia is not considered a dormitory suburb of Christchurch even though much closer.
The Rakaia River is a celebrated Chinook salmon and Rakaia the town is known for its large wrybill bird population which represents.
So the small town has earned its name as the Salmon Capital of New Zealand, with large populations of both salmon and trout in the Rakaia River. The fishing season stretches from October through until April, peaking in the months of February and March. During this time, anglers line the 20 kilometers closest to the mouth of the river. The annual Rakaia Salmon Fishing Competition puts the skills of local and visiting fishermen to the test.
Travelers will pass through and is worth a stopover.