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Land & Environment

Hakataramea Land & Environment

The Hakataramea Valley runs from the Hakataramea Township, which bounds the Waitaki River in the South to the Hakataramea Pass above Cattle Creek in the North. It is bounded in the West by the Kirkliston Range and in the East by the Hunter Hills.

The Hakataramea Valley is approx. 56km long with a land catchment area of around 890km   feeding into the Hakataramea River, which is the largest tributary of the lower Waitaki River. The average flow of the river is 5.25 cumecs.


The upper catchment of the Hakataramea River is a relatively unmodified environment of native tussock and shrub vegetation connected to subalpine and alpine habitats.


Like so many high-country basins in New Zealand, the Hakataramea Valley experiences extremes in weather. During the winter months it is common for temperatures to drop as low as -10°C and during summer to climb as high as 35°C.


Average rainfall for the valley is 528mm per annum, but this can drop below 300mm during a typical drought year. On average there is about 80 days of moisture deficit per annum. Altitude does play a big role in precipitation levels. Rainfall can vary from 400 - 700 mm/yr between 350m to 520m above sea level.


Soils in the Hakataramea Valley range from fertile to dry semi-arid type soils, with four main soil types present; Pallic, Recent, Gley, and Semi-Arid (Landcare Research, 2012). The Pallic soils are the best soils for agriculture of the four and comprise the largest area of the Valley.

Canterbury Maps provides free access to detailed maps and data from the local government councils in the Canterbury region.

Information available includes property details, land zoning, hazards, environmental data, consent information and much more.

Click here to have a look. 




The Hakataramea Valley is a unique farming region and despite its challenging climate, it is renowned for producing quality livestock, fibre and produce.

Historically, the region has been dominated by dryland sheep and beef grazing with a lesser amount of cropping and deer farming. With the establishment of irrigation in the Valley in more recent years, more intensified agricultural practices have been introduced, such as dairy and dairy grazing. However, extensive dryland farming remains as the most predominant land use.

A key objective of the Hakataramea Sustainability Collective (HSC) is to educate and support the research of sustainable farming practices to foster the long-term viability of the Valley’s farming businesses. To help with this, we continue to build a library of farming resources that relate to our unique Valley environment. 


Select from the Farming Resource links below to find out more.

Brainstorming Brassicas Field Day Glen Cary - John and Matt Abelene 3rd May 2021

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