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Ashley Gorge facts for kids

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The Ashley Gorge is a river gorge of the Ashley River / Rakahuri in Canterbury, New Zealand. The river is bridged at the mouth of the gorge by the Inland Scenic Route, formerly designated State Highway 72. A popular picnic ground and camping area is adjacent to the bridge. Upstream of the gorge the river flows through the Lees Valley.

Ashley Gorge is also the name of a small rural locality 2.5 km southwest of the bridge.


The Ashley Gorge statistical area covers 336.71 km2 (130.00 sq mi). It had an estimated population of 1,300 as of June 2022, with a population density of 3.86 people per km2.

Historical population
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
2006 690 —    
2013 1,002 +5.47%
2018 1,134 +2.51%

Ashley Gorge had a population of 1,134 at the 2018 New Zealand census, an increase of 132 people (13.2%) since the 2013 census, and an increase of 444 people (64.3%) since the 2006 census. There were 420 households. There were 591 males and 543 females, giving a sex ratio of 1.09 males per female. The median age was 42.3 years (compared with 37.4 years nationally), with 225 people (19.8%) aged under 15 years, 177 (15.6%) aged 15 to 29, 585 (51.6%) aged 30 to 64, and 147 (13.0%) aged 65 or older.

Ethnicities were 95.8% European/Pākehā, 5.0% Māori, 1.1% Pacific peoples, 2.1% Asian, and 2.4% other ethnicities (totals add to more than 100% since people could identify with multiple ethnicities).

The proportion of people born overseas was 20.1%, compared with 27.1% nationally.

Although some people objected to giving their religion, 55.3% had no religion, 34.4% were Christian and 2.9% had other religions.

Of those at least 15 years old, 159 (17.5%) people had a bachelor or higher degree, and 171 (18.8%) people had no formal qualifications. The median income was $33,000, compared with $31,800 nationally. The employment status of those at least 15 was that 510 (56.1%) people were employed full-time, 150 (16.5%) were part-time, and 18 (2.0%) were unemployed.

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