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List of rivers of New Zealand by length facts for kids

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This is a list of the longest rivers in New Zealand, and some other prominent rivers, ordered by length.

South Island rivers are marked "SI", and North Island rivers "NI".


The 20 longest rivers

Rank Name Island Length (km) Length (mi) Source Mouth
1 Waikato North 425 264
2 Clutha / Matau South 322 200
3 Whanganui North 290 180
4 Taieri South 288 179
5 Rangitikei North 241 150
6 Mataura South 240 149
7 Waiau (Southland) South 217 135
8 Clarence South 209 130
9 Waitaki South 209 130
10 Oreti South 203 126
11 Rangitaiki North 193 120
12 Manawatu North 182 113
13 Buller / Kawatiti South 177 110
14 Waihou North 175 109
15 Mohaka North 172 107
16 Wairau South 169 105
17 Whangaehu North 161 100
18 Waimakariri South 161 100
19 Mokau North 158 98
20 Ngaruroro North 154 96

Other prominent rivers

Over 100 kilometres

  • Waiau River, Marlborough (SI) - 147 km (92 mi)
  • Rakaia River (SI) - 145 km (90 mi)
  • Patea River (NI) - 143 km (89 mi)
  • Hurunui River (SI) - 138 km (86 mi)
  • Turakina River (NI) - 137 km (85 mi)
  • Wairoa River, Bay of Plenty (NI) - 137 km (85 mi)
  • Wairoa River, Northland (NI) - 132 km (82 mi)
  • Awatere River (SI) - 126 km (78 mi)
  • Ruamahanga River (NI) - 124 km (77 mi)
  • Grey River or Mawhera River (SI) - 121 km (75 mi)
  • Rangitata River (SI) - 120 km (74 mi)
  • Tuki Tuki River (NI) - 119 km (74 mi)
  • Motueka River (SI) - 116 km (72 mi)
  • Waitaki River (SI) - 111 km (69 mi)
  • Patea River (NI) - 105 km (65 mi)
  • Aparima River (SI) - 102 km (63 mi)

50 to 100 kilometres

  • Tutaekuri River (NI) - 100 km (62 mi)
  • Whakatane River (NI) - 95 km (59 mi)
  • Pomahaka River (SI) - 81 km (50 mi)
  • Opihi River (SI) - 75 km (46 mi)
  • Orari River (SI) - 74 km (46 mi)
  • Karamea River (SI) - 73 km (45 mi)
  • Ongarue River (NI) - 73 km (45 mi)
  • Ahuriri River (SI) - 70 km (43 mi)
  • Inangahua River (SI) - 65 km (40 mi)
  • Moawhango River (NI) - 62 km (38 mi)
  • Waitoa River (NI) - 62 km (38 mi)
  • Shotover River (SI) - 60 km (37 mi)
  • Hutt River (NI) - 56 km (35 mi)
  • Ruakituri River (NI) - 55 km (34 mi)
  • Manganui River, Northland (NI) - 53 km (33 mi)
  • Whenuakura River (NI) -53 km (33 mi)
  • Eglinton River (SI) - 51 km (32 mi)
  • Kaituna River (NI) - 50 km (31 mi) (approx)

Under 50 kilometres

  • Waingawa River, (Wairarapa), a tributary of the Ruamahanga River - 48 km (13 mi)
  • Tauherenikau River, (Wairarapa), draining into Lake Wairarapa - 41 km (13 mi)
  • Waiohine River, (Wairarapa), a tributary of the Ruamahanga River - 35 km (13 mi)
  • Freshwater River (Stewart Island) - 25 km (15 mi) (longest New Zealand river not in the North or South Island)
  • Waiwawa River - 21 km (13 mi) (longest river on the Coromandel Peninsula)
  • Makara River (Chatham Island) - 16 km (10 mi) (longest New Zealand river not in New Zealand's main island chain)
  • Avon River (SI) - 15 km (9.5 mi)
  • Water of Leith (SI) - 14 km (9 mi)

Shortest rivers

  • Awaroa River (Northland) - 12 km (7.5 mi)
  • Awaroa River (Waikato River tributary) - 12 km (7.5 mi)
  • Tawatahi River (Waikato) - 2 km (1.2 mi)
  • Turanganui River (Gisborne) - 0.9 km (0.56 mi)
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List of rivers of New Zealand by length Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.