... The Hinds River is in the Canterbury region of New Zealand. Its north and south branches drain the eastern flank of the Moorhouse Range, part of the Southern Alps, and their confluence is near Anama and Mayfield. The river then flows across the Canterbury Plains towards the Pacific Ocean, passing through the small town of Hinds along the way. The river's mouth is located between the localities of Longbeach and Lowcliffe. As with most rivers on the Canterbury Plains its bed consists of Greywacke shingle. Agates that are found in the Hinds River originate from the Mount Somers region.
Agates can be found throughout the north branch and from the confluence of the north and south branches to the river mouth. As with other river beds in the Canterbury region the best agate collecting conditions occur after a storm in the headwaters has pushed a large amount of water through the river. However, as with most popular collecting spots one has to be quick as if you wait for the river too long for the river to drop you will only end up finding other collectors footsteps. A wide variety of agates can be found in the Hinds River. They can be banded, fortified, contain moss, or contain all the aforementioned characteristics at the same time. Colours can range from a combination of greys blues and whites to the black and orange colouring patterning seen in Rangiatea agates.
Collecting in the Hinds River is a relaxing and pleasant way to spend the day. It takes about one and a half hours to drive to the Hinds River from Christchurch. Access to the riverbed is easily gained from any one of the numerous fords that cross the river along it length. The river can be walked by anyone as long as they don’t stray on to private property adjoining the riverbed.
written by Scott Hardwick, Christchurch