The rivers are a definite feature of south Westland. The Arawhata River is not especially long, emanating from the relatively nearby Mt Aspiring National Park and the Olivine Range and Ice Plateau. It is joined by the Jackson River and, by the time you cross it on Haast Jackson Highway, is very wide as it flows to the coast near Neils Beach.
The bridge over the river is probably the most spectacular of the big one-way bridges in Westland – quite high and long. If you park on the north side of the bridge you can safely walk back to admire the view and get some photos. From above, the river has a fabulous bright pale blue quality. Like the Hokitika Gorge, the hue is a result of large amounts of fine particles ground out by glacial action and suspended in the water.