Explore Waimakariri

A day in the Waimakariri

20 minutes north of Christchurch discover quaint rural lifestyle towns including Rangiora, Kaiapoi, Oxford and Pegasus Town. Enjoy a taste of country life with boutique shops, farmers markets, cooking schools, arts & crafts, river adventures and secluded beaches.

Farmer’s Market Day Trips

The Waimakariri region is a cornucopia of fresh produce and culinary delights thanks to its agrarian traditions and the neighbouring wine region of Waipara. Taste this food culture at the coalface with one of the many farmers markets held each week in the region. Think local personalities selling meats, fresh fruit and vegetables, preserves, breakfasts and coffee stalls in a rural setting.

There will always be a weekend farmers market somewhere in the Waimakariri region, it’s just a matter of finding out where, then exploring the town or region. Here’s a few of the best, along with must-dos in the immediate vicinity:

Ohoka

The Friday Ohoka Farmers Market offers artisan and every day foods that locals love and so will you. Raw honey and hazelnuts from Bell Trees, Pinot Gris from Blackhouse Wines or gourmet pies from Bridge Street Bakehouse.Take as much as your arms can carry and picnic in the beautiful Millstream Gardens a few minutes down the road to get the total Ohoka experience.

Kaiapoi

Meet local farmers and townspeople at the Kaiapoi Farmers Market held each and every Saturday. Sample locally grown pork from Rockford Pork or freshly baked pastries from German Master Bakery. Once you’ve filled your bags & stomachs drive 15 minutes to Woodend Beach, one of the Waimakariri’s many brag-worthy beaches famous for its rolling dunes and horses playing in the surf.

Oxford

Enjoy market day every Sunday! Head along in the late morning and fill your basket with fresh breads and cheeses before you explore the surrounding area.

The Ashley Gorge is the gem of the Waimakariri and is a 10-minute drive from the market grounds. The Ashley River emerges from the mountains in a gorge lined with a native beech forest. Lay out a rug on the greywacke riverbed or the grassy terrace of the reserve before you explore upstream or unwind with the sound of the flowing river and native birds.

Supplement your day with a shot of adrenalin! The regions namesake, the Waimakariri River, is teeming with motorised water craft and the pinnacle of such is the Waimakariri Alpine Jet. Tour the Waimakariri river canyon through low water and rapids, past cliffs and shingle banks while performing 360 degree spins and tight manoeuvres powered by the world famous, locally-developed Hamilton jet unit.

Whether its farmers markets, walking and biking trails, nature reserves or the Waimakariri River, you’ll always be able to fill in a day in the Waimakariri region with everything accessible within less than an hour from Christchurch.