A drive north of Christchurch through the beautiful Waipara valley will not leave you disappointed. The area has a lot to offer, from scenic landscapes to delicious food and wine. The Mainline Station Café in Domett is the place to stop for morning tea before heading to the spectacular Cathedral Cliffs en route to Gore Bay. Make sure you have the camera ready for a photo at the cliffs. Gore Bay is the place to watch surfers, go for a quick dip or to explore the smooth round rocks under the cliffs. For lunch head to Two Rivers Café in Cheviot with fantastic wine tasting at the onsite Mt Beautiful.
North of Cheviot is Waikari, a small farming town and the perfect spot to unleash your inner cowboy. Swing yourself on the back of a horse and join Weka Pass Horse Treks to experience the amazing limestone landscapes to see the Maori rock art. If horse trekking is not your cup of tea then a visit to the stunning Flaxmere Gardens is a must do (bookings essential). If there is time, make sure to stop for another wine tasting at one of the many wineries in Waipara on your way home.
• A photo at the Cathedral Cliffs with the Pacific Ocean in the background is the perfect holiday souvenir.
• Ever seen a rock that looks like a frog? Frog Rock in Waikari is the place to go.
• For all nostalgia fans: The Weka Pass Railway steam train is certainly a blast from the past.
• After an epic landscape shot? The rolling hills of Waipara Valley are picture perfect.
• The Red Post Café in Culverden is a great afternoon tea spot.
• Jump aboard the Weka Pass Railway (it operates between Waikari and Waipara on the first and third Sundays of the month), and visit the stunning Iron Ridge Quarry Sculpture Park near Waipara.