Where Once Is Never Enough
Pack a picnic and get ready to spend a day exploring the Waimakariri District. A region of vast natural beauty, slower paced country towns and beach settlements all offering their own unique experience.
Kaiapoi Explore the picturesque river town of Kaiapoi just a 20-minute drive from Christchurch. Enjoy aquatic activities from a cruise on the River Queen or go at your own pace with a kayak or paddleboard hire from KORE. Relax and enjoy a local brew overlooking the River at The Port and Eagle Brewpub.
Shopping in Waiamakariri
Shopping for a day in Waimakariri Escape the malls and get a breath of fresh air whilst enjoying a day of boutique shopping! Only a short drive from central Christchurch you will find shops with the latest fashion, quality preloved clothing, top-end homewares, giftware, art and more. All set in the backdrop of Waimakariri’s urban centres and rural towns. Visit for the day or the weekend make time to explore and take some time to enjoy yourself at one the many cafés and restaurants along the way.
Waikuku Beach Just 30 minutes’ drive from Christchurch you will discover the beachside settlement of Waikuku. Fun for the whole family is with surf, sun, sand, and boutique shopping aplenty. Learn to surf, stretch at yoga, or grab an ice cream and coffee at the local store while you watch the kids in the toddler pool. Stretch your legs in Waikuku with a scenic walk around the estuary, up the Ashley/Rakahuri River and the Taranaki Walkway to see numerous birds and discover where the river meets the Pacific Ocean. When you’ve had enough sun head to The Brick Mill Complex and The Old School Collective on SH1 for boutique shopping and delicious food.
Ashley Gorge and Oxford
Less than an hour’s drive from Christchurch the Ashley Gorge is a perfect spot for the whole family. Pack a picnic and your togs and make a day of it at the Ashley Gorge Holiday Park. Stretch your legs on the Ashley Gorge Loop Track. Get adventurous and tee up a canyoning experience with Big Rock Adventures. Finish your visit in nearby Oxford with a bite to eat at the famous Sheffield Pie Shop and a browse of the array of books and gifts at Emma’s at Oxford.
Waimakariri Walking and Cycling
Explore the numerous trails in Mount Oxford and Mount Thomas Forest Conservation Areas located at the foot of the Southern Alps, only an hour drive from Christchurch. These trails are popular with walkers, trampers, picnickers and campers. Ranging from short nature walks to challenging tramping routes the valleys and ridges have something for everyone. Our top pick (and listed as one of the top five waterfalls in Canterbury) is Ryde Falls in Oxford Forest Conservation Area. Take your togs and your dog and cool down in the pool at the falls.
Eastern Cycle Tracks
Make a day of it on the many bike trails around the eastern part of Waimakariri. Enjoy the best natural features of the district including our braided rivers, regenerating coastal forests and wetlands. Enjoy our beach settlements and the urban centres that the trails take you through. Plan to stop and replenish in the many local cafes and restaurants along the way. Ride the 60km loop track or pick and choose your shorter rides to suit your schedule and ability. Waimakariri's eastern cycle tracks are joined by on-road facilities so please take care on our roads amongst the traffic.
- Top of Mt Oxford.
- Sunrise at Waikuku Beach.
- Mouth of the Waimakariri River on the Pegasus Trail, or from the lookout on Kaiapoi Island Trail.
- Ohoka has an established farmers’ market on every Friday, Oxford on a Sunday.
- Mount Thomas Forest Conservation Area is great for a family picnic.
- Got a furry friend? Head straight to Kaiapoi’s new dog park.
- Experience the thrill of a jet boat ride down the Waimakariri River with Alpine Jet Thrills.
- Take the kids for a spin (or a look) at the new BMX Track in Kaiapoi.
- Oxford has an outdoor swimming pool open in summer
- Rangiora’s boutique movie theatre is great at all times and especially on a wet day.
- Find some treasures in Cust at antique shop Done and Dusted and the enchanted little retailer Away with the Fairys.