Waimakariri is a region of natural beauty, just asking to be explored. Home to beautiful braided river systems, expansive regional parks and conservation areas, wide sandy beaches and forest-covered foothills, the Waimakariri District is overflowing with exciting outdoor adventure opportunities. Check out our top picks for your next Waimakariri outdoor adventure…

Aquatic Activities

Get your heart pumping with a thrilling jet boat ride on the Waimakariri River! Feel the power of the Hamilton jets as you skim and spin your way across the shallows with Alpine Jet Thrills. Whether you opt for the 30-minute, 60-minute, heli-jet or jet trek option, expect great views, loads of fun and an experience like no other.

If a quiet day on the river, is more your style then hire a kayak or stand up paddleboard from KORE. Explore the Kaiapoi River at your own relaxed pace and see the area from a different perspective.

Horse Trekking

Kowhai Residential School of Riding

Take a scenic horse trek with Kowhai Residential School of Riding. Departing 2pm each day near the rural town of Oxford, the well-schooled horses will take you on a relaxing journey through picturesque farm land, across river and hill country. Rides are tailored to your level, from complete beginners to advanced. Enjoy great views of the Canterbury Plains, across to Christchurch and the Port Hills on this lovely afternoon option.

Golf

Rangiora Golf Club
Kaiapoi Golf Club
Pegasus Golf Club

Waimakariri has four golf courses to choose from, each offering something a little different.
Waimakariri Golf Club is situated at the foothills of the Southern Alps near the Waimakariri Gorge Bridge. This is a challenging course, with wide open spaces and magnificent views of the river and mountains.

Rangiora Golf Club promises ‘country hospitality with all the city conveniences’. In addition to the par 72 18-hole course there is a practice range, a chipping green with practice bunker, a putting green and a fully equipped golf shop.

Kaiapoi Golf Club is a well-groomed 18-hole links course in a rolling, parkland environment. Enjoy the friendly, local hospitality at the on-site café after your round.

Pegasus Golf Club is renowned as one of the best golf courses in New Zealand. As well as a magnificent 18-hole championship course there is a state-of-the-art driving range, practice greens and an all-day café and bar.

Canyoning

Big rock
Adventures

Here’s your chance to really get amongst it on a canyoning trip with Big Rock Adventures. Hike down a pristine waterway to a number of different sized waterfalls and then abseil, slide, zipline or just jump off! Professional guides and all safety equipment included in this epic canyoning excursion that you will never forget.

Walking

Mount Thomas
Oxford Forest
Ohoka Bush
Ohoka Stream Historic Walk

From river-side strolls to forest trails, you are spoilt for choice when it comes to short walks in Waimakariri. Experience New Zealand’s native bush and views across the Canterbury Plains as you explore the Mount Thomas and Oxford Forest Conversation Parks near Oxford. Enjoy the serenity of Ohoka Bush, or learn about the fascinating history of the area on the Ohoka Stream Historic Walk. Trails alongside the Kaiapoi, Waimakariri and Ashley/Rakahuri rivers make for a pleasant stroll, while the Kaiapoi Lakes, Matawai Park and Northbrook Wetlands all offer an accessible taste of nature.

Cycling

Pegasus Trail
Rakahuri Trail
Passchendaele Memorial Path

Why not explore Waimakariri by bike? With an abundance of flat, scenic trails you can make your ride as long or as short as you like. Start in Kaiapoi and head to the Pegasus Trail which will take you to Pines/Kairaki, then on to Woodend, Pegasus and Waikuku in the Tūhaitara Coastal Park. From Waikuku, connect to the Rakahuri Trail to Rangiora and take the Passchendaele Memorial Path back to Kaiapoi. With numerous variations of this trail, short loop options and plenty of café and picnic stops enroute, cycling in Waimakariri couldn’t be more enjoyable.