These beach settlements all provide picnic spaces, children’s playground areas, and access out to the wide sandy beaches for fishing, swimming, surfing, walking, horse riding, building sandcastles and playing hide ‘n seek in the sand dunes.
Stretching from the Waimakariri River to the Ashley River the Tuhaitara Coastal Park covers an area of 575 ha along 10.5km of coastline that is under the management of the Te Kohaka o Tuhaitara Trust. This Park is a special environment that offers ecological, educational, cultural and recreational opportunities for all who visit.
The Park contains a variety of walking, cycling and horse trails, download a copy of the Tuhaitara Coastal Park brochure or contact the Kaiapoi i-SITE Visitor Centre.
The new all-weather Tutaepatu Trail links Woodend and Waikuku Beaches and is ideal for walking and/or cycling in either direction. The trail passes Tutaepatu Lagoon and its viewing platform with views to Maukatere Mt Grey. Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times. Watch this video produced by Te Kohaka o Tuhaitara Trust
The trail is accessible from the new Pegasus Beach Road, which will take you to either the beach or into Pegasus for a coffee at the Flat White Cafe, or the Bunker Bar and Cafe at the Pegasus Sports Club.
The Pegasus walkway takes you the length of the Tuhaitara Park (10.5km) from Pines/Kairaki Beach through to Waikuku Beach. This track is a shared trail for walkers, mountainbikers and horses. The walkway between Pines Beach and Woodend Beach will be upgraded and work commences in March 2012.
This walkway starts on the stop bank at the end of Park Terrace, Waikuku Beach and you can choose from following the track down into the lagoon area or continuing along the stop bank to the SH1 road bridge. Return along riverbed tracks, with options of rejoining the stop bank track. The riverbed tracks lead to the Ashley River mouth and at low tide the estuary can be crossed and a return along the beach or estuary. Views of the Ashley River, Saltwater Creek Estuary, and the Ashley River mouth. This area is a significant breeding area of migratory birds and is the spawning ground of inanga – whitebait. 1 hour return.
Mountain biking is possible along the stop bank and on the riverbed tracks – cyclists please take care and watch for other track users.
Located on Preeces Road, access off State Highway 1, just north of Woodend. The Kaiapoi Pa is a significantly important site for local Ngai Tahu Maori, as this was once a working Pa and was the centre of trade for the South Island - watch this video produced by Manatū Taonga, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Today the site is a green field of low mounds with a monument and viewing platform.
Have great family fun with this itinerary featuring the beaches: