Ashley Gorge is an exceptional environment, only 45 minutes from Christchurch. Nestled beside Mt Thomas Forest and set amidst beautiful native bush and woodland surroundings, holiday makers can enjoy both adventure and relaxation here. There is a fully serviced camping ground located in close proximity to the river. Please be aware of the total fire ban in this area.
The Ashley-Rakahuri Rivercare Group is a community group formed to assist with management of the lower reaches of the Ashley River. Its main aims are to protect birds and their habitat in the riverbed, to monitor breeding success, and to promote these activities to the wider public.
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 take care and watch for other track users.
This walking track follows alongside the Ashley River, commencing by the Ashley River Bridge Picnic Area, Inland Scenic Route 72. Follow the winding track to the railway bridge and return along the stop bank or track. The braided Ashley River is home to the wrybill and the river bed is a signifi cant breeding ground for this endangered bird.
20 minutes return.
Kaiapoi Island is the most popular access point to the lower reaches of the Waimakariri River Regional Park. The main entrance to the Kaiapoi Island is at Wrights road, off the old Main North Road Bridge. There is also access onto the stop bank by foot or cycle from Raven Quay, Kaiapoi. Cycle and walking tracks link to upstream destinations and to areas outside the park. Public toilets and the main information kiosk are located adjacent to the main entrance. A map of Kaiapoi Island can be downloaded here.
A fun and interesting way to explore Kaiapoi, ‘North Canterbury’s river town’, is by cycle or on foot. You can choose the route and length of your ride or walk, along the riverbank and across the Kaiapoi river bridges.
15 minutes – 1 hour
Waimakariri translates to cold, rushing water. Traditionally, the course of the river through the Waimakariri Gorge was a route from Canterbury to the West Coast, where pounamu (greenstone) was gathered by early Maori. Today the dramatic Waimakariri Gorge with its steep rock walls is popular for jet boating, fishing and kayaking and is the last transition point for the annual Coast to Coast event. The wide open space of the riverbed below the Gorge is an interesting place to wander and explore. There is an elevated picnic area with great views out across the Canterbury Plains. Waimakariri Gorge is located 8km from Oxford, on Inland Scenic Route 72.