Winter Activities

What to do in Winter!

In the colder months, often our first reaction is to hunker down, hibernate and stay indoors. Traditionally, our winters consist of frosty starts which often turn into gloriously sunny clear days…don’t misunderstand, were not saying this is the time to put on your shorts and singlets and head to the beach for a dip (unless you’re that way inclined) but with a few layers of clothing -  a warm jacket and funky hat and you are all set to enjoy Waimakariri winter days. 

Our world renowned Kiwi “she’ll be right”, can do, attitude means that we can avoid winter cabin fever and get out and discover our glorious winter landscapes. 

Here are a few of our favourite Waimakariri winter hot picks, a mix of activities to get you out and about, followed by places to go warm the cockles and restock your energy levels so you are ready for your next adventure….. enjoy!


Alpine Jet

Outdoor activities for those with an adventurous Kiwi spirits:

Experience the mighty braided Waimakariri River at full speed with Alpine Jet Thrills. Their Hamilton Jet boats with thrills and spins make short work of the swift flowing river as it rushes from the Southern Alps to the Sea.


Once your feet touch dry land again head to Paris for the Weekend, a superb café offering country fare with French flair, for a coffee or specialty tea and delicious homemade treats. The ladies will love this one but there is plenty for the gents too!




Kowhai sqDiscover our amazing winter landscapes by horse back with Kowhai Residential School of Riding - another ‘must do’ recommendation as a winter activity in Waimakariri. Treks depart daily at 2pm and are suitable for all ages and experience levels. Bookings essential.


Jump  back in the car and just down the road you will find yourself in Cust, where you will find Route 72 Cafe Bar Emporium featuring award winning local wines and beers,  a great selection of freshly based treats to feast on as well as a selection of beautiful homewares and gifts. 

Ohoka StreamExploring your natural surroundings: 

For a more low key and easy going stroll, Ohoka Stream Historic Walk is a great option for the whole family. Take a pleasant wander along the Ohoka Stream and around the historic Ohoka township. Starting from and finishing at Ohoka Domain, corner of Whites and Mill Roads, this lovely countryside amble take approximately 40 minutes. 


Just seven minutes down the road you will find Urban Revival, a funky café aiming to revive its customers with fresh food. Serving delicious "raw" slices, muffins and scones and superb coffee and hot nourishing soup it is definitely worth checking out!


Ashley Rakahuri National ParkOr something to get the blood pumping - there are multiple options for walkers, (with or without furry friends), or bikers on the Rakahuri Trail which is part of the Ashley Rakahuri Regional Park. The trail consists of 13km of shared trails and features incredible native vegetation and stunning views of the braided Ashley-Rakahuri river. 


What better way to re-stock the energy levels after a brisk walk or bike ride on a winters day, than heading to Five Stags where you will find a welcoming cozy atmosphere, amazing food and great service. Choose from an extensive menu ranging from nubbly bits to real belly fillers!

butterflysSomething for the kids (big and small):

Play on the playground, breathe in the incredible smells from the rose and perennial gardens, learn about some of the history of Rangiora and in winter, experience the most amazing attraction: a tree full of monarch butterflies! Victoria Park

Popular amongst locals, Victoria Park is an attractive garden park located close to the town centre on Queen Street in Rangiora.  


When the kids need to recharge the batteries, head to the Artisan Bakery in Rangiora which has the most impressive cabinet of sweet and savoury treats, a great menu and a huge shop of bakery items to take home for the week. They even have a play area so you can relax for a few minutes and enjoy your coffee. 


FW cafePegasus, offers a variety of outdoor activities for the whole family. From playgrounds to easy walking and biking tracks in the seemingly endless natural wetlands, a man made lake and bridge swing, to exploring the coastline and building drift wood huts, there is are endless recreational opportunities for a family day out. 


Flat White Café and Bar, just a short stroll from Lake Pegasus, lovingly makes all of its food onsite. Choose from the cabinet or off the menu and, for the big kids, there is a great selection of NZ wines and beer.

Enjoy our winter suggestions and check back next month for more exciting recommendations for Discovering the mighty Waimakariri.