Kaiapoi is a picturesque river town which won the NZ Most Beautiful Town Award in 2009. It is easily accessed from the Northern Motorway, State Highway One, just 10 minutes north of Christchurch.

Letterbox Sculpture by Mark Larson, KaiapoiRegeneration

In 2010 Kaiapoi was greatly affected by the Canterbury Earthquakes but proving her resilience, Kaiapoi has stood true and is now a hive of activity as daily life resumes with new developments and buildings taking shape all the time. One difference is the acres of land that adorn the eastern side of the town and along the Kaiapoi River. Once the area was home to residents of Kaiapoi but is now to be developed into a number of attractions and activities. The Regeneration Project is being constantly reviewed and updated by the Waimakariri District Council and with the input and support of the locals is going to be a wonderful area of Kaiapoi.


blackwells store at night west sideKaiapoi has the flagship Blackwell's Department Store which is North Canterbury's oldest department store leading the way for many other boutique shops and eateries. Craze is a a women's fashion shop that never fails to please. On trend outfits, accessories and jewellery for all ages. The Kaiapoi Florist has wonderful home-ware, gifts and of course flowers while next door Paper Plus and Fenwicks Chemist is also worthy of a visit.


In Kaiapoi you will find all the staples: a stunning museum and art gallery, a distillery, Aquatic centre with Bumper Boats some days, schools, golf, river walks and events most weekends including the Woodford Glen Speedway

Eating Out

Eating out in Kaiapoi is a treasure trove of dining. Paris for the Weekend and Red Eight are the newest addition to the family of wonderful cafes. A favourite with the locals is Sunshine Vietnamese - the fresh spring rolls are the best around and Teppanyaki Takao has 5 star reviews with bookings a must. Kaiapoi is also home to the Hellers Small Goods and Meats Processing Plant so Kaiapoi boasts the factory shop. The bargains in there are amazing and you should make sure you stop on your way anywhere.

Waimakariri River Mouth Salmon fishingAccommodation and Fishing

Kaiapoi accommodation includes bed and breakfasts, motels and holiday parks. Blue Skies also offers accommodation for school camps.

Kaiapoi is a motor-home friendly town with no restrictions on where you can stay. One of the popular past times is fishing on the mouth of the Waimakariri or Kaiapoi River where the Chinook salmon can be found. Campers often park in Pines Beach or Kairaki to ensure they are on the spot when the call from the locals come out to advise the salmon are running. Trout, whitebait and kawhi fish can also be found on the rivers around Kaiapoi.

Key Events
Street Map

Download a copy of the Kaiapoi Street Map.


Kaiapoi is also home to the district's i-SITE Visitor Information Centre. The friendly and well trained staff offer a free booking service and advice on your time in the Waimakariri District and New Zealand as well as selling fishing licenses and Dept of Conservation Hut Tickets. The Kaiapoi i-SITE also have fishing rods for hire.

Popular Parks and Walks
Kaiapoi Mill 1880History of Kaiapoi

Kaiapoi is steeped in Maori tradition, once being the main location for the Nga Tahu Pa in the 1700's, until it was besieged by Te Rauparaha in 1832. Today a monument stands in the spot of this once mighty and significant spot. In the 1850's Kaiapoi was settled by Europeans and it became a busy port settlement in the 1860's. In the 1870's Kaiapoi housed a flax mill before coming the Kaiapoi Woollen Mill and along with the Kaiapoi Freezing works they were the back bone of the economy of the town through wars and depression until their closure in the 1970's. 

Further Information on Kaiapoi

For information on Kaiapoi for businesses development and support please refer to Enterprise North Canterbury (ENC). ENC is the economic development agency for North Canterbury and offers support and training for businesses in North Canterbury.

Kaiapoi Promotions Association (KPA) is a local community organisation that works with their business members and partners to run visitor events that showcase the town and hosts local business functions. KPA also advocates and promotes the town of Kaiapoi.


The best of Kaiapoi

Kaiapoi is perfectly positioned to be close enough to Christchurch for easy access in and out of the city, while still offering you
all the comforts and friendliness a small town in New Zealand offers.

From a gorgeous motel to stunning B&B with amazing rural views, along with camping style accommodation, Kaiapoi has something for any budget or taste.

Kaiapoi has a real water theme around it's activities with fishing, jet boating or even bumper boats and the local pool. Not to be missed are the on land activities though.

Kaiapoi has per capita one of the largest number of eateries and takeaways. Choose from any flavour just about including New Zealand and international cuisine. 

Kaiapoi and the Waimakariri District has many venues including the ENC Business Centre, wedding and conference venues.

Kaiapoi might not have many shops, but what is here, is well worth the visit too. Latest fashion, home wares, books, photographic equipment and more is available.

Map of Kaiapoi

Kaiapoi is the first town you come to when leaving Christchurch, being a 10minute journey north on SH1