Waikuku is an idyllic beach-side settlement on the northern border of the Waimakariri that has space for children to play and families and friends to gather. Here, the Ashley Rakahuri River meets the sea and has the largest, least modified estuary in Canterbury, which has outstanding value to birdlife. Waikuku Beach and the Ashley River mouth area are popular spots for fishing, stand-up paddle boarding, camping, dog walking, family gatherings, surfing and swimming.
At Waikuku you can discover Kaiapoi Pa, where Ngai Tahu's South Island's trading was once centred in the 1700s. You can also wander the unique coastal environment, and at The Mill visit an artist's studio for inspiration, a stunning pottery outlet, collectible second hand goods and clothing store or a courtyard cafe for relaxation.
Waikuku has one of the best playgrounds with a long flying fox, tennis courts, swings and a paddling pool with a whale. In summer you must stop and test the ice cream at Two Fat Mama's or the dairy.
In 1882, a bloke named James Andrews bought the existing twine works and set about making the business one that could punch well above its weight while concentrating specifically on wheat sheaf binder twine. The business survived the depression, wars then mergers, diversifications and a number of retirements before closing over a 100 years later in 1987. The mills is now home to wonderful unique retail, arts and eateries.