We love this place - and with good reason

North Canterbury towns have a sense of community that can be hard to find these days. The pace of life is just a little more relaxed. And you feel closer to the incredible local environment. Just a little north of Christchurch offers a world of difference when it comes to lifestyle and recreation.

And there’s something very special about being this close to the city, and yet a real part of Canterbury’s rural areas.

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Local Beaches & Rivers

North Canterbury's beach settlements are practical rather than trendy. It's not a café culture. They are places Cantabrians go to get away from it all and to fish, surf and swim. Motunau is just an hour north of Christchurch and you get to it by turning right for the coast at Greta Valley. The beach is a popular camping spot with surfcasting and crayfishing, and boat fishing and diving are popular offshore. This is the spot to get blue cod and crayfish for dinner.

Freshwater anglers will find all the challenges they need in North Canterbury rivers such as the Waimakariri, Ashley, Hurunui and Waiau. Trout, salmon and kahawai can be caught at the river mouths.

Waipara Wine Valley

Indulge in the European way of leisurely sipping wines and eating food right where they were made in the Waipara Valley. This is one of the boutique superstars of the wine industry with more than 30 wineries, many offering great food with tastings. 

Hanmer Springs

Christchurch people have gone to heal and relax at the hot springs at Hanmer since the 1880s. The appeal of soaking in hot water in the wilderness has never dimmed and today the complex has multiple pools, hydroslides, and cold pools for summer. There are also extensive mountain bike and walking trails through the old Forestry Service forest and on the St James Cycle Trail.


Next door, Pegasus has a bit of everything: choose from a leisurely round of golf on the parklands golf course, a visit to beautifully replanted wetlands, extensive walking and mountain bike trails or swimming at the surf beach in Pegasus Bay.

For more information on activities and events in the Waimakariri district, check out the Visit Waimakariri website.

To download a list of Clubs in the area click here