River Access

Kaiapoi River boat ramps

The lower Kaiapoi River can be accessed by a public launch point at Askeaton Park (off Hall Street in Kaiapoi). 

A new 20 metre-wide boat ramp shared with the Waimakariri-Ashley Coastguard has been completed. This will open when the Wharf side siteworks is completed in early 2017

Access to the ramp has been designed on the basis of a 6.5 metre long boat trailer, which is larger than most boat trailers used at Kaiapoi. This design gives drivers the choice to drive into the Coastguard area and then reverse onto the ramp. When there is no Coastguard boat present, boat owners could potentially use a bigger area of the ramp to launch.

There is also a small launching point for dinghies and kayaks near Murphy Park, just west of the Mandeville Bridge. 

Kairaki Beach boat ramp

There is a public boat launching ramp for access to the Waimakariri River located at the Kairaki Beach settlement at the end of Featherstone Ave. 

Beach access

There are a number of settlements providing road access to the beach in the Waimakariri District.

The Kairaki and Pines Beach communities link to coastal car parks and beach sites close to the mouth of the Waimakariri River. Further north, roads lead to Woodend Beach and the coastal dune area beyond Pegasus Town.

Waikuku Beach settlement is the gateway to the Waikuku Beach Surf Life Saving Club swimming beach and the Ashley-Rakahuri River mouth and estuary area. Surf Life Saving crews patrol at Waikuku, and also cover Woodend Beach and Pines Beach during the peak summer season. The public are advised to swim at these locations. 

For those wishing to ride and train horses on the beach, there are horse float parking areas provided at the end of Ferry Road in Woodend Beach, and at the southern end of Waikuku Beach settlement, off Reserve Road.

For information on the Waimakariri District Council Northern Pegasus Bay Bylaw 2010 and its background, and management of motor vehicle, horse and foot traffic on district beaches, please see our Bylaws page.


Rivers in the Waimakariri District come under the jurisdiction of Environment Canterbury. See the Environment Canterbury website for more information on river flows, water quality and recreational use of these areas. 


See the Kaiapoi wharf page for information on what is happening in this area.