Cycling in Waimakariri

The Waimakariri District has plenty of opportunities for cyclists, including off-road tracks alongside the Ashley/Rakahuri and Waimakariri Rivers.

Urban Cycleways Programme

The Urban Cycleways Programme is the single biggest investment in cycling in New Zealand's history, designed to build the best cycling network for the benefit of all New Zealanders.

The District has two cycle and walking paths that were jointly funded with the NZ Transport Agency through the Urban Cycleways Fund: the Rangiora Woodend Path and the Passchendaele Memorial Path.

Popular Cycling Tracks in the District

Some of our popular cycling tracks are listed below. The Visit Waimakariri website has an extensive listing of walking and cycling tracks. Contact the Kaiapoi i-SITE Visitor Centre for a copy of the Waimakariri Walking and Cycling Guide, featuring over 50 tracks which are suitable for all levels of fitness. The North Canterbury Cycling Club is an active club that can get you exclusive access to the private forest lands of Ashley, Mt Thomas and Okuku. They cater for both mountain bikers and road cyclists.

Belfast to Kaiapoi Cycleway

We're creating a safe route between Waimakariri and Belfast to make it easier for people on bikes to commute and connect to and from Christchurch.

The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) are constructing a new road to connect to Cranford Street in Christchurch. As part of the project, the Christchurch City Council and NZTA are creating a new cycle way alongside the new road. This includes a separated clip on cycle lane onto the eastern side of the motorway bridge over the Waimakariri River, as well as safety improvements and new traffic lights at the Tram Road/Main North Road intersection.

We will be building the cycle connection from the end point of this to connect people to Kaiapoi. The route will run along the western side of Main North Road through Kaiapoi via Vickery Street, along Peraki Street to access the centre of the Kaiapoi township or the Mafeking Footbridge, to connect to the Passchendaele Memorial Path through to Rangiora.

In addition to this cycle way, we will work alongside Enterprise North Canterbury, Environment Canterbury and the Kaiapoi Promotions Association to develop a recreational cycle link along the existing stop-banks of the Waimakariri River and Kaiapoi River walkways for Council to consider as part of the 2020/21 Annual Plan.

Before we begin building the cycle way, we will be working with residents along the route to get their feedback on some of the proposed options that may affect intersection layouts and how they use their street.

Once this has been completed, detailed designs will be finalised in late 2019 and staff will seek Council approval on the designs.

Construction is expected to begin in early 2020 with the cycle way opening mid to late 2020.

Project Updates

Kaiapoi riverbanks

A fun and interesting way to explore Kaiapoi is by cycle or on foot - meander along the banks, see birdlife, seascapes and great fishing holes. You can choose the route and length of your ride or walk, along the riverbank and across the Kaiapoi river bridges.

A number of attractive and historically interesting parks and reserves are linked together along the Kaiapoi River as it flows through the town of Kaiapoi. A continuous riverside pathway passes through these sites, providing opportunities for relaxation and exercise while enjoying the surroundings. Other interesting walks connect to the riverbanks and pass through attractive park areas within Kaiapoi.

Mike Kean Walkway

The braided Ashley River is home to the wrybill and the riverbed is a significant breeding ground for this endangered bird.

Walking

This walking track follows alongside the Ashley River, starting by the Ashley River Bridge picnic area at Millton Avenue.

Follow the winding track to the railway bridge and return along the stopbank or track.

Cycling

Informal mountain biking tracks are formed along and on either side of the stopbanks of the Ashley River in this area - cyclists take care and watch for other track users.

Facilities
  • Toilets
  • Picnic friendly
  • Electric BBQ
  • Tables and seats
Dog status

Voice control

Passchendaele Memorial Path

The shared path between Rangiora and Kaiapoi was officially named the Passchendaele Memorial Path, in memory of the huge sacrifice made at the Battle of Passchendaele. The 100-day battle was the biggest tragedy in New Zealand military history. On the first day of the attack, 845 New Zealanders lost their lives, more than any other single event in our post 1840 history. Waimakariri has a special link to the battle, being twinned with the Belgian municipality of Zonnebeke.

The 8km Passchendaele Memorial Path begins at the Mafeking Footbridge near Smith Street and follows the Kaiapoi River stop-bank before passing beneath the rail bridge. The off-road, sealed path runs along Lineside Road on the western side of the railway line. The northern end of the cycleway connects into existing on-road facilities at Southbrook in Rangiora.

Pegasus

Pegasus Lake

The Pegasus Lake is a great destination for walking and cycling, with a formed track all the way round - 20-45 minutes return.

Te Kohanga Wetlands

Te Kohanga is the 97 hectare recreation and conservation area of Pegasus. Work has been underway to create a range of natural habitats so that it will once again support the variety and numbers of native plants and animals that once lived here.

Formed pathways and boardwalks allow easy walking and cycling along this area.

Tuhaitara Coastal Track

Access to the Tuhaitara Coastal Park can be gained from Pegasus. A mountain bike track can be ridden between Woodend and Waikuku Beaches (5 kilometres each way).

Rakahuri Walkway

This walkway starts on the stopbank at the end of Park Terrace, Waikuku Beach, and you can choose from following the track down into the lagoon area or continuing along the stopbank to the SH1 road bridge. Return along riverbed tracks, with options of rejoining the stopbank track. The riverbed tracks lead to the Ashley River mouth, and at low tide the estuary can be crossed and a return along the beach or estuary.

See views of the Ashley River, Saltwater Creek Estuary and the Ashley River mouth.  This area is a significant breeding area of migratory birds and is the spawning ground of whitebait (inanga).

Mountain biking is possible along the stopbank and on the riverbed tracks - cyclists take care and watch for other track users. 

Rangiora Woodend Path

The sealed 6.5km Rangiora Woodend Path is on Rangiora-Woodend Road between Devlin Avenue and Chinnerys Road. It connects into on-road facilities along Kippenberger Avenue extending to East Belt. At Woodend, the path connects into off-road facilities extending to School Road.

Tūhaitara Coastal Park

Tūhaitara Coastal Park covers approximately 700 hectares of land along the coastline from the Waimakariri River mouth to the settlement of Waikuku Beach. Stretching along the coast for 10.5 kilometres, it comprises many natural features of local, regional and national importance. It is under the management of the Te Kohaka o Tūhaitara Trust.

The Tūhaitara Coastal Park is a special environment that offers ecological, educational, cultural and recreational opportunities for all who visit.

Tūhaitara Coastal Park can be accessed from Kairaki, The Pines Beach, Woodend Beach, Pegasus Town and Waikuku Beach. There is car parking at all of the beaches and access to the walking and cycling trails. Horse access to the park trails and the beaches is from Reid Memorial Ave at The Pines Beach, Ferry road at Woodend Beach or Kiwi Avenue at Waikuku Beach.

More information and a map can be found on the Te Kohaka o Tūhaitara Trust website.

View Hill cycleways

There are a few mountainbike tracks starting from the View Hill Domain at the corner of Woodstock and Harman Gorge Roads near Oxford.

Wharfedale/Perhams route - grade 3

Leave the domain, turn left into Woodstock Road, right into Ingrams Road. Turn left into Perhams Road, then turn right onto the road to Wharfedale Track.

This is a dirt track with beautiful views across the Plains to the Port Hills. There are two fords which can become impassable in heavy rain, and four gates. The length of the track is 22 kilometres return. The more adventurous can continue onto Wharfedale Track.

Woodstock route - grade 1

Leave the domain and turn left into Woodstock Road. Turn left into Washpen Road or continue to Waimakariri Gorge Road (2 kilometres further). Travel along Waimakariri Gorge Road, turn left into Rockford Road or continue along Waimakariri Gorge Road to Harmans Gorge Road, turn left and back to View Hill Domain. This is a 13 kilometre return ride.

Woodstock route - grade 3

Continue along Woodstock Road to the end and zigzag down the dirt track to the Waimakariri River. Return to the corner of Woodstock and Waimakariri Gorge Roads. Either continue straight along to View Hill Domain or via Waimakariri Gorge Road, Rockford Road and Harmans Gorge Road.

Island Road route - grade 1

From the domain, turn left into Harman Gorge Road, then turn right into Island Road. Follow Island road (shingle part way). Turn left at Sladdens Farm Road and continue on Island Road through the ford, then right at Woodside Road. This route will take you to Oxford (11 kilometres one way).

To return to the domain rather than travel to Oxford, turn right at either Raineys Road (unsealed and through a ford) or further along at McGraths Road (unsealed). At the end of either road turn right into Woodstock Road.


There is a BMX track which is run by the North Canterbury BMX Club. This is located opposite the Ashley picnic ground in Millton Avenue, Rangiora.

The Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism website has a list of cycling trails in the Waimakariri District, ranging from steep and rocky tracks to easy riding tracks through peaceful scenery.

The latest Walking and Cycling Strategy for the district was approved by Council on 7 March 2016, and includes a detailed action plan of projects to be implemented over the next five years.