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Day trips

North Canterbury, Hurunui wine and food trail

  • 2 minutes


Christchurch what to do nearby

Indulge in a wine and food trail. The bonus is a  heritage train. North Canterbury Waipara Valley and district is a foodie delight. A feast awaits with growers offering truffles, organic olive oil and the long lunch. Meals are elevated into cuisine with outstanding fare, a great reason to visit North Canterbury.

The long lunch, the languid ad fresco feast, complete with award winning wine is heaven under a magical rural backdrop. Cycle, walk or join a tour of the Waipara Valley, blow the cobwebs away on a jet boat, find a bargain at the second hand / vintage stores and browse a well regarded weekend market.  And what to stay awhile, check out the accommodation options within the vines. Nearby is the temptation of Hanmer Springs. You might not ever leave.


Find out what makes North Canterbury an award-winning culinary destination at …

And the region’s vineyards with cellar doors are


Waipara Valley trail @GreystoneWines
Waipara Valley trail @GreystoneWines

Cycle the Waipara Valley trail with rentals from Action Bicycle Club.  ACTION BICYCLE CLUB

At our store, we offer the best in city, adventure, electric and cargo bikes as well as curating a range of functional and fashionable bike apparel and accessories. We also help people get back on the road through our bike servicing workshop and provide visitors the best way to discover Christchurch through our bike rental. As a business with social purpose, we involve our community by creating projects and events that engage with people in an axis of artistic design and liveable communities.

Canterbury is blessed to have our very own Waipara Valley Vineyard Cycle Trail just 1 hour from Christchurch. The roughly 10km cycle trail is a great way to explore and sample some of those vineyards of the Waipara Valley. The trail starts at the Glenmark Reserve but you are encouraged to hop on and off anywhere you like. (Just remember the trail is not a loop so you will need to factor in your return journey.)

The Greystone team encourages you to explore their land via their loop trail that meanders around the vines. A bottle of wine and some cheese from the cellar door would make the perfect picnic amongst the vines and the most romantic date or day out with the girls.

If you choose to ride the trails and explore a selection of cellar doors you may choose to either take a left under State Highway 1 which will take you through Ataahua, Glenmark Vicarage and Sherwood Estate or a right up the valley from Greystone to Black Estate where the views across the valley to the main divide are truly remarkable and a stop for lunch is highly recommended

Distance: 14.5km

Grade: Easy, flat formed tracks

Slow down and cycle or walk the trail. The trail meanders through vineyards, rolling farmland and heritage buildings dotting the Waipara Valley.


Glenmark Domain — Greystone

2.5km, 15min

The Waipara Valley Vineyard Trail starts amongst the majestic oak trees at the Glenmark Domain where you will find toilets, and a map board to start you off. Riding down the aptly named Church Rd (look for trains at the crossing) you will pass the local cemetery before turning onto the off-road trail just past Sherwood Estate. The trail heads past the historic Glenmark Church and through the first of several gates – please leave them closed.

Before heading under State Highway 1 there is the turnoff to Waipara Springs Winery – marvelous wines make the short detour a must. Once under the highway, you will pop out at the cellar door of Greystone and Muddy Water Wines, time for a short break.


Greystone — Greystone Loop

1.4km, 15min

The trail uses the vineyard track, across Omihi Stream then, the main uphill for the trail. At the top of the road branches – to the right is the Greystone Loop, a route around the vines on this north-facing slope. To the left, through the stock grate is the main trail – Muddy Water, Mountford, and Black Estate this way.

Greystone Loop — Muddy Water

0.9km, 10min

The trail now crosses the pasture above the vineyards and on trails on the vineyard headlands, through several stock grates to drop down through the old macrocarpa hedge, turn left alongside the hedge to the picnic table at the Muddy Water lake.

@Muddy Water Wines
@Muddy Water Wines

Muddy Water — Black Estate

2.1km, 15min

From Muddy Water, the trail winds up through the vines and out onto the track through Rockford Estate into and above Mountford Estate.Out of Mountford, through yet another stock grate (and gate, they breed tricky sheep here) the trail is out on the slopes of Stackhouse Farm. You will be sharing the trail with inquisitive sheep. The last gate and stock grate enter the Black Estate with its award-winning cafe and wines, what better place to rest up.

Black Estate — Glenmark Domain

6.9km, 25min (return option)

7.6km, 25min (Loop via SH1 option)

Recommended is returning the way you have just traveled – even more, opportunities to taste the wines missed and appreciate both the new views to the south and also that great downhill into Greystone. Or arrange beforehand for a pick up after the day exploring the Waipara Valley.



Relax, revive and enjoy the effort of organising with a tour with Waipara Wine Tours



  • North Canterbury wine region has over 90 vineyards with distinct soils,  from the clay and various limestones in Waikari and Omihi, to the Glasnevin Gravels of the Waipara Valley floor and the basalt spoil of Banks Peninsula. The cool climate, low rainfall and high summer sun and long daylight hours of the dry autumns provides phenolic ripeness and complexity in the wines.

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