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Kiwi Towns

What’s so great about Kaiapoi things to do

  • 3 minutes

Canterbury, NZ

Discover a kiwi town, Kaiapoi Canterbury. Places to visit.

Kaiapoi River, Canterbury, New Zealand
Kaiapoi River, Canterbury, New Zealand

What are the best things to do in Kaiapoi, Canterbury?

  • Kaiapoi River walks with camera ready to snap a shot of the River Queen boat
  • Visiting Blackwells Department store and others
  • Amberley weekend market
  • Visit the local museums where dedicated volunteers have a massive collection of memorbilla and objects relating to the story of the district surrounding Amberley
  • Hire a fishing rod from the local visitor centre and try out your luck on the Waimakariri River

Walk Along the Kaiapoi River

A shared pathway invites dogs on a leash, bikes and pedestrians to share the space exploring the lower reaches of the Kaiapoi River.

Visit Kaiapoi Island

Kaiapoi Island is a local favourite with dog walkers (leash) and for sports fishing. In season known for whitebaiting. The entrance to Kaiapoi Island is next to the Challenge service station at the corner of Wrights Road and State Highway one. Gates are open 4.30am to 7pm in winter and 4.30am to 10pm during daylight saving. Pedestrian access is available 24 hours. The stopbank walk passes the Poynter Nature Reserve, a small remnant forest surrounded by willow trees. The walking track through the reserve is no longer open as it has subsided into wetland since the 2011 earthquake.


Wetlands known for native birds.


Old North Road, near Williams Street or Beachvale Drive, Sovereign Palms.

The damaged bridge over the beautiful Cam River in Kaiapoi - one of the hardest hit areas in the recent Christchurch earthquake.
The damaged bridge over the beautiful Cam River in Kaiapoi - one of the hardest hit areas in the recent Christchurch earthquake.
@Kaiapoi Museum
@Kaiapoi Museum

Visit the Local Museums & Art Gallery

Kaiapoi Museum, home to an extensive collection pertaining to local history and events. Located in the Kaiapoi Museum situated in the contemporary Ruataniwha Civic Centre with an interesting art gallery

National Scout Museum, amazing find in a small kiwi town. Kaiapoi is where the first Scout Patrol is stated to have been formed.

Join a Jet Boat Tour

Skim along the braided shallow Waimakariri River with Alpine Jet Thrills. Will arrange pick ups from Christchurch. Check out tours to the jet boat from Christchurch on Tripadvisor.

Nearby Kaiapoi visit the  ‘Home of Jet Boating’ Jet Boat World visually tells the story of Bill Hamilton, the man credited with the developing water jet  marine propulsion and introducing it to the world in the Springfield Adventure Park.

@Leisure Tours
@Leisure Tours

Catch Fish in the Waimakariri River near Kaiapoi

Pop into the Kaiapoi visitor site to hire fishing gear and try your luck on the Kaiapoi or Waimakariri rivers. Relax with the locals at the Kaiapoi Wharf or find out where to go tips from the visitor centre. You might catch trout or salmon. You will need to purchase a fishing licence, also available at the visitor centre.

@Woodford Glen Speedway Association Inc.
@Woodford Glen Speedway Association Inc.

Woodford Glen Speedway in Kaiapoi

Catch frantic speedway action and don’t miss the popular Fireworks Extravaganza. Local and national racers have a dedicated fan zone, safety placed behind strong fencing. Together with hot dog vendors, coffee and pie carts the place is humming on race nights.

River Queen Cruises on the Kaiapoi river, Canterbury

The Kaiapoi River Queen is a popular paddle-boat in North Canterbury, New Zealand that offers scenic tours of the Kaiapoi River and surroundings Originally built in 1986 as a replica of a Mississippi paddle-boat, it was refurbished and renamed in November 2019 to reflect its new home in Kaiapoi.

A must-visit attraction for both tourists and locals alike. It offers a unique way to experience the natural beauty of the Kaiapoi River and its surroundings, making it a perfect destination for a relaxing day out. Book your tour today and discover the stunning views of the Kaiapoi River! The Kaiapoi River Queen was established in Kaiapoi 2019.

River Queen started her life in Marlborough on the Taylor river close to the township of Blenheim where it operated for approximately a decade. She is a flat bottomed 2 story boat constructed of wood and fiberglass that is powered by 2 carefully hidden outboard motors. It has been fully refurbished since its arrival in Kaiapoi in October 2018 with paint, upholstery, carpets, new decks, new 115 Honda outboard motors and is ready to serve the Kaiapoi and wider areas.

The Kaiapoi River Queens flat bottom allows her to sail no matter the tide. Its permanent berth is just to the Eastern side of the Williams Street bridge and in front of the Paris for the Weekend Cafe on a purpose built floating jetty, that allows easy access for customers.

@Kaiapoi River Queen
@Kaiapoi River Queen
The Kaiapoi River Queen
The Kaiapoi River Queen

Where to take a selfie in Kaiapoi, Canterbury

  • Selfie at historic railway station buildings, charming turn of the 20th century buildings
  • River Queen cruise boat at her moorings
  • Kaiapoi River walks
  • Blackwells Department Store beautiful art nouveau curved facade on the main street, complete with your shopping goodies
  • Rove around town looking at the shop facades, Victorian, Edwardian and early 20th century
  • Facade of closed Kaiapoi Woollen Mills

What to do with the kids in Kaiapoi, Canterbury

  • AQUALAND New Zealand, a large inflatable aquapark open in the summer months.
  • Food Forests sustainable closed-loop fruit and vegetable garden eco-system. The Kaiapoi Food Forest self-fertilises, sequesters carbon and provides a habitat for living organisms. Visit the Kaiapoi Food Forest on the corner Of Cass & Meadow Streets and Oram Place, Kaiapoi, New Zealand. You will find 1.5 acres, with lots of fruit and perenial vegetables and open spaces to picnic and a small playhouse for young children.
Yellowhammer in willow tree alongside Kaiapoi River, Canterbury New Zealand
Yellowhammer in willow tree alongside Kaiapoi River, Canterbury, New Zealand

What to do nearby Kaiapoi, Canterbury?

Kaiapoi is nearby Rangiora, Amberley, Oxford and Springfield (selfie heaven with its massive concrete pink doughnut)

Where is Kaiapoi, Canterbury located?

Kaiapoi is a town in the Waimakariri District, Canterbury region, South Island, New Zealand. Kaiapoi is now a commuter town to Christchurch as it’s a mere 17 km from the city centre. The town is close to the mouth of the Waimakariri River.

Judgement on Kaiapoi, Canterbury

Take a break in Kaiapoi? Every town adds to the richness of things to do and see. For more details about what to do nearby check out Things To Do In Canterbury § Places to Visit, Activities, & Sightseeing.

Want to go camping in Kaiapoi check out 9 Hurunui campsites & budget accommodation ideas.

Kaiapoi River, Canterbury, NZ
Kaiapoi River, Canterbury, NZ


Check out our favourite instagram posts for Kaiapoi


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