What’s so great about Cheviot, what to do and best things to see
Travelling between Christchurch and Cheviot take a hour or more to explore the district further
WHAT TO DO HIGHLIGHTS
- Cheviot Museum is an excellent place to fossick around for local history. Open in summer on Sunday afternoon. The museum is managed by volunteers.
- Nearby Gore Bay beach and walkways
- Mata Kopae or St Anne’s lagoon
- Main street local art galleries, cafes and shops offering visitors a break from the journey to Kaikoura
- History buffs can visit the Cheviot Hills Domain where the mansion’s original front steps are now part of the cricket pavilion
- Quirky place to stay overnight Cheviot Motel and Holiday Park visitors able to stay in the original jailhouse (built 1901)
Both the Hurunui and Waiau Rivers reward anglers with sea-run salmon and trout. A Cheviot farmstay can introduce you to the fun of sheep mustering, pony riding and other rural activities. Follow the well signposted trail to the Cheviot Hills Domain with its majestic oak trees, specimen planting and natives with spring daffodils. The town has a weekend market year round giving visitors another reason to stop and explore the area.
WHERE TO TAKE THE BEST SELFIE
- Outside the local school with the water fountain, built to commemorate the newly installed rural water supply in 1971
- Just down the road leading north is a signpost for Parnassus and it’s not in Greece. The name is a reflection of a local sheep run owned by a classical scholar, Edward Lee. He saw a likeness between a local hill and the Greek Mt Parnassus, mythical home of the god Apollo and the Muses
- Heading north, keep an eye out for McPherson’s Cutting with its sweeping vistas of undulating farmland and the Kaikoura mountains
- St John’s Anglican Church’s stained glass windows by William Morris. The photogenic schist stone Presbyterian chapel called Knox Church is another instagram favourite
WHAT TO DO WITH KIDS
- Main thoroughfare dissected by State Highway 1 is an excellent place to stop for ice creams and rest stop
- Take a detour to nearby Gore tourist route and explore the beach watching the locals catch the surf
- Cheviot Hill Domain with its acres of gardens to jump and kick a ball
- North Canterbury Wine and Food Festival
- Cheviot A&P (Agriculture and Producers) Show
- Cheviot Spring Festival
- Kaiwara Classic (mountain biking)
- “ Long Coast, High Hills, Strong Heart”
WHO TURNED UP AND NAMED THE PLACE
- Cheviot’s name is synonymous with the sheep breed Cheviot and the subdivision of Cheviot Hills pastoral run (33,600 hectares) in the late nineteenth century. Cheviot Hills was owned by William ‘Read Money’ Robinson. Cheviot Hills estate name originates from the original lease holder, John Scott Taverhill, and his home country, the Cheviot Hills located on the Scottish border.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
- Year round
- Captain Charles Upham. Awarded the Victoria Cross twice during World War II and remains the only soldier to have been decorated with the VC and Bar.
- John McKenzie, politician who purchased the massive pastoral Canterbury estates and provided the mechanism for people of modest income to start a farm. John McKenzie became very popular as a result. The town of Cheviot was originally named McKenzie, and the street names commemorate Liberal politicians.
- Local environmentalists St Anne’s Lagoon has several times dried out in the heat of summer. The shallow lagoon covers 16 hectares in size and measures 1.2 m at its deepest point. The lagoon lies slightly north of the town of Cheviot, in a low-productivity grassland setting. In 2017 the dried out Mata Kopae/St Annes Lagoon and its eels faced disaster. The local community banded together with Environment Canterbury (ECan) staff, Cheviot locals, school kids and members of Ngāi Tūahuriri, rescuing eels stranded by the receding water.
- The enormous Cheviot Hills estate, with its imposing mansion and cultivated gardens was once one of Canterbury’s largest properties. After owner William ‘Ready Money’ Robinson died in 1889, his daughters sold the estate to the government, and it was divided into 54 small farms and the town of Cheviot. The mansion and gardens have virtually disappeared from the map consigned to the history books.
WHAT KEEP THE PLACE TICKING?
- Rural agribusiness, sheep and dairy
Unique journeys, personal adventures.