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What’s so great about Weka Pass what to see and best things to do

  • 2 minutes

Canterbury, South Island

Vintage train jouorney through extraordinary natural sculptural landscape

Weka Pass there are plenty of things to do. Evocative names such as Frog Rock make you want to check out the place. Visitors get to travel on one of Aotearoa New Zealand’s best vintage train rides. Together with ancient rock drawings, distinctive shell and fossils embedded in the exposed cliffs this is one journey nobody wants to miss.

Water supply tank for steam engines at the Glenmark Station of the Weka Pass Railway, New Zealand
Water supply tank for steam engines at the Glenmark Station of the Weka Pass Railway

What to do, highlights in Weka Pass

  • Weka Pass Historic Reserve take an easy 40-minute walk to a large overhang shelter that features examples of early Māori rock art along the way look at exposed cliffs for evidence of shells and fossils
  • Weka Pass Railway trip will be a memorable holiday occasion. A premier visitor experience.

Weka Pass Railway is a vintage rural railway traversing the limestone beauty of the Weka Pass out from the small settlement of Waipara. The tracks cross farmland, irrigation reservoir and vineyards before climbing grades as steep as 1:50 (2%) as it winds through cuttings in the Pass.  Frog Rock and The Seal. The Pass is home to various species of bird, including the weka, kaka, and kiwi, and was also home to the extinct moa.

Best time to go to Weka Pass

When the vintage train is operating.

Where to take the best selfie in Weka Pass

On the train of course.

Weka Pass’ social media

Weka Pass Railway

Steam train passing Frog Rock, Canterbury, South Island,New Zealand
Steam train passing Frog Rock
Weka Pass, New Zealand
Weka Pass, New Zealand

Weka Pass’ heroes

Nineteenth century unsung workers who in the 1880’s moved tons of clay and limestone by hand to form all the cuttings and large embankments. The Weka Pass section was completed in just over two years. The land was once under the sea and some of the surrounding limestone rocks have weathered into unusual shapes. Most notable are Frog Rock and Seal Rock, in the middle of the Weka Pass. Seashells and fossils may be seen in the walls of many cuttings. The line opened to Waikari in 1882.

Weka Pass’ notoriety

Vandals, archaeologists in the 1920’s had the ancient rock drawings over-painted in red and back house paint destroying their archaeological value.

Who turned up and named Weka Pass

Weka Pass is a locality in the northern Canterbury region of New Zealand’s South Island between the towns of Waipara and Waikari. The area is named after the weka, a native bird.

Population in Weka Pass

Permanent population – 0 (zero).

Weather in Weka Pass

Weka Pass, Canterbury, New Zealand Hourly Weather

What to do nearby Weka Pass, Canterbury?

Weka Pass is nearby RangioraAmberleyOxford and Springfield (selfie heaven with its massive concrete pink doughnut).

Weka, woodland hen industrious busybodies
Weka, New Zealand

Getting to Weka Pass


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


Check out our favourite instagram posts for Weka Pass

Travel pack information

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

  • Regular passenger services were withdrawn in 1939 and the Waiau Branch closed on January 15th, 1978. The line to Waikari was purchased by the Weka Pass Railway Inc. after the end of a union embargo in 1983.
  • Weka Pass is located in northern Canterbury between the towns of Waipara and Waikari. The Waipara River gradually cut a bed through the soft limestone and mudstone creating distinctive limestone formation.



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