The Waitaki Valley boasts a stunning natural environment that provides a huge amount of opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy a genuine Kiwi outdoor holiday. No matter what your level of fitness or experience, there are plenty of hikes, bike tracks and walks that showcase the spectacular countryside of this unique area of New Zealand’s South Island.
Benmore Peninsula Track is a 2 hour walk located by the Benmore Dam carpark, the track then climbs up and around the stunning Benmore Peninsula so walkers can enjoy breath-taking views across Lake Benmore and towards the Alps.
Kurow Heritage Trail offers a delightful insight into life gone by in this part of the Waitaki Valley. Allow at least 1 hour for the walking trail which takes you past several historic buildings. Starting at the Kurow Bridge, your trail will take you past the first Kurow School House on Ranfurly Street then onto a historic 1882 building before heading onto the Doctor’s Residence, which is rich in local history. Other views along the route include the 1893 St Stephens Church, a private shop in Bledisloe Street, the Kurow Butchery, Kurow’s Antiques & Junk Shop, 1895 hall, the old Kurow Hotel and other historic buildings from the late 1800’s.
The Vanished World Trail begins at Waianakarua on State Highway 1 and follows the coastline back to Oamaru, then onto the Waiareka Valley, past “Anitini” and the “Elephant Rocks” before finishing at the Vanished World Centre in the Waitaki Valley. It is also possible to follow the trail from Oamaru or Duntroon.
Moeraki Heritage Trail is located by the famous Moeraki Boulders and is approximately 40km’s south of Oamaru. A selection of sites provide a great opportunity to stretch your legs and appreciate the unique blend of nature and history, including the Moeraki Lighthouse and Centenary Park.
Otematata Wildlife Reserve is just a short walk from Otematata village and is a photographers paradise! Spectacular Autumn colours rival those that attract international photographers to Arrowtown during Autumn, while nature lovers will appreciate the species of birds that can be seen around the lake and ponds.
Otematata Harbour Walks are ideal for those that just want to enjoy a short track. With tracks located on both sides of the boat harbour, you can enjoy many different routes.
Otematata Lakeside Track is a pleasant family walk that takes you along the edge of the lake to Loch Laird and onto the Benmore Centre Power Station. This is another great photographic opportunity for walkers during Autumn.
Deep Stream track is located on the Canterbury side of Lake Aviemore and takes approximately 4-5 hours to explore. The track follows Deep Stream, however a board with useful information is available at the start of the track.
Oamaru Walkway is a lovely way to see the sights of Oamaru and stretch your legs at the same time. The South Hill Walk is 7.8km’s long, while the Skyline Walk is only 5km’s. You can choose to walk them both or separately. This is a great way to view some of the areas unique vistas, including hills and grass tracks.