Waipara Valley is well known as a bountiful wine growing region, famous for its Pinot Noir and Riesling offerings. A great place to visit all year round, Waipara is a short 50 minutes drive from both Hanmer Springs and Christchurch meaning its the perfect place for a day trip. Pack a picnic or grab lunch at one of the wonderful winery restaurants in the Valley.
The Waipara Valley Vineyard Trail is a great way to experience the region, either on foot or by bike. The track begins at Glenmark Reserve and takes you on a journey through historic farmland and vineyards and over the beautiful rolling hills of the region. The map below shows the track as well as highlighting vineyards that offer cellar door sales.
Family owned and operated winery Pegasus Bay Winery has been making waves for many years. Located on 263 Stockgrove Road, Waipara, Pegasus Bay has won the Cuisine Magazine Best Winery Restaurant in the Cuisine Awards for the last 5 years in a row. Owned by the Donaldson Family, the winery is truly a family affair - Ivan Donaldson started the business, his son Paul is the General Manager, another son Matthew and his wife Lynnette are the winemakers, son Edward is the Marketing Manager and daughter-in-law Belinda runs the restaurant. The food is carefully matched with award-winning Pegasus Bay Wines making for a unique experience. This gem is a wonderful place to stop in the area.
Black Estate is a family owned vineyard in Waipara Valley that is quickly making a name for itself as a producer of remarkable wine. Located on the slopes of Omihi in Waipara Valley, Black Estate is now open from 10am - 4pm Wednesdays to Sundays with a Tasting Room and Eatery to sample their delicious wines and food. Bookings are recommended so make sure you call ahead on 03 3146085 to secure a table.
A quirky pastime you can experience in Waipara is traditional Dutch Golf, or "slog the clog". Played in a paddock over 18 holes, Dutch Golf involves hitting a large soft leather ball with a solid Dutch clog on a stick. Suitable for group outings, Christmas functions and birthday parties.
Every Saturday morning the Waipara Valley Farmer's Market is held outside the Hurunui Council Chambers in Amberley. With local produce, meat, baking, bread and artisan products this is a great place to sample some of the delights that the Waipara Valley has to offer.
If you time your travel right, you may even be able to catch The Classic Hits' annual Winery Tour which features a whole host of iconic New Zealand acts on the grounds of Mudhouse Winery. This popular event is a wonderfully relaxed evening out, spent in a beautiful setting.