Wine is the reason to stay a while in Waipara. The area is known for superb Pinot Noir and Riesling. You’ll also find some wonderful food experiences.

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Waipara is a picturesque valley just 45 minutes north of Christchurch. The first thing you’ll notice here is acres of grapevines. This is one of New Zealand’s premier wine regions - Pinot Noir and Riesling grapes do very well here.

Take the time to visit one of the vineyard restaurants, and a few of the many tasting rooms. To add to your gourmet experience, there are olive groves, nut farms and fields of lavender.

Waipara is a great place to stretch your legs, either on the cycleway between the wineries, or on one of several beautiful walks. Enjoy wandering through Iron Ridge Quarry Park; this disused quarry has been converted into an art gallery with enormous steel sculptures.

Interesting forms of accommodation can be found in the area – you can even stay in a converted railway carriage. Waipara is also home to the historic Weka Pass Railway, which runs on the first and third Sunday of every month.