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The rural town of Cheviot is worth more than just a petrol stop when driving through. It’s a town brimming with rural hospitality and an easy few hours of entertainment.
Despite only having a population of around 15-hundred residents in the greater Cheviot area, the town outdoes itself with its range of stylish shops along the main street (State Highway 1), delicious eateries and a growing art scene.
Steeped in history, the town used to be part of a massive farm called Cheviot Hills, which was once one of Canterbury’s largest properties. The land was divided into farms, and the township created, when its owner William “Ready Money” Robinson died in 1889.
Tasty Local Food
Locally sourced food is the ultimate in fresh – with the nearby Hurunui and Waiau rivers brimming with sea-run salmon and trout, and delicious whitebait. Surrounded by farms, many of the town’s eateries feature fresh lamb, beef and venison. It’s not just the restaurants either – excellent cafes and takeaway shops are also making the most of local products.
For those wanting a real treat, duck into the Mt Beautiful Tasting Room. The premium wine brand opened the tasting room last year, and it’s where you can try their North Canterbury wines along with platters of local food.
On a sunny day, pack a picnic and head to Cheviot Hill Domain - a picturesque spot all year round. In spring, (September to November), there’s a sea of yellow daffodil flowers spread below the trees there.
Take a drive out to the holiday settlement of Gore Bay, which has one of the safest surfing and swimming beaches in New Zealand. A popular spot in the Hurunui there are plenty of accommodation options with family-friendly campgrounds, baches for hire and bed and breakfasts. There are even farm stays that will give you a real taste of Kiwi life.
While there, don’t miss one of nature’s highlights - the Cathedral Cliffs. Admire the way that nature has eroded the clay until it represents carefully sculpted gothic columns, with the sparkling ocean in the background.