Waipara & Nearby




Annie’s Loft and Studio offers a wonderful getaway so guests can relax for a night or for several days in spectacular countryside, enjoying the local wineries, cafes and many nearby North Canterbury attractions.

Some recreational equipment is available on request (tennis racquets, bikes & cycle helmets, balls, pétanque and a few well loved old golf clubs).

A unique attraction is The Weka Pass Railway which runs along the front of our property every Sunday in January and alternate Sundays the rest of the year.  The spectacular steam locomotive, 428, built in 1909 is the last one of its kind still working and operates unless there is exceptional fire risk in summer when a diesel locomotive is used instead.

Nowhere in New Zealand is far from the sea or mountains so short journeys from the Waipara Valley one finds it all.

Waipara is less than an 1 hour from Christchurch at the junction of SH1 & SH7. This makes Annie’s Loft an excellent location to break a long journey driving through the South Island since we are only approx 2km from the junction.

Waipara is a central point of the Alpine Pacific Triangle to Kaikoura (stunning coastal and mountain scenery; whale, dolphin & seal watching) and 1 hour to Hanmer Springs (thermal pools and spa, mountain walks, cycling, skiing…). At the spectacular Waiau River Ferry Bridge, Thrill Seekers Canyon offers bungy jumping, jet boating, river rafting, quad biking, off-road go-cart safaris, wild west paintball and clay bird shooting.

Unfortunately the Coastal Pacific Rail Journey to & from Kaikoura are not currently available due to the 2016 earthquake-  we fortunately escaped any damage.

Wine Tasting

Our Waipara River Estate wines are available for complimentary tasting for guests on request in summer – please email to make an time to suit. We sell online at www.waiparariver.com and despatch via courier throughout NZ.

We are listed in the North Canterbury Food & Wine Trail.

Waipara wineries produce a wide range of award winning wines from several grape varieties. Details about tasting openings are on the Waipara Valley Winegrowers website. As well as wineries with cafes, year round tasting is available at: Torlesse Winery, Black Estate, Greystone Winery, Waipara Springs, Pegasus Bay, Terrace Edge.

Not to be missed is the annual North Canterbury Wine & Food Festival (Waipara Valley) Sunday 12 March 2017, 10:30am—5:00pm under the oaks in the Glenmark Domain, Glenmark Drive, Waipara.

“It’s time to return to the oaks for the coolest little wine festival in the country. 

Hit the road next March and head out of the city into New Zealand’s most-loved wine and food region for a celebration like no other. Support the local harvesters, chill out in our pockets of entertainment, immerse yourself in conversations with other lovers of local produce and get ready to fall completely in love with everything North Canterbury has to offer. 

More festival details to be announced in 2017. 



Most visitors will be keen to visit the Waipara Valley wineries not only for tastings of superb wines but also for excellent food at winery cafesWaipara SpringsWaipara Hills,  Black Estate,  Pegasus Bay has been awarded NZ’s best winery restaurant for 5 years in a row by Cuisine magazine and the winery was awarded 5 stars by Robert Parker (USA) in 2008.  

Waipara is a small village currently without other food options than winery cafes for lunch. Luckily only 10 mins drive south is Amberley, a  small country town with an excellent range of food options:  Countdown Supermarket in the  Brackenfields Shopping Centre. In the Shopping Centre you will find the Country Oven Bakery; Sushi Maru, Kafal Indian Restaurant & the Green Duck Thai restaurant.

Other eating places include: the Little Vintage Espresso CafeNor’Wester Café; Curry n’Kebabs, Spoon Cafe & Brew Moon

Restaurants in both the Amberley Hotel (The Woolshed Cafe & Garden Bar includes Thai  food) and the Railway Tavern Restaurant serve our Waipara River Estate wines & great pub food.

Visit the Waipara Valley Farmers Market & Craft Market which is held Saturdays in front of the Hurunui District Council, Amberley.

South of Amberley is the Copper Road cafe with Cassels & Sons craft beers; Pukeko Junction Cafe & Deli at Leithfield opens for lunch.

Sheryll Bowen at Pukeko Junction Regional Wine Centre & Gallery sells our Waipara River Estate wines


The Amberley Golf Club (email) –18 hole links course at Amberley Beach, about 15 minutes drive away welcomes visitors. Fees are very modest. Turn down Beach Road, Amberley. Go right to the end & turn left, then go as far as you can until you come to the Golf Links.
For other charming country golf clubs (9 holes) within 30 minutes drive see: World Golf.


Enjoy trout and salmon fishing in wild rivers such as the Hurunui and Waiau or take a fishing charter off the coast from Motunau Beach, about 20 minutes North East from Waipara. Fish species: blue cod, kingfish, albacore tuna, groper, trumpeter, ling, sea perch shark, crayfish. More Info.
Motunau beach is great for finding fossils which emerge from cliffs. Also see the endangered Little Blue Penguins who frequent the shore and river

Nature Walks & Cycle trail

The latest addition to Waipara Valley activities is the Hurunui Cycle Trail.
Two splendid walks are on Mt Cass (closed August – September during lambing.)
Mt Cass Walkway – a moderately steep 2-3 hour walk to the lookout at the top of Mt Cass.
Tiromoana Bush Walkway – from Mt Cass to the coast – about 3hours return. This walk has a bit of everything, and offers rewards for people at many levels.

Train at Waipara

The Weka Pass Railway passes in front of our property. Image copyright David Mann.



Weka Valley

Panorama of Weka & Waipara valleys looking towards the sea.



Wine Vines

Riesling in the original Vineyard.




Motunau Island – visit the coast, go fishing or fossil collecting, see Little Blue Penguins.




Amberley Beach – fishing – towards Teviotdale Hills.



Endangered Penguins

Little Blue Penguins at Motunau.