What to Do in Rangiora: Canterbury’s Rural Hotspot.
A real hidden gem just out of Christchurch, Rangiora is an attractive rural town with a fine balance of contemporary and historic charms. The town was founded in 1878 with old heritage buildings and museums are the evidence of its flavourful past. But in between, you’ll find modern architecture and comforts from mouthwatering eateries to fantastic shopping. The town is home to a number of fantastic recreational areas and walks, as well as farm experiences to experience real rural New Zealand. Find out more with this list of things to do in Rangiora.
1. Visit the Northbrook Wetlands
What was once an early settlers’ industrial site for flax mills, a brewery, a tannery and a fellmongery, Northbrook Wetlands has now been returned to the wild attracting an array of native birds. Follow the walk and cycle tracks taking around 30 minutes to complete. The trails meander through native plantings, historical remnants and areas to watch the birds.
Location: Cotter Lane
2. Indulge in Rural Cuisine
Get your cake or caffeine fix at one of Rangiora’s amazing cafes. Pick up some traditional Kiwi favourites at the Continental Bakery, enjoy the vintage flair of Miss Lilly’s Boutique Cafe or indulge in a delectable and naughty breakfast at the Good Street Deli. Foodies will also not want to miss the Twilight Market held during the daylight savings months. Don’t know what to try? See 15 Foods You Have to Try in New Zealand.
Location: All around Rangiora
3. Do the Mike Kean Walkway Along the Ashley River
Another excellent way to experience the great outdoors in Rangiora is along the Ashley River. The Mike Kean Walkway is a 20-minute return walk following the braided Ashley River. Look out for an endangered bird called wrybill, sometimes seen on the river bed.
Location: Ashley River Bridge picnic area
4. Enjoy Boutique Shopping
Rangiora is a fantastic hub for boutique shopping in the Canterbury region. Along with all the large department stores and national chains found in New Zealand’s large towns, Rangiora also has some specialised shops and independently-owned boutiques to pick out something unique. Try Sparks Rangiora or Rangiora Shoelines, as well as many others on High Street.
Location: High Street
5. Relax at Matawai Park
Explore this classic New Zealand park in the heart of Rangiora. Matawai Park is peppered with groves of wild Canterbury plants, from lowland podocarp varieties to swamp beech forest to churn tussock. Make use of the walking trails or use the large open grassy spaces.
Location: Willam Street and King Street
6. Visit the Local Museums
Rangiora has a couple of well-appointed museums to add a little bit of culture and history into your visit. The Rangiora Museum allows you to step back in time to see how the early settlers of the area used to live. The museum has an extensive collection of photographs. Alternatively (or additionally), head to the outskirts of Rangiora to visit the Northbrook Colonial Museum. The museum’s main highlight is the mock-up of an early street including the butcher, chemist and hardware store.
Location: Rangiora Museum – 29 Good Street, Northbrook Museum – Rossburn, Spark Lane
7. Play Golf at the Rangiora Golf Club
Play on the tree-lined fairways of the Rangiora golf course. This 18-hole 72-par course is an affordable place to get your golf fix. The golf club is open to visitors every day except Saturdays. For more places to play, see 21 Best Golf Courses in New Zealand.
Location: Golf Links Road
8. Visit Wee Dram Farm Park
Kids and animal-lovers will adore this farm park just outside of Rangiora. Get up-close and feed the animals and their babies – it’s a great way to experience country life in New Zealand. They also offer bespoke tours for groups if booked in advance. The farm is open Thursday, Friday and Sunday.
Location: 492 Oxford Road, 6km west of Rangiora