What to Do in Cheviot: A Classic Kiwi Rural Town
Surrounded by rolling farmland, spectacular coastline and two braided rivers, Cheviot is a picturesque town on the South Island. Located along State Highway 1 between Christchurch and Kaikoura, there’s no excuse not to stop here and sample the local wines, visit the museum or make a special trip to the nearby Gore Bay. So take a closer look at what Cheviot has to offer with this list of things to do in Cheviot!
1. Stop by the Cheviot Hills Reserve
What was once the grounds of an early landowner is now a picturesque reserve for all to enjoy. The Cheviot Hills Reserve is awash with exotic trees and flowers, a must-see in spring when the daffodils are in bloom. Otherwise, the reserve is a great place to stretch your legs, have a picnic or watch a game of cricket at the Cheviot Cricket Club. There’s also the 3 km (1.9 mi) Ready Money Trail through the woodland that is well worth the gander.
Location: Seddon Street, Levin Street, Ward Road or Miller Street.
2. Spend the Day at Gore Bay
Just 8 km (5 mi) from Cheviot is the popular local holiday destination of Gore Bay. The beach is excellent for surfing, fishing and exploring the reefs and rock pools. The bay is also lined with classic Kiwi baches (holiday homes) of all colours – some dating back to 1865. Take advantage of this picturesque area by staying in one of the three campsites. Plus, be sure to walk/drive up and back down Cathedral Road at the southern end of Gore Bay for wonderful views of the Cathedral Cliffs.
Location: Gore Bay, 8 km (5 mi) south of Cheviot.
3. Do a Self-Guided Winery Tour of the Waipara Valley
Cheviot lies in proximity to the premium winemaking region of the Waipara Valley. One of the closest wineries to Cheviot is Charles Wiffen Wines but head just 35 minutes south and you have tens of wineries and tasting rooms to discover. Plan your self-guided winery tour with our 10 Wonderful Wineries in the Waipara Valley.
Location: Waipara, approximately 49 km (30.4 mi) south of Cheviot. Charles Wiffen Wines – State Highway 1, approximately 17 km (10.6 mi) north of Cheviot.
4. Visit the Cheviot Museum
Learn about what rural life was like in New Zealand in the 1850s and see fascinating artefacts that were discovered in the Cheviot Hills, such as bones from an extinct giant bird called a moa. All of this and more is available at the Cheviot Museum on Cheviot’s main street. The museum is open through summer every Monday, Wednesday and Sunday from 12 to 3 pm and is open in winter on request.
Location: Hall Street, Cheviot.
5. Jump on a Jet Boat Tour
Blast along the shallow turquoise waters of the Hurunui River with Energy Jet. It’s a scenic ride over braided channels, canyons and boulder fields passing under three bridges. Your guide will stop several times to tell you more about the fascinating history of this area, as well as throw in a few 360-degree spins for good measure! See how the tour compares to the 20 Best Places to Jet Boat in New Zealand.
Location: Hurunui River Bridge, 18 km (11 mi) south of Cheviot.
6. Soak Up the Scenery of St Anne’s Lagoon
A beautiful setting just north of Cheviot is the deciduous trees, placid lake and wildlife of St Anne’s Lagoon (Mata Kopae Lagoon). A short road off State Highway 1 leads to a picnic area and an attractive lakeside setting to break up a long drive. This is also an excellent secluded location for stargazing.
Location: Parnassus Road, 4 km (2.5 mi) north of Cheviot.
7. Embark for a Trip Back in Time on the Weka Pass Railway
The Weka Pass Railway is under 13 km (8 mi) long and passes through unique limestone features but that’s not all! The “loco” runs on both diesel and steam providing a truly historic experience. Ask the volunteers for old-time stories their passion is contagious! Public train trips depart every Sunday, bookings are advised.
Location: 113 Glenmark Drive, Waipara, approximately 55 km (34 mi) from Cheviot.
8. Enjoy an Upscale Hiking Experience on the Kaikoura Coast Track
Experience a more premium form of hiking on the Kaikoura Coast Track. This private walking trail takes 2 days to complete, allowing hikers to discover dramatic coastlines, tussock-covered coastal cliffs and lush farmland. Tramp through bush-filled gullies to emerge to views of the Kaikoura Mountains. The exclusive experience only allows 10 people on the track at one time and features services like luggage transport, catering, and warm clean hiker’s cottages are available. Discover more things to do towards Kaikoura in the 25 Best Things to Do in Kaikoura.
Location: 356 Conway Flat Road, Conway Flat, approximately 37 km (22.8 mi) north of Cheviot.
9. Walk to Manuka Bay
Update: The Manuka Bay Track closed in 2023 due to slips. See the Department of Conservation link below for track updates.
Soak Cheviot’s coastal scenery on this amazing walk between Port Robinson and the Hurunui River mouth. The Manuka Bay Track, otherwise known as the Port Robinson Walkway, is a 1 h 45 mins one-way trail through a mix of farmland and coastal bush. There are plenty of open scenic areas along the way to admire the coastal, ocean and river views.
Location: Manuka Bay, Port Robinson Road, 17 km (10.5 mi) south of Cheviot.
10. Do the Tweedies Gully Walk
Update: The Tweedies Gully Walk closed in 2023 due to flood damage. See the Department of Conservation link below for track updates.
A fantastic walk at the southern end of Gore Bay, the Tweedies Gully Walk takes you through magnificent coastal forest to a lookout over Pegasus Bay. This 1-2-hour one-way walk is an easy-going walk and can either be accessed from Gore Bay beach or from Gore Bay township by following the yellow signs.
Location: Southern end of Gore Bay beach, 8 km (5 mi) south of Cheviot.
More Things to Do Near Cheviot
That’s it for the best things to do in Cheviot. For more experiences nearby, check out the following lists:
- 20 Best Things to Do in and Around Hanmer Springs
- 25 Best Things to Do in Kaikoura
- 5 Best Things to Do in Woodend & Pegasus
Find more activities for your travels in the 51 Best Things to Do in the South Island.