Around the small North Canterbury town of Cheviot there are a good handful of coastal walks as well as places to visit and camp.

Gore Bay

Gore Bay is signposted from the Cheviot town centre. Its long beach is popular with surfers. Lots of camping space here. At the southern end of the bay is the area of badlands erosion known as the Cathedrals due to the organ pipe shapes. The Cathedrals are only viewable from the roadside.

Off the main street of Gore Bay, an easy walk climbs Tweedies Gully to a lookout. The track beginning is surprisingly hard to find. Locate the second stream from the southern end of the bay. The track is signposted well back from the road on the true right side. The track passes through pleasantly rich coastal forest, including karaka trees, which scent the summer air with their fruit. Gradually, the track climbs into regenerating kanuka forest and finally out onto grass. The track no longer continues down Cathedral Gully to form a loop, so you have to return the way you came.

The Port Robinson Walkway is the longest walk in the area, a coastal walk leading from Gore Bay to the Hurunui River mouth. The northern section of the walk is unmarked (although it simply follows the shoreline) and tidal. It is only accessible two hours either side of low tide. A side road just north of Port Robinson provides an alternative starting point. Several patches of coastal forest and badlands erosion.


Napenape Scenic Reserve is located just south of the Hurunui River mouth. Access it from Domett or the Gore Bay road by crossing the bridge over the river mouth and taking Blythe Road out to the coast. The pocket of remnant coastal forest is surrounded by a semicircle of jagged limestone bluffs, ending at a tall white sea cliff.

The camping area here has been closed due to risk of landslides. However there is a good (although very poorly marked) track hidden amongst the trees. Locate the 4WD track that climbs the hillside next to the stand of raupo. Follow this into the forest. This wide track continues for about 15 minutes through to a gate. If you continued through the gate you might find good views of the limestone outcrops up close, but you wouldn't do that as ist's private property. Backtrack about five minutes, and a small sign indicates a track entering the forest on the coastal side. This track is a little rougher and rather vague but very worthwhile. The forest leading down to the beach is rich and fascinating. Trees cling to the tops of limestone boulders, roots hanging down the sides like thick ropes. Finally, the track drops out onto scrub and bends left onto the beach. There's really very little chance you could find this track from the beach end.

Other areas

3km north of Cheviot, a discreet entranceway on the left leads to St Anne's Lagoon. This is a pretty wildlife sanctuary and picnic area. Cape Barren geese seem to be resident here.

Just south of the township, the Cheviot Hills Domain is the location of the original homestead of Ready Money Robinson, and richly planted with mature English trees.