Waimairi Walkway

  • 30 min one way
  • Easy

Farm walking, birdlife, picnicking, swimming, and hydrological ponderings.

Avenue of poplars, Waimairi Walkway. • By matthew.
Waimairi Walkway: Key information
Walking time
30 min
One way
One way
No bookings — open access
No — open access
Waimairi Walkway: Find it
The Groynes, Christchurch
Darroch Street, Christchurch

As the rivers changed courses the plains built up over a wide area. Historically, the Waimakariri has followed a variety of courses to the sea, swishing back and forth like a giant tail. Once, it dumped its alluvium into the Pacific Ocean on the south side of Banks Peninsula. After the Waimakariri River burst its banks in 1868, sending a torrent through Christchurch, work was undertaken to control it with stopbanks along the Southern Branch in what is now the Otukaikino Creek area. Eventually, in 1930, the South Branch was blocked off, and today there is little sign it ever existed. The archaic place names, Mcleans Island, Coutts Island, and Templars Islands, survive mysteriously, denoting land on the south bank that was once isolated mid-stream.

Coot • By matthew. Licence: C.

The Groynes picnic area on Johns Road takes its name from the large concrete structures that were first introduced to control the river's flow. A few are still visible next to the pretty, spring-fed Otukaikino Creek. The pleasant picnic area is popular, with swimming in the creek, and opportunities to roam and explore the wildlife lakes. Ducks, geese, and swans are found in numbers around the creek, with Australasian coots in the wildlife lakes. 

Part of this walkway crosses private farmland. Do not disturb stock.

From the bridge and swimming area at the Groynes (toilets, gas barbecues, childrens' playground, dog park) follow either side of the creek downstream beneath the trees. The track soon turns to follow the new motorway bypass before bending away from the road, crossing farmland to Darroch Street. 

You can make a loop by continuing from Darroch Street along the Otukaikino Track back to the Groynes. 

ID 243

About this track

Added 1 June 2001 by matthewmatthew. 2 revisions, most recently 20 August 2018 by matthewmatthew.
76 views in the past year (6 per month).