Oxford, a rural town on the Inland Scenic Route 72, is the perfect place to appreciate the mountain scenery and seasonal beauty of the North Canterbury Plains.

Named after the university city of Oxford, this farming town of 1,600 people, was a saw-milling centre until 1898. It was known to the Maori as Tawera meaning ‘hot blow’ due to the well-known Canterbury Nor’ Wester. They travelled here from the main Kaiapoi pa on food gathering expeditions and also crossed the Alps in search of the precious greenstone (jade).

Oxford is an ideal base for all manner of outdoor adventures, from soft, relaxing pursuits like golf, wine trailing, walking and horse riding, or more energetic, adrenalin rushes like hunting, fishing, tramping, mountain biking, kayaking, 4 wheel driving and jet boating.\

Inland from Oxford is the spectacular Waimakariri Gorge, where the river squeezes between steep rock walls. This is the transition point for the gruelling ‘Coast to Coast’ annual multi-sport event, where competitors finish the kayak leg. Jet boating is a major attraction here with thrills aplenty, as you negotiate the gorge and the ever-changing shallow shingle beds of the mighty river.

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The Oxford Forest is an ever-popular playground for locals and visitors. Formed walking tracks lead you through lush tawai and beech forests. Walking in the township is promoted with a Kiwi Walks brochure (available from local shops) and includes a climb up to the Millennium Lookout, which surveys the Canterbury Plains. Mear’s Track is an easy stroll in company with the ever-inquisitive fantail birds.

The Oxford Historical Museum opens on Sundays (or by arrangement) and gives a glimpse of the colonial past, including tractors, traction engines and an historic jailhouse. The main street has takeaways, hotel meals, an excellent cafe and a popular evening bistro bar.

Accommodation is plentiful with numerous B&B options, motels and camping and cabin facilities in the holiday park. Some of the farmstay options are quite unique. One offers horse riding from beginners to serious equestrian competitors. There are also offers of fly, nymph and spin fishing, with full instruction and tackle supplied. Salmon fishing is a popular feature in the December to April period.

Oxford’s strategic location near the Waimakariri and Ashley river gorges, its unsurpassed views of the mountains and its wide range of activities, make it a sought after holiday haven.

By | 2014-09-07T10:53:29+00:00 September 7th, 2014|Waimakariri District|0 Comments

About the Author:

Danny de Hek
Like most people, I have many passions, goals and dreams. As a self made business professional, my focus is helping my clients, associates and friends, build, strengthen and maintain their success. It would be fair to say I am in the full time business of building relationships and feel my purpose and skill is connecting the right people with the right people. My professional work tends to dominate my personal life, to the horror of my partner and business mentor. They both fully support me yet give me the hard truths when I need to hear this. I am always investing in my personal development to have a fulfilled work/life balance. I enjoy Target Shooting, Hiking & Mountain Biking to clear the brain and to take the guilt away when indulging at a quirky cafe for a cooked breakfast or brunch. My passion for travelling has seen me experience the world on many occasions, my next adventure will be doing the Tibet Rail Journey on the Qinghai-Tibet Railway from Lhasa to Golmud as long as they have Wi-Fi aboard ;-) I have many goals I still wish to achieve but am pretty chuffed that I have accomplished so many of these already.

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