In contrast to the dry, open landscapes of most of Canterbury, the Ashley Gorge Reserve boasts native beech forests, extensive walking and biking trails and a winding river that is clean and easily accessible. The gorge area has its own climate, protected from the cold Christchurch easterlies that can come through, and is no stranger to warm, sunny summer days.
Stay at Ashley Gorge Holiday Park
Be welcomed with open arms by your hosts Jan and Dave Shelton. With a recent Qualmark star rating of 3+ stars, you have to see for yourself just how wonderful this park is. A number of bunk, cabin and camp spots are available, as well as kitchens, a laundry, showers and a camp store stocked with a variety of groceries and sweet treats.
The park sits close to the banks of the Ashley River, a perfect spot for swimming, tubing, fishing or kayaking (suitable for more experienced kayakers only).
Things to do in and around Ashley Gorge
It’s cool to Kayak
Seasoned kayakers flock to the Ashley River year after year because of her beautiful surroundings and a range of challenging rapids that change with the water flow. The Whitewater NZ website has more information about kayaking on the Ashley.
Walking and hiking heaven
There are many beautiful walks and hikes in and around Ashley Gorge and Glentui. Explore the native bushland and see if you can spot some of the local native bird species – fantail, bellbird, wood pigeon and more. The Glentui Waterfall Track is a popular walk, suitable for family groups. Check out the Department of Conservation for details on walks and hikes.
Enjoy the Ashley River
The Ashley River is great for swimming, with shallow spots for young children and deeper holes and diving spots for those more confident in the water. The river’s water flows at a steady rate and is regularly tested to ensure a clean, safe place for everyone to enjoy. If you have a fishing licence, enjoy a day or half day fishing for local species, including chinook salmon, rainbow trout and brown trout.
If you’re a lover of mountain biking, your favourite activity is permitted on the Blowhard Track. Feel the fresh forest air around you as you make your way up or down the track – but please be considerate of hikers as it is a shared track.
Shopping and sightseeing
A friendly village atmosphere, boutique shops, museums and delicious eateries can be found a short 10 minute drive away is the small town of Oxford, or follow historic Heritage Trails around Oxford, Carlton and Bennett’s Area. Christchurch city is only a 45-60 minute drive from Ashley Gorge Holiday Park.
It’s easy to see why people all around the country and around the world love the Ashley Gorge region, perfect for enjoying the nature of New Zealand while relaxing and unwinding in a safe and family-friendly area, and what better place to do it than at Ashley Gorge Kiwi Holiday Park! Have you experienced Ashley Gorge? We’d love to hear about your experience in a comment below.
Courtesy of Ashley Gorge Holiday Park