The following casual walks (and slightly longer options) are available in the Amberley & Leithfield area:

  • Amberley Beach Walkway
  • Amberley Domain Walkway & Picnic Area
  • Kowai River Walk
  • Mt Grey Walks:
    • Grey River Nature Trail
    • Mt Grey (Maukatere) Track
    • Red Beech Route

Amberley Beach Walkway

Duration of walk: 20 minutes / 2kms approx
How to get there: Turn down Amberley Beach Road, off State Highway 1 (opposite Delhaven Motels). Drive until you reach the houses at Amberley Beach. Take your first left Grierson Ave and follow this road until it merges into Golf Links Road. The walkway is then on your left, not far from the Amberley Golf Course.
Intensity:  DOC125b-Whchair-assist-bw Small
Description of walk: The Amberley Lions helped to build this walkway, stages 1 & 2 of 3 are now completed. The walkway is wheelchair and pushchair friendly as the ground is flat and easy to walk.

Stage 1 - Lagoon Loop was constructed during 2004/2005. Includes a carparking area.

Stage 2 - Golf Links Loop was completed during 2006. This stage is approximately 850 metres long and includes 70 metres of boardwalk.

Combined stages 1 and 2 make a figure "8" and total an ideal walk or run of about 2kms.

Stage 3 - is yet to be completed but will be called the Ti Kouka Wetlands Link and it will take you through to the Ti Kouka Wetland area.

Facilities available: car parking area
Important information: wheelchair and pushchair friendly

Amberley Domain Walkway & Picnic Area

Duration of walk: 20 minutes
How to get there: From State Highway 1 turn onto Douglas Road (on your left if travelling north), continue past Amberley Primary School (which is on your left). You will then find the entrance to the Amberley Domain (also on your left), drive into the domain. 
Intensity: DOC125b-Whchair-assist-bw Small
Description of walk: This is another project completed by the Amberley Lions. Initially starting with a picnic area it quickly expanded into incorporating a recreational walkway.

The walkway circumnavigates the Amberley Domain and Amberley Primary School and in effect includes three new features
* the picnic area
* the park fronting the council yard
* the Lawcocks Road Walkway/Boardwalk

This easy gentle walk only takes about 20 minutes and can be enjoyed by all. 

Facilities available: picnic area includes two tables and two seats. 

Kowai River Walk

Duration of walk: 2-3 hours return to Leithfield Beach car park
How to get there: Start location: beside the Kowai River Bridge, Leithfield (35kms north of Christchurch) 
Intensity: DOC125b-Whchair-assist-bw Small
Description of walk: An attractive and locally made walk leading from Leithfield down the Kowai River to the coastal lagoon and beach spit. Plenty of bird life. Then a short stroll along the beach to the Leithfield Beach car park. 
Facilities available: car parking area 
Important information: wheelchair and pushchair friendly 


Covering 1,700 hectares, the forest has two picturesque picnic areas at little Lake Janet and the Grey River, both with picnic tables and toilets. Look out for native clematis vines with their eye-catching treetop display of white flowers during spring. There is a variety of native bird life including piwakawaka(fantail), korimako (bellbird), silvereye, and tititipounamu (rifleman). Introduced species present include chaffinch, red poll, blackbird and song thrush.

How to get there:
Mt Grey/Maukatere Forest is 15kms east of Amberley. At Amberley take Douglas Road. This road branches off the main road to Broomfield becoming Cramptons Bush Road after the Brodies Road intersection.

Vehicle access is limited to forest roads between Lake Janet and the Grey River Picnic Area. Watch for heavy vehicles and logging trucks through these privately owned forests. Please call NZ Private Fire 0274 809 279 prior to visiting the area as the gate may be closed at any time due to extreme fire danger for safety reasons.

Grey River Nature Trail

Duration of walk: 1 hour
Intensity:  A114b-Walking-Track-bw Small
Description of walk: Beginning at the northern end of Grey River Picnic Area, this loop-trail is ideal for families. A fine example of the diversity of the native bush on the Canterbury Plains, the walk passes through mixed tawhai/podocarp forest, including black beech/tawhai, rimu, kahikatea and matai.

Of particular interest are the oyster shells embedded in a bank 700 metres above sea level, thought to be 10-20 million years old, indicating where the coastline was at that time. Please leave for all to enjoy.

Close by is a cave which was created by water erosion.

Mt Grey (Maukatere) Track

Duration of walk: 2-3 hours
Intensity: A114b-Walking-Track-bw Small
Description of walk:

From the north end of the Grey River Picnic area, the track climbs steadily through native bush and areas of pine, opening to tussock and the summit of Mt Grey/Maukatere (934m). Ten minutes after leaving the picnic area a short track on the left (not signposted) leads to the gorge pools.

Mt Grey is named after Sir George Grey, Governor and Premier of New Zealand between 1845 and 1879. Maori named the mountain "Maukatere" (floating mountain) because of the spirits of the dead were believed to leave from the summit on the long journey to Cape Reinga.

There are superb panoramic views of the Canterbury Plains.

Red Beech Route

Duration of walk: 3-5 hours one way
Intensity: A114b-Walking-Track-bw Small
Description of walk:

This route descends from the summit of Mt Grey/Maukatere through tussock grasslands, tall red beech/tawhai and mountain beech/tawhai, and Hall's totara to the Grey River Picnic Area.

Important Information:  

 Beware of wasps on this track in summer.