Last Updated: 19th Apr 2024


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Amberley Beach, Wetlands Walkway to Waipara River Reserve

Amberley, Canterbury

Submitted by Lynette ELFICK

Last Updated: 19th Apr 2024


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I've done it Done


Grunt Factor: 5 ?

Gnarl Factor: 8 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Urban fringe


Totally/mostly flat

Dog Friendly

Native bush





Run Makeup


Sealed Road

Gravel Road

Farm Road / 4WD Track

Easy Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +0.5%

Average Downhill Gradient: -0.5%


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Estimated Times to Run







From the car park head north along the sea wall past the beach signs. You will travel along some pretty crumbly sections with the occasional park bench dotted around, after about 500m, you will see a gravel road coming up, take a left turn down onto the gravel road.

Just before the one lane bridge turn left onto the wetlands track, follow this, then left turn at the boardwalk intersection and follow along the back of the golf course.

Keep running till you pop out near the club building, cross the road and follow a single track on the right-hand side of the gravel access road and the beach under the trees. Keep going until you come to the end of the track at the Waipara River mouth reserve, then head down onto the beach run for a bit then turn left pick up one of the 4x4 trails, and loop back to the beach path and back to the car park.

This is a quiet little location off SH1, and on a bluebird day, you can take in views right up the coast and back to Banks peninsula. The beach is composed of river cobble and looks very dramatic against the landscape when you look north towards the Waipara area, and the sound of the waves is amazing to hear on a rough day.

The Wetlands are slowly being converted into native bush by local land care groups that surround the local golf club, while the Waipara river mouth is an important reserve for native foods and is also in the process of regeneration by the Hurinui council.

If you know of any public toilets near the trail start or on the route, please login and then let us know so we can update this section.

Small reserve for parking (approx 7-9 vehicles) but there is room back down the road if it becomes crowded. Area is a bit isolated so lock car and keep valuables out of sight.

5 km

5 minutes




Generally good.

Windproof jacket, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map

There are camping grounds and public amenities on South Crescent, approx 200 meters from the car park, but no other taps or water access along the trail, so bring your own supplies.

This Track follows along the sea wall and beach, and can be prone to flooding after rain or super high tides.
The beach is composed of river cobble and shingle, and can be uneven, so 'ankles beware'.
The Wetlands section is a mixture of single path and board walks, further up the Waipara River reserve has many criss-crossing 4 x 4 and single tracks which can be spectacularly muddy and boggy after rain.

The beach is mainly river stones and shingle, so running along the single track at the edge of the pines is far more enjoyable. Watch out for the odd quad bike racing up and down, and as you pass the Amberley Golf course watch out for low flying golf balls as some of the bunkers follow close by the trail.

Trail Legend

Tony Sharpe

Tony Sharpe

has completed Amberley Beach, Wetlands Walkway to Waipara River Reserve once in the last year.

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