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The Willows Wander, Canterbury

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The Willows WanderBeginner

Submitted by Corina Tomlinson

Info Info
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Trail Information






West Melton

Front country - easily accessible


Totally/mostly flat

Native bush
Plantation/exotic forest


0:45 (Slow)
0:35 (Moderate)
0:25 (Fast)



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The Willows is a new recreational area near West Melton, accessed by following Thompson’s Rd, off Old West Coast Rd.

After driving up and over a couple of stop banks, you will see a small carpark and map on the right hand side beside the start of the loop track. Handy to note there is a toilet available here. This area is dog friendly with many other dogs around so be sure to have a lead with you. Through the plantation section you will see hares so you might want to go on lead through here if your doggo loves a good chase.

The track is a shared walking and mountain bike track, with one recommended direction to travel in. It’s all newly gravelled, with signs pointing out the direction of the corners for the young riders. Very easy to follow, with lots of side off shoots if you wish to go off track and explore the riverside area. The track is generally flat as far as elevation goes, but has lots of fun little undulations which will challenge little legs on bikes, and add a bit of fun to the run.

The first section of the track is open then heads through a pine plantation then out into the open again with established native and exotic trees, and plenty of inquisitive Pīwakawaka. A handy wee track where you can take the kids along too, or do a couple of laps if you’re after more distance. So good to have a nice new track in this area.

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Easy Single Track: 100%

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  • Access

    The new recreation area The Willows is accessed off Thompson's Rd, off Old West Coast Rd, 9km from West Melton.

    Several parking areas available, including one right beside the start of the track.

    10 km

    10 minutes



  • Staying Safe


    Very patchy.

    Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map.

    None, BYO.

    Beware of the Waimakariri River area during very heavy rain. This track on the riverside of the flood banks.

    The usual trip hazards, branches sticking out of the track.

  • Post run indulgence

    Two Fat Possums
    745 Weedons Ross Road, West Melton Village Centre, West Melton 8140
    Warm cosy modern bar and restaurant with delicious menu, including wood fired pizzas, bar snacks, or also good for just a coffee. Great service and cater well to the kids too.

    Les Delices
    9/736 Weedons Ross Road, West Melton Village Centre, West Melton 8140
    Open Tuesday - Friday 7am - 4pm, Saturday 8am - 3pm. This authentic french bakery has the most spectacular display of delicate but well priced sweet treats, good coffee, and a damn fine steak and cheese pie.

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