Activities & Dining

The cottage is just a short drive (5km) to the Oxford township. Enjoy a walk up Mt Oxford or a short walk to the waterfall at the Ashley Gorge walking track, local horse trek, kayak or have a jetboat ride on the Waimakariri River. Try some delicious local Manuka honey. There are lovely boutique shops, cafes & restaurants. Pick up some great local products at the Oxford Farmers Market every Sunday morning. Oxford has an Art Gallery with new exhibitions each month show casing NZ Artists and a museum. 


Walks & Tramping Experience the beauty, native flora and birds in the Oxford foothills and Puketeraki Range, Mt Oxford, Glentui, Mt Richardson, Ashley Gorge. The Ryde Falls is another popular walk.

The Ashley Gorge Loop Track (45 mins return loop - 1.5km) has views across the Ashley River and Canterbury Plains. It has been extended to include a waterfall track (additional 2.1km) which ends at a 15m waterfall. This takes it to 2.5 hours return. Park at the Ashley Gorge Recreation Reserve and walk across bridge to the start of the track.  

Click here for a map showing numerous walks including Mears Track, Oxford Rural Walk, Eyre Walk, Oak Walk, Mountain View Walk, Millennium Lookout & Lookout Walk.

Oxford is one of only six in NZ to gain International Dark Sky Accreditation. We get some of the best naked eye views of the Milky Way!

Oxford Area School Observatory

Observation nights are organised, special events, night classes for adults and group visits.

Oxford Farmers Market Main St Sunday mornings. 

Kowhai - School of Riding (View Hill) Horse Treks 

Rubicon Valley Horse Treks (Springfield). 

Mountain bike riding on the Wharfdale track

Oxford Movies The Oxford Benevolent & Improvement League presents Oxford Movies at the Town Hall. 

Waimakariri Golf Course 18 holes. Thongcaster Road (03) 312 4339 Green fee players welcome

Oxford Speedway Carleton Rd, off South Eyre Rd. 

Oxford Tennis Courts A key can be picked up from the Oxford Service Centre 34 Main St Oxford.

Oxford Community Swimming Pool Burnett St. Open November to March. Outdoor heated pool 

Ashley Gorge River  - 8km from Oxford township. Have a splash in the river, a play on the park & have lunch at the picnic areas. Access to Ashley Gorge loop track.

The Riding Workshop - dressage simulator. 


Main Street Bakery & Cafe (The Sheffield Pie Shop's Oxford Cafe). Corner of Main St & Bay Rd. Open for breakfast and lunch. Great coffee and delicious pies!

Cruisy Days Diner Main St. 50's American style diner with a NZ twist, well worth a visit!

Indian Hut Main St. Dine in or take away. Lunch and dinner. 

Café 51 51 Main St (03) 3121 751 Award Winning NZ cuisine.  

Black Beech Bar Main St. Craft beers, wine, gourmet pizzas, tapas & desserts. 

Village Foods Bakery, Takeaway and Café 48 Main St (03) 312 4893 Burgers, fish & chips, pies, sushi, sandwiches, bread, coffee

Oxford Workingmen's Club and Bistro High St (03) 312 4411 Bistro & Takeaways. TAB. Pool Tables, Pokies. Bottle store for members (of any Working Men's Club in NZ). 

Challenge 102 Main St (03) 312 4509 Open 7 days. Chips, Burgers, Chicken, Pizzas, Muffins etc. Eat in or takeaway

The West Main St. Coffee, cold beers. Food to dine in or takeaway. Open through the day & evenings. 

Route 72 Cafe, Bar Emporium Cust Rd, Cust - about 20 minutes away 


The Sunroom - Bay Rd. Hairdressing, sunbed, ultrawave massage bed, spray tanning, tinting. Donna 03 312 3234

Main Divide Hair Lounge - 53a Main St 03 312 3311

Social Beauty owned and run by Lauren Blake qualified Therapist of 12+ years           021 124 5785 

Massage Therapist - Marina Vermaat, Relaxation, neuromuscular therapy, Swedish, Indian head massage, chair massage 03 312 4731 / 027 311 1140

Always polished - 10 Bay Rd.  Mani, pedi 021 304 708


Oxford Pharmacy & Gift Shop  Main St

Emma's at Oxford 53 Main St. For Books, Gifts, Clothing. 

NZULU Main St, International designer clothing and accessories.

Theas - Clothing and homeware

Cottage Crafts 37 Main St. Locally made crafts, gifts and delicious local Manuka Honey!

Oxford Farmers Market Main St Sunday mornings. 

Oxford Craft Market Oxford Town Hall, Main St. 1st Sunday of the Month (except January) 10am-2pm

Studio 8 021 0267 9073 Artist Amy Hoedemakers. Studio visits welcomed, by appointment.

Jannz Craft Store 027 272 3913 Craft supplies, wool quilting fabrics and patterns, needles etc 

Hand-made Candles by Emma home-based, large variety of lovely scented candles and wax melts for sale. Open Hours are by arrangement, Facebook @handmadecandlesbyemma

Oxford Service Centre / Library 34 Main St Council Services, Oxford’s Information Centre, free Internet facilities & WiFi 

Fresh Choice Supermarket Main St.  NZ Post & Lotto inside

Queenette Dairy Main St

Oxford Butchery 44 Main St

Oxford Budget Boutique Cnr Main St and Burnt Hill Rd (District Union Church Hall) 1-4pm Mon- Fri Second Hand Clothing - Proceeds to help the community

Time After Time Main St. Antiques and curiosities


The town of Rangiora is about 35 minutes away. There are plenty shops to stock up & some lovely boutique shops along High St. Here are some of the top picks......

Artizan Bakery & Cafe is a good place to stop for a coffee/lunch. There's a children's play room upstairs with giant lego pieces to stack while you enjoy a sit down!

Couplands is a great little bakery shop (near The Warehouse) with good value packaged breads, biscuits, pies (their Neapolitan (cream) slice comes highly recommended!)

Victoria Seafood Bar. On Victoria Street, this is a great fish & chip shop. Enjoy your fish & chips at Victoria Park just down the road.

Dudley Park Aquatic Centre

Indoor 8 lane 25m lane pool, 19.5m long learners pool, spa pool, children's leisure pool with toddler area & "river".

Skate park - just next to the pool.

The Warehouse Stocks a wide range of clothes, homewares, dvd's, music footwear, outdoors items, confectionery, toys etc.

Farmers Department Store on High St (clothing, homeware, toys etc)

Town Hall Cinemas Recently refurbished, two boutique cinemas (only 23 seats!) & a 93 seat cinema.

There are three supermarkets - New World, Pak n Save & Countdown.

Orana Wildlife Park 

(40 mins away via Old West Coast Rd & Chattertons Rd). Feed the giraffes. See the lions, tigers, NZ's only gorillas, zebras, cheetahs, rhinos, Tasmanian Devils, kiwi, farm animals, birds etc. (70 different species, refer to website). Hop on & off the free shuttle.

Willowbank Wildlife Reserve

5 minutes from the airport. Kiwi, birds, farm animals, deer, wallabies, monkeys, gibbons, lemurs etc. See website for more info.

Ski Fields

Six Ski Fields including Mount Hutt, Porter Heights/Porters (approx one hour drive) & Temple Basin

Akaroa is a day trip away.  Cruise on the Black Cat Cruises  & swim with the dolphins. 

Hanmer is approximately 2 hours away. Enjoy a relaxing soak at the Hanmer Springs hot pools.

Day Trips....

Castle Hill

Is only 45 minutes away - explore the ancient limestone formations, breathtaking scenery and mountain range. The rocks take on many shapes from tabletops to pillars and with imagination some appear as familiar animal shapes. You can wander around the rocks, and crawl through mini tunnels and arches probably chiseled by glaciers millions of years ago. The Dalai Lama has said it is the spiritual centre of the universe!


Take the TranzAlpine Train trip to Arthur's Pass or on to Greymouth. Or the Coastal Pacific train to Waipara, Kaikoura Blenheim & Picton.

Hot Air Ballooning

Experience the magic of hot air ballooning over the Canterbury plains with Aoraki Balloon Safaris, Methven. NZ Ballooning.

Some Christchurch Activities (50 minutes away)..........

Margaret Mahy Playground

This newly built multi million-dollar playground is a must for children! It's the largest in the Southern Hemisphere (3500 square meters) & jam-packed with fun equipment. There are flying foxes, interactive water play area (take spare clothes!), big slide, tall spiral slide, sand pit, trampolines, swings, see-saws, climbing net/web to name a few!!! Free entry.

International Antarctic Centre

Experience an arctic storm, see the Little Blue Penguins, ride in a Hagglund, 4D simulated cinema (Cruise & Happy Feet). Learn about life in modern day Antarctica & Scott Base.

Christchurch Tram

A good introduction/tour around the city centre combining history & sightseeing. See the changing face of Christchurch. The day ticket allows you to get on & off as much as you like (17 stops) - a great way to see the city. The knowledgeable drivers inform you about the city, its landmarks & local sights. (Children are free with a paying adult).

Canterbury Museum

A great rainy day activity with lots to see & do.

Botanic Gardens

Have a stroll around the gardens - a great picnic spot & free to enter. Shuttle Tours available (see website for tour cost).

Punting on the Avon

A relaxing way to see Christchurch from a different perspective.