Just a 20-minute drive north of Christchurch, Kaiapoi is a picturesque town on the banks of the mighty Waimakariri river and just waiting to be explored. Here’s Metropol’s picks of what to do in Kaiapoi.
ON THE WATER
Get amongst Kaiapoi’s aquatic activities. Try a river cruise on the replica paddle steamer, go at your own pace with a kayak or paddleboard hire, or, get the adrenaline pumping with a jet boat ride. If a slower pace is what you’re after, take or hire a fishing rod and park up on the riverbank for your chance to snag a trout or salmon.
The quaint town’s dining precinct has many hospitality offerings along the riverbank. Grab a coffee and bite to eat from hidden gem Red Eight café, or Park up at popular The Port and Eagle Brewpub for some craft beers brewed onsite – often accompanied by live music.
Peruse the local retail precinct and browse the local boutiques and stores stocking a wide range of apparel, gifts and more – many from local makers. Or, absorb some culture and learn about the area’s history at the Kaiapoi Museum and community art gallery, Art on the Quay.
Nori Table is Christchurch’s very own home of high-quality sushi and an excellent hangout spot – a must visit for all sushi lovers. First opening in 2019, Nori Table now has two locations: The Tannery in Woolston, and Williams Street, Kaiapoi.
Nori Table is the creation of owners and operators Jini and Ted who pride themselves on making sushi of the utmost quality, with all sushi being made fresh throughout the day using top quality ingredients delivered that morning.
Their range of rolls and nigiri are designed to have maximum flavour and visual impact with generous filling in each piece.
Couple that with an array of options, including vegetarian alternatives, and there’s something for every taste.
Enter Nori Table and you’ll find a beautifully modern restaurant with a stunning glass cabinet meticulously filled with expertly crafted sushi.
Fill your own plate with those pieces that call out to you, or grab an eco-friendly takeaway box for lunch on the go.
No pre-packed plastic trays here! Plus, children love being able to pick their favourites.
“It’s not only our customers that eat our sushi,” Jini says, “We eat it and our family eat it…which means it needs to be perfect.”
Nori Table is open seven days from 10am to 5pm, stop in to discover your new favourite sushi shop.
It’s crazy to think that the September 2010 earthquake that rocked the nation and brought so much destruction was a decade ago. The little town of Kaiapoi seemed to receive the short end of the stick, as one of the most damaged areas in the greater Canterbury region.
Current affairs crew Frank Films visited the community following the shakes and again a decade after the disaster.
Kaiapoi is the story of their return.
The short film has a running time of just over four minutes and within it, a journey spanning 10 years.
Arguably the first quake was Kaiapoi’s worst disaster to date, with one third of homes severely damaged, 1,048 were demolished and many community facilities lost.
Fast forward to present day and it would receive the award ‘little town, big success story’ (if there were such an award).
The film highlights the council’s new $12 million civic centre, the old railway station now converted into a café, the league club-built spec houses designed to raise funds for new clubrooms and Kaiapoi’s red-zone-turned-community space with sports fields, a BMX track and native planting.
But that’s not all!
The water-loving river town hopes to upgrade further with the inclusion of an aqua sports park featuring a man-made wave, white-water course and cable wakeboarding.
As the saying goes, ‘make the best of a bad situation’ and we think Kaiapoi did exactly that.
Less than half an hour drive away from Christchurch is the lovely river town of Kaiapoi. The location has a real water theme around its most popular activities. We look at all of the reasons you should check out this little town that’s only a hop, skip, and a jump away.
I’M LIKE A BIRD: If you’re a thrill seeker that prefers to be strapped into a seat instead of by your feet; Alpine Jet Thrills is the perfect activity for you. Soar down the Waimakariri River with a smile and the wind on your face.
DIVE ON IN: The Kaiapoi Aquatic Centre is open year-round, making it a great family friendly activity. The learners’ pool even features a waterfall into the toddlers’ pool.
PERCH UP: At Port & Eagle Brewpub you can enjoy great food, brews and company on the banks of the Kaiapoi River. The variety in the drinks list, not to mention their own Eagle Brewery tap beers, are reason enough to check this place out.
ART ON THE QUAY: Kaiapoi’s premium artspace showcases a new exhibition every six weeks from mostly local Waimakariri artists. So, if you’re into art, photography, ceramics, photography or anything in between; then this ever changing art space is for you.
We believe everyone deserves to find their soul mate… even your feet! Debbie from Shoe Therapy Kaiapoi has some eligible candidates to create the perfect pairing. Because she believes that a woman can do anything in the right pair of shoes and we tend to agree! We caught up with her to find out some of the latest winter must-haves
Blue suede shoes: Whilst they are not blue, make Elvis Presley proud by rocking some Mollini Careful Stretch Microsuede boots in black or navey.
The shoes feature a soft micro-suede upper and a sturdy block heel. A great option to wear all winter and pair with any outfit.
Jump around: If you want an easy-to-wear premium leather boot, then the ATA Kangaroo dress boot from EOS is for you.
Its simplicity with a touch of detailing in the upper ruche is what makes this shoe such a pleasant wear.
Good for the Sol (Sana): this beautiful boot is jampacked with intricate details to give it that unique look; croc embossed ivory leather, gold cap detailing on the toe and a thick block heel.
Add the Sammy Boot from Sol Sana to your wish list for winter.
Order online now – pay now or pay later with an Afterpay and Lay Buy option
With humble beginnings in Dave Gaughan’s home garage 10 years ago, Eagle Brewing grew organically, producing and supplying a unique range of craft beers to cafés, bars and restaurants across the country.
The brewery soon outgrew its premises, so Dave and his partner Marilyn took the opportunity to fulfil a lifelong dream of opening a brewpub.
The business has a strong environmental conscience and uses only the freshest, locally sourced ingredients and free-range meat to create every dish. From manuka smoked salmon to gourmet burgers, the extensive menu caters to all tastes and dietary requirements – including plenty of plant-based and gluten-free options.
New craft beer varieties have been introduced, alongside the range of refreshed favourites, including Whitecaps Hazy Pale, with big, complex aromas of citrus, tropical fruit, coconut milk, apricot and peaches, with hints of melon and fresh pear; the Raptor APA, a fruity, resinous, hoppy APA that packs a punch; Untamed Pilsner, a refreshing nutty pilsner; Alpine Pale Ale, with tropical fruit flavours, with a grapefruit pith bitterness hit and slight intrusion of caramel sweetness; EZ Island, a low alcohol mid-strength pilsner; Boardwalk Lager, a refreshing lager with a touch of fruity hoppiness; and Coalface Stout, a fruity, dark, earth-shattering dark beer.
Eagle Brewing NZ, 184 Williams Street. Phone 03 341 6849 and visit the website for more information or to shop online.
Every year Sandy Turner travels overseas to attend hairdressing workshops to keep her upskilled and au courant with hair trends. It’s why her boutique hair salon Shine, which opened 1 October this year at Riverview in the heart of the riverside town of Kaiapoi, has already attracted such a devoted following.
Sandy is a fully-qualified hairdresser with over 25 years of international and national training and experience, while colleague, senior stylist Bernie Colman, brings 21 years of hairdressing experience to the business. Sandy and Bernie, who’ve lived in North Canterbury for a number of years, once worked together in a Victoria Street salon for 10 years and when the opportunity arose to open her own salon in Kaiapoi, Sandy knew who she wanted beside her.
Shine Hairstylists boasts a unique look from other salons – there’s no trace of black here. The interior is a light, airy space of Scandinavian inspired theme and colours – making for the ultimate ambience for pampering and time out.
Another point of difference is Sandy’s commitment to operating completely by the book. “We’re all about training and have only qualified hairdressers on staff. Client wellbeing and satisfaction is paramount, and this extends to all our services, such as our complimentary consultations.”
Closed during the official Christmas period, Shine reopens 3 January 2020. Book a stunning colour or cut to flaunt over Yuletide; it’s time to shine those lights for all the world to see!
Find Shine Hairstylists at 178 Williams Street, Kaiapoi, phone 03 327 0991 or check out Facebook: www.facebook.com/sandyturnerstylist
A stunning new home at Kaiapoi’s Sovereign Palms was a recent build by NKR Builders. Situated on a corner site with commanding lake views opposite, the residence incorporates, but doesn’t integrate, a private home and a beauty salon, Specially You Beauty Therapy.
Two separate entrances lead to the house and the business. Though sharing space under the same roof as the house, the salon is a feature in itself as it has its own distinct look and feel.
Timber, stone, soft grey plasterwork and interior walls painted in earthy tones make for a harmonious, neutral theme. The house comprises three bedrooms and two bathrooms. The master bedroom has a generous ensuite which boasts a full-sized
stone bath with large window overlooking the garden.
High-studded ceilings add visual dimension, while a full surround-sound system built into the ceiling, plus ducted heat pumps in each room, as well as under-floor heating, deliver ultimate comfort and relaxation.
Vertical cedar finned walls (both interior and exterior) make a clever play of light and shade in the entranceway area. Overhead features, such as the entranceway’s slatted pergola and automatic roof over the outdoor dining area, are aesthetically pleasing yet practical.
The aggregate driveway, stonework chimney and feature wall make for a grand entrance, while the tiled-cut, coloured concrete patios invite year-round outdoor living.
NKR Builders owner and Managing Director, Nathan Roberts, says his clients were great to work with and the build was a seamless project.
Phone 027 950 8118 or visit www.nkr.co.nz.
If you’ve taken a trip out to Kaiapoi recently, you’ll know it’s transformed into a happening hub of activity. Delighted to be part of this refreshed township is the team at funky fashion boutique, Craze Fashion.
The moment you walk into Craze’s inviting new store, you are embraced by colour – and the beautiful aroma of candles! The fashion business has recently relocated to Kaiapoi’s attractive new courtyard of shops on the bank of the Kaiapoi River.
“Kaiapoi is becoming a destination,” says Sherie McKinlay, owner of Craze Fashion. And it is – an abundance of new businesses have opened their doors, with eateries, activities and more just a stone’s throw away.
Craze’s bigger, better premises sees stunning spring and summer styles from quality New Zealand and Australian labels all hanging in bright and beautiful colour co-ordination on their racks. There are beautiful designer pieces to suit all tastes and occasions, from capsule must-haves to statement dresses for Cup Day – with a curated collection of on-trend shoes and accessories to match!
Existing ranges have recently been extended with the move to a larger space – you can now browse more of your favourite designer pieces from the likes of Wish, Minx, Cooper Street and Federation.
There’s never been a better time to visit the region’s newest destination, and while you’re there, snap up a stylish ensemble for summer at Craze Fashion, who were ‘Highly Commended’ at this year’s Retail Awards!
Find the new store at 178 Williams Street, open seven days with late nights Thursday, or shop online at www.crazefashion.co.nz.