Walking the Ashley Gorge Loop Track
Image: DOC


Pack your togs and picnic for a trip to Ashley Gorge and discover this new walking track developed and maintained by local volunteers. Nestled in the foothills of the southern Alps, the walk provides great views over the Canterbury Plains.
  • The easy walk passes through an interesting combination of established beech/podocarp forest and regenerating bush as a result of a major fire in the 1930s which left some pockets of forest standing.  Can you see the difference?
  • The local volunteers also run a great programme to trap stoats, rats and possums to protect the native wildlife. You might see some traps and also great birdlife as a result of the trapping.   
  • The team has just finished and new track that branches off the loop track to a waterfall (extra 1 hr 30 min return).
  • Cool down with a swim in the Ashley Gorge afterwards.

Get ready

Download the adventure map(PDF, 4,609K) and check out what you can do.

Getting there: Ashley Gorge Recreation Reserve is on the road between Oxford and Loburn. You can access the reserve from either Oxford/Tram Road or Rangiora. 

Know before you go:

  • Easy flat walk for young and old, but there are a series of steps from the road by the bridge to the track.
  • Park in the Ashley Gorge Reserve and follow the track across the bridge to the steps.
  • Toilets, picnic amenities and a shop for drinks and ice-creams are all at the reserve. There is also a camping holiday park if you wish to stay overnight.
  • Dogs very welcome on a leash on both the track and the picnic area.

What to bring: DOC Short Walks gear list

Go and explore

Look out for the Guardian Post when you get there. On it you'll find a special code word about the Ashley Gorge Reserve Advisory Group – who developed and look after this track. Write it down.

Claim your reward

Tell us the Ashley Rakahuri Gorge code word to receive a Kiwi Guardians certificate and medal for this adventure.

Put the medal on your back pack or pencil case to show everyone the adventure you've had.

Each Kiwi Guardians place has a different medal – see how many you can collect.

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