Local Attractions

Kelceys Bush Conservation Reserve

A area of native bush, saved during the major fire in 1878.  Provides sanctuary to native flora and fauna.  Sanders Falls, a water fall set in a unique setting of ferns and tree.  Hunting permits available.

A community group “Friends of Kelceys Bush” work alongside DOC and ECAN to maintain walk tracks in this reserve.


Bird Watching in Kelceys Bush

The food chain, offered by the native flora attracts a wide variety of birds.

The forest dwellers, fern birds, flycatchers and tomtits. Wake up to the morning call of the bellbird in a restful environment.


Bird Colonies and Sanctuaries

Blue Penguin Colony at Oamaru is a 30 minute drive from Waimate.   October to February provides for the best viewing times. One is also able to view the birds home in the blue wing.

Sapphire tours run throughout the day from 10am till 5.00pm. They leave every hour on the hour with a maximum of 15 people on each tour. Self guided tours also available during the day.



Mount Cook

Major scenic attractions. Mount Cook – from Waimate one can follow the loop, through the Waitaki Valley, past the hydro lakes, Omarama, Twizel and onto Mount Cook Village.  Return via the Mckenzie country, Lake Tekapo, Fairlie, Pleasant Point, Timaru and back to Kelceys Bush.  The trip takes around six hours.  A pleasing day out.


Whitehorse Lookout

From the lookout, there are panoramic views of Waimate, the South Canterbury plains to the east and mountains to the west. The Whitehorse monument at the lookout was created by Mr & Mrs Norman Hayman in 1968. It comprises of 1220 white concrete slabs, as well as a 2.5 ton pre-cast head. It measures 60 foot high by 48 foot long. The lookout can be travelled to either by road or walkway.


Waimate Township

Situated only a 5 minute drive away.  The town has a number of small shops and a large “New World” supermarket.  Tearooms, take away outlets, hotels, banks, medical centre, pharmacy, museum and parks within the urban area.

An outdoor heated swimming pool and picture theatre.



Beach fishing is within 15-20 minutes drive from Waimate. An opportunity to catch Kahawai, Red Cod, Dogfish and Mullet along the beach. Whitebait, in season, can also be caught at the mouth of both the Waihao and Waitaki Rivers



Hunting is permitted in Kelceys Bush Conservation Reserve.

Two times per year there are Hunting Competitions in the District with the Wallaby Hunt in March and the Pest Quest in August.