Eco-explorers will want to discover the aspiring Waitaki Whitestone Geopark, a story of New Zealand land that reveals limestone landscapes, fossils of an ancient marine world, extinct volcanoes, braided rivers, and major awe-inspiring landforms.
The Valley is popular for its many walks including Benmore Track, a short, sharp climb that zigzags up to a magnificent view of Mt Cook, and Kurow Hill, a steep track that blessedly has armchairs positioned along the way.
Trotters Gorge, protected as a scenic reserve, is a popular day trip with several walking tracks to explore, a picnic area and a camping ground. Stunning limestone cliffs command the scenery and the gorge itself is a thing of botanical beauty, lush with native bush from kowhai to kanuka.
There’s also the tussock, rivers, forests, and valuable wetlands of Ahuriri Conservation Park to traverse either by foot, bike, or horseback. Then there’s the mountainous high country, scree slopes, and shrubland to explore while four wheel driving, tramping, and fishing through Oteake Conservation Park.
From Moeraki beach, peppered with mysterious must-see boulders formed over a million years ago, to Bushy Beach where you can spy yellow-eyed penguins and seals coming ashore, there are plenty of places to soak up a good dose of bio-diversity in the Waitaki District.