recreation reserves and information on other places to enjoy in Selwyn's great outdoors

Selwyn is home to many great spots for walking, tramping, camping and biking, including many reserves and trails and spectacular nature to visit


Te Waihora Lake Ellesmere

Australasian Bittern taking flightTe Waihora (Lake Ellesmere) is one of New Zealand's most important wetland ecosystems. It is an area of cultural, natural, historic, recreational and economic importance to many people. The Lake is of outstanding cultural significance to Ngāi Tahu, being a major source of mahinga kai (food gathering), and an important source of mana. The importance of Te Waihora is recognised in a National Water Conservation Order, which lists the Lake's outstanding features as wildlife habitat, habitat for indigenous wetland vegetation and fish, and significance in relation to tikanga Māori in respect of Ngāi Tahu history, mahinga kai and customary fisheries.

The lake is managed by the Te Waihora Co-Governance Group.The Te Waihora Co-Governance agreement was signed on the 1 July 2016 and updated in 2019 when the Department of Conservation became party to the agreement. The group comprises of  Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, Environment Canterbury, Selwyn District Council, Christchurch City Council and the Department of Conservation.

Lake Coleridge

Lake-col4Lake Coleridge is 17 km long, 3 km wide, and less than 2 hours from Christchurch by car. It's the perfect retreat to "get away from it all" and taste the peace and beauty of the high country. As well as being a spectacular holiday, fishing and boating location, Coleridge's sparkling blue waters supply electricity to the people of Selwyn and beyond.

This discreetly-sited 90 year old hydro station does not require the large workforce of old and, as a result, Coleridge village, once occupied by the families, is now a tranquil haven of holiday and retirement homes.

Whether you are a day-tripper or a visitor from abroad, Coleridge has something for you, ranging from walks and views, to luxury accommodation and top class wining and dining.

Recreation Reserves

Along with our many parks and sports grounds Selwyn hosts four Council dedicated recreation reserves with camping, fishing, picnic spots. Find out more on what's available at Chamberlains Ford Recreation Reserve, Coes Ford Recreation Reserve, Lakeside Domain, Whitecliffs Domain.

an open tent in a campground with two women lying inside talking

Walking, hiking and biking

For a great list of walking, hiking and cycling trails check out our list on and find some other great places to visit around the district too.A view from behind of four cyclists cycling along the Little River Rail Trail next to Te Waihora