Waimate District council
Read More ∨

Waimate – nestled at the foot of the rolling Hunters Hills, comes close to being a perfect example of a New Zealand rural town. Ideally located in the centre of the south, it is halfway between Christchurch, Dunedin. Waimate is a convenient gateway to the Waitaki Lakes and to the spectacular MacKenzie Basin and provides one of the shortest routes to Queenstown. 

Originally known as 'Te Waimatemate' or slow moving water, Waimate was born from the meeting of Chief Te Huruhuru and Michael Studholme (first settler) in 1854. Waimate has not forgotten its earliest European residents, the historic thatched ‘cuddy’ built by Studholme in 1854 is still in existence.  On the hills behind the town is a unique tribute to the role played by the Clydesdale horse in the development of the rich farm lands that stretch away into the distance – the White Horse monument.

An Edwardian heritage

The town itself has wide spacious streets, a valued collection of Edwardian buildings, including several churches of historic importance.  The Waimate Historical Museum (housed in the old Waimate courthouse), has many wonderful displays including local history and Maori heritage telling the stories of Waimate and its growth. 

Waimate is known for a number of unique features including holding the rare distinction of being one of the few places in NZ where wallabies have taken up residence. Introduced from Australia in the late 1860’s and known as 'Bennett's Wallabies', numbers have increased dramatically. These nocturnal marsupials have adapted well to the Waimate environment and can be found in wildlife parks throughout the district. They have flourished here and are the largest found in New Zealand.You can see them in wildlife parks in the district or if hunting is your sport there is ample opportunity for this too.

Waimate is also famed for its famous strawberries and raspberries which have been grown in the district since late 1880’s. You can buy them in season from a number of road side stalls, or you can pick your own - can’t get fresher than that!  

An ideal midway stopping point

Ideally located midway between Christchurch, Dunedin and Queenstown, Waimate is the second South Island location to become Motorhome Friendly. Its wide streets are ideal for parking up as well as exploring on foot. Check out the Information Centre for self-guiding tours to discover the history of the town and its historic attractions. As a base for exploring the attractions of nearby districts, take your pick of coasts, alpine scenery and wonderful lake vistas.

For Local Activities see the above Directory Tab.

Waimate District council Telephone: 03 689 7771

Featured Event:

STAY LONGER DO MORE - National Rally Feb 2017

Stay Longer Do More:

Rally convenor Allan James and his combined Nelson-Tasman/West Coast organising team have adopted the theme ‘Stay Longer, Do More’ and are promoting a series of major events in the top of south in the lead-up to the NZMCA’s biggest gathering of the year.

A whole slew of exciting events with low-cost organised parking will be held right up to the National Rally: Plan your holidays to the region now.


23 - 27 February 2017; Entertainment will be aplenty at the 2017 National Rally

*(Click on the tiles for full information)


27 - 30 January 2017; For lovers of country music, the popular Music In The Mountains starts off the year on the 27th January.


3 - 6 Feburary; More music awaits when the Buller Gorge Country Music Festival opens its doors on 3rd February. !!! CHANGE OF VENUE!!! New location; Carters Beach Hall 31 Marine Parade, Carters Beach Westport.


11 - 12 February; Foodies and Wine connoisseurs will have their fill of culinary delights with the two-day Marlborough Wine & Food Festival which starts 11th February


18-19 February; If two days of food and wine is not enough, members can head out to the Nelson Wine + Food Festival for another two days starting on the 18th of February. 

Golden Bay Safaris:              

6 – 20 February; Starting in Motueka, explore the Golden Bay region on the way to the NZMCA National Rally

1 – 17 March; An opportunity to explore the Golden Bay region after the National Rally. Starting in Motueka.

24th February Bike Safari at the National Rally

Full details: www.mhftowns.com

All Roads Lead to Nelson in 2017:Watch the video    



Find out more about this event
Featured Story:

Remembering pioneering Kiwi Margaret Cruickshank

All I remember of Margaret Cruickshank was from Intermediate school, that she was the first female New Zealand doctor. When we visited Waimate and came upon her statue at Seddon Park, a local who was there also enjoying the afternoon sunshine with her grand-kids casually mentioned that the statue was one of only four statues of women in the country.

I couldn't decide whether to be shocked at the gender disparity or to be ashamed that I didn't know anything about this historical personage who must have done something remarkable to deserve this rare honour.

So I looked it up (ahh, the powers of accessible technology) and this is from nzhistory.net

Margaret accepted a position as assistant to Dr H. C. Barclay of Waimate, and on3 Ma

Find out more about this story