Waihao river Samuel Mann

Waihao River Walkway

Waihao River Walkway runs alongside the south bank of the Waihao River, between the popular Black Hole swimming hole and McCulloch’s Bridge.

The willow tree-cloaked walkway offers views of the nearby limestone cliffs and unique limestone outcrops. Brown trout and eels can be found in the river and there is abundant birdlife along the walkway.

The nearby Arno Basin was once a swamp from which significant quantities of Moa bones were removed.

Sections of this walkway cross private land and visitors are asked to stick to the marked route, respect all signposted conditions of access and follow the New Zealand Outdoor Access Code.


Waihao River Walkway can be accessed from the Black Hole camping area off Mt Harris Road in the west, 13km southwest of Waimate and from Waikakahi Valley Road at the east end.

Conditions and closures

To find out more about conditions of access on this walkway (eg, access with bikes, dogs or horses) and any temporary or seasonal closures, contact the Waimate District Council or visit the walks page on its website.

At a glance

Walking time: 45 minutes one way
Length: 1.8km one way
Created: 10 September 2000
Controlling authority: Waimate District Council

For more information about this walkway and the surrounding area, read the Waihao River Walkway brochure or visit the Waimate Walks and Hikes webpage.

Photo credit: Samuel Mann