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Parks in Our District

The Ashburton District is lucky to have numerous parks, reserves, playgrounds and walkways that join into large open spaces catering for many different recreational activities. These areas help the social, environmental, physical and economic well-being of the District.

Our green spaces are used for a range of occasions such as:

  • Weddings
  • Trade shows
  • Family gatherings / celebrations
  • Circuses
  • ​School activities
  • Sports tournaments
  • ​Concerts

For more information about our parks and reserves, please contact Council's Opens Spaces team on (03) 307 7700.

The Ashburton Domain is 37 hectares of open space, lawns, gardens and recreational facilities. It is the jewel in Ashburton's crown. In  2020, Council adopted the Domain Development Plan, which covers improvements that will be made to the domain over the next 30 years.

The domain is located within walking distance from the Ashburton town centre and most of our schools. A wide range of sports are played at the domain, including cricket, football, bowls, tennis, hockey and croquet.

It has a paddling pool which is open during the warmer months. The paddling pool is covered with a shade sail to protect from the harsh summer sun.  Next to the paddling pool is a small playground for pre-schoolers.  We also have a track which can be used by small children learning to ride their bikes or older children on skateboards or roller skates.

The Ashburton Domain also has a playground with multiple pieces of equipment including children's favourites such as slides, swings, and an old fashioned tractor. There is also a fitness track around the domain with set exercises at different points.

View a map of the Ashburton Domain

Many events have taken place at the Ashburton Domain including:

  • ​Circuses
  • Fairs
  • School sports
  • Young Farmers Contest
  • Fonterra Big Day Out
  • Fun runs
  • Concerts

We are able to cater for most events big or small.

We have a beautiful rose garden which is often used for wedding ceremonies. The domain also has many mature exotic trees, some planted to mark extraordinary people or a time in history.  Our flower beds are always worth a visit with bedding plants planted for the spring and summer colours.

The domain also has a designated area for picnics with two barbecues and a kiosk offering hot water, this area can be hired for a fee. See our Open Spaces fees and charges schedule.

The domain can be accessed from State highway 1 whether you are travelling north or south.

The Tinwald Domain is a hidden treasure located northwest of Tinwald off State Highway 1.  It is mostly visited by picnickers because of its picturesque manmade lake surrounded by large oak trees.  The original picnic shelter was built in 1917 and is still in use today.

The entrance to the lake is marked with two large oak trees these were planted for the visit of the Duke and Duchess of York (later to be crowned King George V and Queen Mary) in 1901.

The Tinwald domain is 4 hectares of open space suitable for cycling and rugby, there is also a small children's playground and caravan park facilities.

Other attractions at the Tinwald Domain include the Plains Historical and Vintage Railway, the Lynn Woodworking Museum, the Vintage Car Club, tennis courts, cycle challenge track and miniature railway.

Argyle Park is situated on Middle Road at the Farm Road end.  This park has playground equipment as well as large open green space.  Football and softball is played at Argyle Park.  The area is also an ideal place for dog walkers.  Local schools use Argyle Park for their cross country runs.

The Ashburton / Hakatere River Trail is an easy walk or cycle which follows the Ashburton River from Melrose Road to the sea at Hakatere. The trail meanders through riverside willow and past quiet farmland.  At the river mouth the trail begins at the upper picnic area overlooking the river flats near the Hakatere Huts.  Along the trail there are several access points allowing sections of the trail to be enjoyed individually.

View a map of the Ashburton - Hakatere River Trail

The Awa Awa Rata Reserve is a popular picnic area and an ideal day trip destination.

It is situated at the end of McLennens Bush Road at the foot of the Mt Hutt Range.  It is bounded on the North West by the Pudding Hill Scenic Reserve.

The reserve is 14km from Methven and 2km from the Mt Hutt ski field turnoff and is widely known for its spring display of rhododendrons.  These shrubs were first planted in 1968 in the picnic ground and have continued being planted and maintained by the Awa Awa Rata Reserve Society (Inc.).  Backed by virgin native bush on the hillsides, the rhododendrons are a brilliant sight in the late spring.

The Reserve is most popular in the warmer months.  The native bush provides two walking tracks which lead to either Scott's Saddle or the ridge.  The reserve gives magnificent views across the Canterbury Plains.

Our neighbourhood parks contribute to positive neighbourhood identity and provide the community with safe green areas for children to play.  They provide an area of green space that can be accessed by all members of the community. The parks will often have a playground for children to enjoy and seating so that parks visitors can relax and enjoy the open space.

The Ashburton Business Estate was set up for the sole purpose of attracting local businesses to a purpose built area.  The by-product of this area is the walking path which surrounds it and the natives planted on the bunds.  The area is ideal for walkers and cyclists to enjoy the peace and quiet.

The Harris Scientific Reserve Kanuka Sanctuary (located on Lovett's Rd, Winslow) protects one of the last dry land Kanuka plantings in Canterbury.  Forest and Bird were granted a 'license to occupy' by the Ashburton District Council on condition a trust was set up to manage the site.  The total area of 11ha is now managed by the Ashburton Community Conservation Trust; the Official Opening took place in March 2010.

In 2009/10 a total of 1200 Kanuka, Coprosma, Muehlenbecia and Melicytus were planted in two days by 105 members of the public.

Around 300 locals came together in 2011 and 2012 to plant Kanuka and other species in conjunction with the 2010 Rugby World Cup.

To see regulations regarding Council's parks and open spaces, see our Open Spaces Bylaw.

Smoke Free NZ LogoAs a Council, we are committed to promoting positive health choices and outcomes for our community. We believe the people of our district have a right to be able to enjoy facilities provided by Council in a smoke-free environment.

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