Oxford Queenette Backpackers


What’s on in Oxford

There’s a lot to do and see in and around Oxford, from boutique shopping or enjoying a latte to pulling on those tramping boots and scaling Mt Oxford. We also have a weekly Farmer’s market every Sunday and a local craft market on the first Sunday of every month (except January) in the Town Hall.


Oxford Queenette Backpackers

Oxford is great boutique shopping destination. Emma’s at Oxford has an alluring range of books and gifts, and we also have an antique shop, a pharmacy, a supermarket and a local craft store that always manages to stock gifts for those difficult to buy for people.

Marmelade clothing has an interesting range of NZ-made and natural fibre clothes for men and women, and Maisey Blue stocks children’s clothing and gifts, and is also worth a browse. We also have a florist, a butcher, and a health food store called The Cottage Pantry.

We also have the local dairy in front of the Oxford Queenette Backpackers, selling everything from ice-cream to coffee and the small ingredients you might have forgotten.

Ribblesdale Gardens is a local plant nursery that also offers a ramble through their enchanting country gardens.

Dining and Cafes

Café 51 and the Main Street Bakery and Café are the two go-to places for a cup of coffee and cake or a sit down breakfast or lunch. There’s also a new Amreican-style diner and ice-cream parlour opening soon.

The Black Beech Wine Bar makes the best gourmet pizzas (takeaway or eat in) around, while the Rustic Country Hotel cater for pub lunches and dinners. Weekend dining is also available at the Oxford Workingmen’s Club in High Street, and take-aways are available from Village Foods Bakery and Takeaway, Food2Go at the Challenge Garage, the Rustic Country Hotel, and from the Workingmen’s Club.

Kids Activities

Oxford has a skate park, and a play park on Main Street for younger children. There are lots of easy walks that children can manage, and visits to the museum and pool can keep them entertained. Wee Dram Farm - http://www.weedramfarm.co.nz/fees--hours - is a fairly short Drive away and great Children’s entertainment – open Thursdays Fridays and Sundays in summer (September through to May inclusive). Nearby Cust has a quirky gift shop, several more cafes and eateries and teddy and fairy shop called Away with the Fairies.

Outdoor Activities

Walking and Tramping

Oxford Queenette Backpackers

Get a feel for the beauty of Oxford by walking one of the Let’s Walk Oxford routes. They are easy walks and suitable for a range of fitness levels. Download the map here

Alternatively head out to the Oxford Forest, or other nearby conservation areas and choose a gentle stroll to the Ryde Falls or something more challenging, like the summit of Mt Oxford. The Wharfedale Track is great for mountain biking too. More in the regine. Download the track brochure here

The Oxford community have also been working with the Department of Conservation to open some new walking tracks at the Ashley Gorge River. Park on the Oxford side of the Ashley Riverbridge, or in the Holiday Park parking, and walk across the bridge to the stairs at the start of the track.

Relax at the River

Oxford Queenette Backpackers

Access to the Ashley Gorge River is a quick 10-minutes by car. The river has lots of shallow sections and is popular with kids and adults alike. Walk downriver from the bridge and look out for the large rock on the left – and one of the best swimming holes in the river.

The Waimakariri River is also about 10 minutes by car. Take the turnoff after crossing the Waimakariri bridge and wind down the access road. This area tends to have more vehicle and boat traffic, but offers equally spectacular, but very different, scenery.


Try your hand at golf on the scenic 18-hole Waimakariri Gorge Golf Club. The sheltered greens overlooking the Waimakariri River. Find them here on Facebook

Horse Treks

Oxford Queenette Backpackers

There are a number of options for local horse treks. The Kowhai Riding School just outside of Oxford has treks and lessons for children and adults, catering for a range of abilities.

Rubicon Valley Horse Treks is further afield in Springfield (a 20-minute drive) but also offers a sheep herding and shearing experience and meet the farm animals – a perfect introduction to those wanting a taste of horse riding with other entertainment. There is also a jet boat ride option from the same outfit.

Other things to do

Oxford Queenette Backpackers

Browse through local art exhibits in the Arts in Oxford Gallery, have a mosey around the heritage jail building and stocks, or visit our fantastic little museum. In summer take a dip in the outdoor heated pool, or pop into the Fitness Centre for a work out to stay in shape on your travels.

Take time out for a touch of pampering and get your hair styled at Main Divide, or arrange a night time visit to the Oxford Area School’s observatory for a better appreciation of the night skies. A drive along the nearby scenic Lees Valley will also not disappoint.
​Visit Waimakariri to find out what's on