Washpen Falls Adventure Walk

A pocket of Paradise


Described as ‘a pocket of paradise where moa once roamed’, Washpen Falls is a conservation project that started 80 million years ago with a major volcanic blow. The eruption created a deep canyon and gorges at Washpen Creek at the southern end of the Malvern Hills.  

The canyon forest was burnt off in the early part of last century in order to farm the land. Sixty years later native trees are regenerating all over the land including an extraordinary number of regenerating southern rata - Washpen Falls is number 5 on the New Zealand rata trail, what a sight when in flower. 

The Track:

This fascinating track starts at Old Washpen Falls Woolshed and takes you through the Volcanic Canyon reserve filled with lush native bush and wonderful birdlife. This unspoilt area is easily accessed via sympathetically constructed tracks, stairs and board walks.

At the top of the climb you are rewarded with fabulous views across the Canterbury Plains to the sea. As you descend back down the canyon the track takes you alongside sparkling spring-fed creeks and stunning waterfalls, creating the longest tributary of the Hororata river.

A rustic covered shelter beside the lake blends beautifully with the surroundings. This is an ideal spot for a rest.


A small maintenance fee is charged for the upkeep of the walking tracks and includes a Track Information Guide and use of walking sticks etc.

$10.00 per adult / $5.00 per child (under 15)

Dogs are not permitted on the property.


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  • 590 Washpen Road,
    Darfield, RD2
    Canterbury 7572