A breath of fresh air.
The family connection and legacy of telling the story of this land, has allowed a depth of knowledge of how Washpen Falls was created. Often described as 'a pocket of paradise where moa once roamed’, Washpen Falls was created 80 million years ago with a major volcanic blow. This ancient eruption created the deep canyon and gorges at Washpen Creek, which you can find located at the southern end of the Malvern Hills.
In order to farm the land, the canyon forest was burnt off in the early part of the last century. However, sixty years later, after many years of conservation and biodiversity, there are native trees regenerating all over the land. Among these are many incredible Southern Rata, with Washpen Falls finding its place at number 5 on the New Zealand rata trail. A sight not to be missed when in flower.
80 kilometres West of Christchurch, you will find Windwhistle, a small farming settlement in the Selwyn District of New Zealand. It’s located on State Highway 77 near the iconic Rakaia Gorge, 20 kilometres north of the vibrant Methven township and a short 20-minute drive to the Mt Hutt access road. Windwhistle's name comes from the way the wind sounds when the northwest wind blows.
Washpen Falls is centrally located for travellers headed to or from Christchurch. With a direct run-through to Christchurch domestic and international Airports and the enriched Christchurch City Culture scene one hour away.
Easy access to the West Coast and with Washpen Falls sitting on the stunning Scenic Inland Route heading to Lake Tekapo and beyond down South, this private destination is waiting to be discovered.
The walking track starts at Old Washpen Falls Woolshed. Here you may be greeted by someone from the family. You can ask questions, prepare for the walk and pay the fee to walk the property.
To set off, you head across to the entrance to the Volcanic Canyon Reserve to begin your walk which consists of tracks, stairs and boardwalks. Along the way, you will be spoilt with lush native bush, views across the Canterbury Plains to the sea and stunning birdsong. Rustic farming shelters add to the history of our land and create ideal spots for a picnic or a rest. 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.
Key things to note:
The walk will take around 2 hours and is a loop track.
You are able to walk it all year round except for in extreme weather.
Warm clothing and sturdy suitable walking shoes are required.
Unfortunately, the track is not suitable for prams.
Dogs are not permitted.
In wet weather the track can be slippery, so please consider this if it has been wet in the days prior to your visit.
The last entry to the track is at 4 pm.
Track guides are available from the Woolshed.
A small maintenance fee is charged for the upkeep of the walking tracks.
These charges are:
$10.00 per adult / $5.00 per child (under 15)
Eftpos is not available.
Are dogs welcome on the property or track?
- No. Unfortunately, as Washpen Falls is a working farm, animals are not permitted on the property.
Do you accept prepayment for group bookings?
- Yes. If you are booking for a group and would prefer to pay the visiting fee prior to your arrival, please get in touch here.
“Loved the walk through the ever changing environment. The various native trees, the bird life, the freshness and purity of the water and streams. Well kept track a must to see in this area."