A 45-minute drive from West Christchurch, Oxford is located near the Canterbury foothills and is home to tall mountain ranges, gushing rivers, and scenic nature trails. With adventure activities like mountain biking, fishing, jet boating, and swimming, Oxford is the place to go to for an adrenalin rush with a backdrop of a fabulous landscape. It is as close as one can get to an English countryside without actually driving to one!
Known as the ‘Best Little Town’ in New Zealand, Oxford hosts a farmer’s market every Sunday, from 9am to 12pm, selling the season’s freshest produce. You’ll find freshly grown pumpkins, sweet corn kernels, carrots, red onions, and more. Food stalls display a sumptuous feast with traditional sausages, fresh loaves of bread, parsley pies, whitebait fritters, oysters, and a never ending supply of coffee made from freshly ground beans.
One of Oxford’s ‘must visit’ cafes is Café 51 on Main Street, and it is always bustling with patrons no matter the time of day. Built in a historic cottage-style building, it has a quaint and elegant charm, making this the perfect spot for a morning or afternoon tea, lunch, or dinner by candlelight. Stop over by the café between your explorations of Oxford and unwind either at the indoor or outdoor seating areas.
After you have had your fill at Café 51, you can walk to Arts In Oxford, a gallery that displays and sells the works of local artists, including traditional wares, handicrafts, and jewellery. Wilhelmina’s is another of Oxford’s many treasure troves of artistic brilliance and has a variety of jewellery, paintings, and mosaics created by artist Wilma Scarlett, along with husband Greg’s creations. Another famous nook is Emma’s At Oxford, owned by Emma Walker, which sells books and gourmet delights. It is one of the most frequented shops in town.
The drive to Oxford from Chirstchurch is mesmerising, dotted with mountains along the Inland Scenic Route 72. With such a beautiful route, the drive to Oxford will have you captivated before you even reach the town. So, call your favourite people and plan a road trip worth remembering. Opt for a car rental from Christchurch airport and choose a car that suits you best to make the most of your journey.