While you’re here, you won’t want to miss –
Hurunui is a rural district just north of Christchurch on the east coast of the South Island. You could easily spend a week here exploring all the small towns and their delicious local fare. The many vineyards dotted throughout the Waipara Valley have brought tourists to this area, as has the stunning scenery.
The warmer months are the best time to visit and enjoy the plentiful outdoor activities, but winter also has a range of fun and relaxing things to do in Hurunui – keep reading to find out more about the Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa!
Hanmer Springs is a high-country alpine village, and a popular vacation destination all year round. The village offers a range of thermal pools and spas, as well as restaurants, cafés, shopping and even nearby forest walks.
In winter, you can either go skiing, relax in hot pool heaven with idyllic views of the surrounding snow-capped Southern Alps, or take time out with a therapeutic massage or beauty treatment.
In spring or summer head out into the fresh air with the Woodland Walk, Conical Hill Walk or Waterfall Track – all 1 to 2½ hour strolls in Hanmer Forest Park.
St James Walkway
If you prefer a more lengthy hiking excursion, the St James Walkway is a 5-day hike from Lewis Pass to Boyle Village. Run by the Department of Conservation (DOC), it’s about 40 miles long and can be hiked at a leisurely pace.
There are a series of huts along the way you can stay in as you traverse through native bush, cross suspension bridges over rushing rivers and marvel at the beautiful scenery. The walk is suitable for both beginners and more experienced walkers, but for safety’s sake, it shouldn’t be undertaken in winter or with less than 4 people in the group.
If you’re interested in sampling a fine vintage from one of New Zealand’s premier wine districts, you’ll enjoy one of the lesser known things to do in Hurunui – a visit to the Waipara Valley.
Located in the Teviotdale hills, the impressive scenery is only part of this area’s attraction. The other is the wide range of wines it produces: Riesling, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and more. There are over 20 wineries in the Waipara Valley. Why not include a night’s stay at a comfortable bed & breakfast, and enjoy a wine trail excursion and a relaxing meal on your vacation?
Scenic Route 72
Take the Inland Scenic Route where you’ll discover plenty of stops for delicious meals and souvenirs.
It’s a great chance to visit the many small villages with specialty foods and products you won’t find anywhere else. The Hurunui section starts in Amberley, known for its array of cafes and crafts, heads down to foodie heaven Rangiora, then continues on to Oxford around the back of the Christchurch plains.
If exploring this scenic route is of interest, the Hurunui townships mentioned here are just a teasing taste of the things to do in this region.