The Hurunui district is located just a short 45 minute drive north of Christchurch International Aiport.
A great way to ensure you see a good chunk of this amazing place is to head along the Alpine Pacific Touring Route (APT) – a 370km journey that takes you between the beautiful hubs of Hanmer Springs, the Waipara Valley and Kaikoura.
Tucked away amid forests and mountains, the picturesque village of Hanmer Springs is thriving – with a real buzz in the air and plenty to do, including award winning thermal pools.
The Waipara Valley is a quick 45-minute drive from Christchurch and one of New Zealand’s premier wine growing areas filled with exciting attractions.
Kaikoura is a stunning coastal town that is the country’s home of ecotourism with pods of sperm whales awaiting you.
In between, you’ll discover some amazing places. It's an excellent journey that you won't find anywhere else.
Driving Times & Distances
These are distances from Hanmer Springs (which is just 90 minutes from Christchurch).
Picton: 4 hours - 293 km
Blenheim: 3 hours, 30 minutes - 265 km
Christchurch: 1 hour, 30 minutes - 131 km
Greymouth: 2 hours, 40 minutes - 212 km
Kaikoura: 2 hours - 129 km
Nelson: 4 hours - 314 km
Westport: 3 hours - 264 km
Shuttles & Bus Services
The following shuttle and bus services are available to and from the Hurunui district.
Hanmer Tours & Shuttle - connecting Hanmer Springs with Christchurch every day. Currently leaves Hanmer Springs at 8am and Christchurch at 1pm.
Hanmer Connection - daily shuttles to and from Hanmer Springs & Christchurch. Bookings essential. Daily: leaves Christchurch 9am and Hanmer Springs 4.30pm.
Intercity (bus service) - travels from Christchurch to Picton daily. Bookings essential.
Atomic Shuttle - Daily from Christchurch to Nelson and Picton. Offers shuttles to other south island destinations.
NakedBus - daily service between Christchurch and Picton. Offers other routes to south island destinations.
New Zealand international airports are located in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin and Queenstown.
There is no commercial airport in the Hurunui district. The closest airport is Christchurch International Airport which is a short 45 minute drive from the southern point of the district.
Rental Cars / Motorhome
An alternative to taking a shuttle or bus is to pick up a rental vehicle. Options include cars, vans or motorhomes. Having a rental vehicle gives you the freedom to stop and enjoy your trip at your own leisure.
Driving in New Zealand
New Zealand is a great place to drive, but visitors should be aware of the New Zealand road rules. As well as the obvious ones, such as driving on the left side of the road, we have some more unusual ones, mainly to do with right of way. Visit the Land Transport Safety Authority's Overseas Drivers section for some excellent advice for international drivers in New Zealand.
The open road speed limit is 100km per hour. In towns the speed reduces, please be wary of road signage as the speed limit is not the same in every town and will vary between 50km - 70km per hour.
This is a great checklist: 'What's different about driving in New Zealand'. Produced by the New Zealand Transport Authority.
DriveSafe.org.nz has been developed to help visitors to New Zealand safely enjoy their self-drive holiday. Driving is a great way to experience all New Zealand has to offer. But driving in New Zealand may be unlike driving in other countries. This site provides basic information about New Zealand road rules and etiquette, along with links to more details about everything that those unfamiliar with our roads need to know.
Tourist & Visitor Driving Theory Quiz. Are you coming to New Zealand for a holiday, work or study and hiring a car, motorbike or campervan? These 66 questions are the essential Road Code rules you need to know to help keep yourself safe on NZ's roads.