Hurunui is part of North Canterbury & is located just a short 45 minute drive north of Christchurch International Airport.
A great way to ensure you see a good chunk of this amazing place is to head along the Alpine Pacific Touring Route (APT) – 450km of spectacular. A journey that runs between Christchurch and the beautiful hubs of Hanmer Springs, the Waipara Valley and Kaikōura. But don't forget the hidden gems in the middle! Take your time and truly discover what is in our back yard.
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 well known and part of the coolest little wine region - North Canterbury Wine Region. It is a quick 30-minutes drive from Christchurch Airport and one of New Zealand’s premier wine growing areas filled with exciting attractions. Known for its Aromatics and unique limestone environment, this makes our Pinot Noir's some of the best in the world. You'll find organic wine and food is plentiful with many vineyards forage off their land and deliver local produce to your plates.
Kaikōura is a stunning coastal town that is the country’s home of ecotourism with pods of sperm whales awaiting you. First class award-winning marine life to enjoy all year round. In between, you’ll discover some amazing places. It's an excellent journey that you won't find anywhere else.
Driving Times & Distances
Below are the distances from Hanmer Springs (which is just 90 minutes from Christchurch).
Picton: 4 hours, 15 minutes - 286 km
Blenheim: 3 hours, 50 minutes - 258 km
Christchurch: 1 hour, 30 minutes - 131 km
Greymouth: 2 hours, 45 minutes - 214 km
Kaikōura: 2 hours - 130 km
Nelson: 3 hours, 50 minutes - 300 km
Westport: 2 hours, 50 minutes - 216 km
Shuttle & Bus Services
The following shuttle and bus services are available to and from the Hurunui district.
Hanmer Connection - daily service from Christchurch. Bookings essential.
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.
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 / Motorhomes
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.