Heading to Hanmer Springs? Enjoy your journey along the way and check out some of these amazing places – there’s something for everyone to enjoy from boutique craft shops, incredible local food, award-winning wines and stunning views.
Just 40 minutes north of Christchurch is Amberley, a small town full of country hospitality, quaint boutiques and some of the area’s best cafes and craft shops. Ruby Six is a must-visit for premium clothing, handcrafted New Zealand ceramics and jewellery.
Amberley is bursting with outdoor pursuits - enjoy golf, fishing, horse riding, wine tasting, surfcasting, fly fishing and much more.
Choose from the beautiful Amberley Beach, or Leithfield Beach for great surfing and fishing and have some good country food and a cold beer at the Old Leithfield Hotel.
Just up the road, the North Canterbury wine region is ever popular and now home to over 90 vineyards, which are producing some of the world’s best Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Riesling.
There are plenty of cellar door shops where you can taste and tipple along with some fantastic winery restaurants.
Our top tip is don’t miss Greystone – it’s an innovative, organic vineyard that is producing sensational wines that chef (and certified forager) Mel Wright pairs with fresh, unforgettable fare.
Stop for lunch at the Historic Hurunui Hotel – it holds the longest continuous alcohol license in New Zealand. Established in 1860 it’s been serving travellers for more than 150 years. It not only serves great food but also wine made from their vineyard.
Located on State Highway 7 it has a range of accommodation options, including luxurious self-contained cottages in the vineyard, camping and caravan sites of a room in the hotel.
Stretch your legs: check out the Balmoral Fire Station walk, views across the basin – including the Balmoral Forest, surrounding hills, Hurunui River, Amuri Plain and Culverden Basin and learn a bit about the unique history of the hut.
Off the beaten track you’ll find a couple of remote high-country lakes. Lake Sumner has beech-clad mountains, wide rivers and hot springs – it’s picturesque and a tramper’s mecca. It’s also a safe haven for endangered species like the great spotted kiwi/roroa and yellowhead/mohua.
At Molesworth Station, New Zealand’s largest farm, you’ll find Lake Tennyson, a glacier high country lake. You can camp here for free – and enjoy fishing, kayaking or walking around the stunning landscape.
When you’re finished exploring you can head into Hanmer Springs – and relax in the hot pools or dine in one of the fabulous cafes or restaurants.