We know what its like to travel overseas and to have questions about the area you are visiting... so to make your time even more enjoyable in the Hurunui we have put together some useful visitor information and handy dandy tourist tips.


A snapshot of the Hurunui - some statistics

Location: North Canterbury, East Coast of South Island, New Zealand
Use: Predominantly Rural
Population: 12,000  (2013 Census night population)
Main Centres: Amberley, Cheviot, Culverden, Hanmer Springs
Total Area: 864,640 ha
Km's of Roads: 1454 kms (601 kms sealed and 853 kms unsealed)
Parks & Reserves: Over 274 hectares of passive and recreation reserves.

Where can I can I find Wifi in the Hurunui?

Free Wifi is now available in Culverden and Cheviot along the main street.  In Waiau free wifi is available at the Village Green.

Free Wifi access is also available 24/7 at the following libraries.

Amberley: 111 Carters Road. Open: Monday - Friday 9am-5pm, Thursday 9am-6pm, Saturday 9am-1pm
Hanmer Springs: cnr Amuri & Cheltenham Street. Open: Monday - Friday 12-4.30pm, Saturday 10.30am-2pm, closed Sunday.
Cheviot: 39 Hall Street (State Highway 1). Open: Monday-Friday 10am-4pm, Saturday 10am - 2pm, closed Sunday.

Wifi is often available at selected businesses across the Hurunui district, although it is not necessarily a free 'hotspot'.


Always in an emergency dial 111.  Ambulance / Fire / Police.

ATMs / Banks

ATMs (automatic teller machines) and Banks are available in the following towns:
Amberley.  Westpac bank: 113 Carters Road.  Hours: Monday - Friday 9am - 4.30pm (has an ATM for after hours). 
Kiwibank: available at Post Office, Cnr Pound Street and Carters Road. Hours: Monday - Friday 8.30am - 5pm, Saturday 9am - 12noon
ANZ ATM available at Countdown Supermarket (24 hours). 
Hanmer Springs.  BNZ bank: Amuri Ave, located in the Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools complex.  Hours: Monday - Friday 10am - 2pm
BNZ ATM available at Hanmer Springs Four Square Supermarket, Conical Hill Road (24 hours).


New Zealand has used 'Decimal Currency' since 1967.
Coins: 10 cent, 20 cent, 50 cent, $1 coin and $2 coin
Notes: $5, $10, $20, $50 dollar and $100

Goods and Service Tax (GST)

New Zealand has a 15% Goods and Services Tax (GST).  Visitors to New Zealand must pay GST on all goods and services that they buy in New Zealand. There is no refund of GST available when you leave New Zealand.

Do I tip in New Zealand?

Tipping is not expected in New Zealand but it is becoming more common for extra special service or kindness.

Time Zone & Daylight Saving Time

New Zealand standard time is 12 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). 
An advance of one hour per day is observed from late September until late March.

New Zealand Public Holidays

Public holidays in New Zealand are special days off provided to employees by law, in addition to annual leave.  Here's a list - NZ Public Holidays

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. 

Head to our Getting Here  page for further driving information.

Public Payphones

There are approximately 3,000 Payphones across New Zealand located in most busy public places.  Every Payphone accepts chip PhoneCards, which are available from a large network of retailers - such as supermarkets, book stores and service stations, some also accept credit cards.  Dial 018 for local directory assistance.

Need to make a phone call?

New Zealand's telephone numbering plan divides the country into a large number of local calling areas. When dialling, if you wish to call a person in another local calling area, you must dial the trunk prefix followed by the area code.

Country calling code: +64
International call prefix: 00
Trunk prefix: 0


240 volts, 50 hertz with three pin sockets.

Looking for an i-SITE (visitor information centre)?

We have one i-SITE in the Hurunui district.  The Hurunui i-SITE is at 42 Amuri Avenue, Hanmer Springs.  Phone 03 315 0020 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .  Hours: Monday to Friday 10am to 5pm (closed Christmas Day). 

Head to the i-SITE website to find out where i-SITEs are located throughout New Zealand.

Free Things to Do

There are many free or low cost activities in the Hurunui district.  We've got heaps of walks or day hikes, rivers and beaches you can visit.  Have at look at our Attractions Map for a great selection of ideas.

Local Hurunui Township Maps

We have produced in partnership with local communities maps of the following areas:   Waipara Valley, Waiau & surrounds, Cheviot & surrounds, Hawarden & Waikari and Hanmer Springs.

pdfWaipara Valley  pdfWaiau & surrounds  
 pdfCheviot & surrounds  pdfHawarden & Waikari  pdfHanmer Springs

Where is the Council?

The main office of the Hurunui District Council is located at 66 Carters Road, Amberley.  They are open: Monday to Friday (except public holidays), 8.30am - 5pm.

There are service centres in Cheviot, Culverden and Hanmer Springs - they are based in the local library.  All are open different hours and days, please check the council website for further information.

Kowai Archives

The Kowai Archives was established in 1990 by members of the Sefton - Kowai Country Women's Institute, who decided to "collect, preserve, research and exhibit records to illustrate and record (the) cultural history of the area". 

Justices of the Peace 'JP'

Need a Justice of the Peace?  You can search their website to find one near you. The services of a JP in New Zealand are provided free. Your local JP is happy to be of service but the courtesy of making an appointment at a convenient time is always appreciated.

There is a Justice of the Peace (JP) Service Desk available at the Hurunui Memorial Library in Amberley from 11.30am – 1pm each Friday.