Summer in the Hurunui
1 December to 28 February
Average temperatures between 20ºC - 25ºC (maximum 30ºC)
The great kiwi summer is officially upon us.
Hot sunny days, homemade ice blocks, shorts and jandals, days at the beach, dips in the river, day hikes, sunscreen, Christmas decorations, good food, great company, beautiful wine, and plenty of relaxation.
It’s a kiwi favourite for good reason, with many of the delights of New Zealand’s landscape best enjoyed in summer, and the Hurunui District is lucky enough to lay claim to the best of them.
The beach and summer in New Zealand are synonymous. Packing up a picnic, claiming a great spot, playing in the ocean, or relaxing with a good book. It’s no wonder it’s a firm favourite for locals and visitors over December and January.
The Hurunui is spoilt for choice when it comes to superb beach playgrounds, which stretch along the east coast of the South Island.
A short drive from Christchurch you’ll find the beaches of Amberley and Leithfield, both boasting sunkissed sands, gentle surf breaks, and plenty of quiet spaces for those looking for a relaxed envrionment to enjoy with friends and family. Along with the natural amenties, there’s a raft of activites within these beach communitues, including tennis, bush walks, and popular attractions of the Hurunui.
Further north is the hidden gem of Motunau beach in the Greta Valley. A quiet farming community, over summer it becomes the perfect getaway for those seeking exceptional fishing and diving, an abundance of sun and spaciousness, and a blissfully quiet escape from the hustle of the city.
With golden weather becoming the norm, the Hurunui’s walks and mountain bike trails beckon those seeking a mix of adventure and admiration, with unparalleled views, lush native bush, heart-pumping climbs and breath-taking scenery.
The Cheviot coastal classic is a dramatic coastal circuit that leaves from the township, following the beautiful Gore Bay Road to the beach, where you can break for a well-earned swim. The circuit also passes the famous Cathedral Cliffs, a must-see for any visitor.
For the amateur archaeologist, the Weka Pass walkway is a gentle walk through classic New Zealand farmland, leading to a large limestone overhang shelter containing excellent examples of early Maori rock art.
While Hawarden and Waikari pave the way to the pristine Hurunui Lakes. Set in a secluded inland wilderness, the endless walking tracks, fishing spots, and great vistas make this a popular place to spend a few days in.
Visiting foodies also needn’t look far to find the best in local cuisine and wine in the Hurunui.
The North Canterbury Wine Region spans nearly 200km of the region’s eastern coastline, and has an excellent reputation for elegant and expressive Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and aromatics.
Bursting with fresh locally grown produce over summer, enjoy world class food and wine nestled between one [or all!] of the more than a dozen premier cellar door wineries and restaurants.
Of course, no visit to the Hurunui in summer is complete without stopping off in the alpine thermal village of Hanmer Springs.
Featuring a picturesque 18-hole golf course, jet boating, horse riding, boutique shopping, and countless mountain bike and hiking trails. You’ll never be short of outdoor entertainment to make the most of the abundance of the gorgeous weather.
Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa is the jewel in the village crown. Featuring a lap pool, lazy river, hydro-slides and play area to keep the kids cool during the day, and aqua therapy, natural thermal pools, and world class spa treatments to keep the adults relaxed and pampered in the evening.
The natural landscapes, activities and hidden gems of the Hurunui District are truly spectacular over the New Zealand summer. You’ll want to schedule in plenty of time to experience it all in during your summer travels!