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The Inland Scenic Route (Route 72) takes you through some of heartland New Zealand’s friendliest rural towns. A great alternative to the busy State Highway 1, Route 72 offers a glimpse into the soul of rural Canterbury – at a pace that allows you to see and experience the best on offer.
From the quiet town of Amberley on SH1, head inland to Rangiora, the hub of North Canterbury’s farming community with a busy main street, cafes, restaurants and accommodation.
The quaint village of Cust has a couple of not to be missed shops, Querky Styles, Away with the Fairies and the Route 72 Café Bar Emporium, a treasure trove of unique gifts and a favourite stop for food and coffee. Just along the road is the Cust Hotel, which was built in the early 1860's as an accommodation house and became licensed in 1863, now very famous for a good pie!
Next you’ll discover the charming town of Oxford, from where jet boating, fishing, horse riding and skiing are all within easy reach.
You will be spoilt for choice for a café to relax in, boutique shops & art and crafts to browse and a place to stay is the brand new Oxford Village Motel, which opened in November 2014. The motel is centrally located in the heart of Oxford. On the doorstep of the Motel is a choice of cafes, supermarket, a delightful book & gift shop, children’s playground and a wine bar that is due to open in the new year.
From Oxford head south towards Methven via the mighty Waimakairi Gorge then onto Geraldine – a rural town of particular beauty and character. With pretty tree-lined streets and restored colonial buildings, Geraldine oozes charm. Be sure to enjoy some of the lovely locally made food items on offer.
The end of the Inland Scenic Route marks a crossroads for your travels: either take State Highway 79 to Fairlie and the Mt Cook region, or head east towards the coast and Timaru.
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