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The Hurunui District
On the way to Hanmer Springs alpine village, you’ll travel through the Waipara Wine Valley and be tempted by the Mud House Winery sign inviting you to try their “Wild Pies.” Goat curry and tahr (yes tahr) are common on the midday menu. If you’re not bound by traditional mince expectations, open yourself up to an experience that will revolutionise, with a wispy puff of floating pastry, the way you think about pies.
Selwyn and Arthur’s Pass
Selwyn is a great place for a Sunday drive from Christchurch City, starting only 15 minutes from the city centre, and extending into Arthur’s Pass National Park. Lincoln and other lovely rural villages have pie “establishments” – complete with hand-crafted pastry and shaped by years of tradition. If you don’t know where to start, following the Lincoln Uni students is always a safe bet (at least as far as pies go).
Australian rugby coach (and Canterbury rugby legend) Robbie Deans has spent many summers jet boating on the Waimakariri River. When you stop for a pie in the Waimak district, only 20 minutes from Christchurch City, you could be following the footsteps of one of Canterbury’s favourite rugby sons. Kaiapoi, Oxford and Cust are three of my favourite Waimak day trips.
The trip from Christchurch down south into Mackenzie Country is one of my favourite in the entire world. Views of Aoraki Mt Cook, New Zealand’s highest peak, turquoise canals and glacial lakes. It’s unbelieveable. A trip that takes (from Christchurch to Twizel) only four hours, could easily be stretched out over days. Allow time for plenty of photo opps and pie stops (Geraldine, Fairlie, Lake Tekapo and Twizel are great options).
On a weekend when I’m headed out of Christchurch, but not quite to Mt Cook, I often end up in Timaru (always with a pie in hand). The photo here shows a sign outside Timaru’s main street bakery, suggesting that while there are a few things that Wellington wouldn’t borrow from South Canterbury, they’re absolutely begging for May’s pies.
For the best advice and trusted insider tips on what to see and do in Christchurch and Canterbury, New Zealand, visit www.christchurchnz.com
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