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Popular with visitors wanting to travel north of Christchurch the 370km of the Alpine Pacific Triangle (APT) touring route has a wonderful array of landscapes and activities that can be the inspiration for a wonderful getaway.
Hanmer Springs is the most likely first overnight stopping point, but getting there involves passing some great eating establishments and wine tasting options on the journey north from Christchurch.
In Hanmer there are plenty of accommodation choices, restaurants, shopping and activities. Take time to enjoy forest walks or simple mountain bike trails (hire bikes available), a Pools visit or indulgent spa treatment, quad bike trip or wander round the golf course.
When its time to leave set off on one of the most scenic side roads in Canterbury, the inland road between Waiau and Kaikoura. It’s a stunning journey along a road used by the local farmers and international visitors with rolling hills and mountains, including the Mount Lyford ski field. Mt Lyford is definitely worth a stop for coffee and a look around. The log homes are impressive. Keep the camera at the ready as the road winds on toward the coast through immaculate river valleys and photo ‘ops.
Arrival in Kaikoura should always be celebrated with fresh fish and chips on the beach, a cool Waipara Riesling alongside. The accommodation is plentiful, food excellent and beyond the wonderful marine excursions available there are coastal walks to explore.
On your way south be sure to keep an eye out for seals along the rugged coastline. Stop for refreshments and to buy some art in Cheviot, before heading to Gore Bay for a walk along the beach or to watch the locals take on the waves on their surfboards. With more time Nape Nape has a never forget coastal charm with towering limestone cliffs and crashing waves.
Next on the agenda has to be a relaxing glass of wine in the sun at a Waipara Valley winery. The North Canterbury Wine and Food Trail is the ideal way to explore the numerous wine and food options the wider district has to offer.
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