Offering adventure and relaxation
Discover an excellent balance of eco-adventure and indulgence on the Alpine Pacific Touring Route. This four-day journey travels from Christchurch, a city with a strong arts and heritage focus, to Kaikōura home to many marine mammals.
The trip north from Christchurch takes you past surf beaches, wineries, and farmland, finishing with the impressive scenery of the coastal ranges.
Kaikōura is the perfect place to enjoy a Māori cultural tour. Learn the storytelling and spiritual traditions of Ngāi Tahu – the South Island's largest Māori tribe.
Spend the afternoon experiencing Kaikōura and the amazing marine life. See the whales from above on a scenic flight(opens in new window), or get out on the water and watch them from the comfort of a catamaran. For a truly unique encounter, try swimming with dusky dolphins.
In the evening, enjoy a meal at one of the many seafood-inspired restaurants.
Since 1859, the alpine spa village of Hanmer Springs has attracted visitors wanting to relax, unwind and ease their aches and pains in the soothing mineral waters.
Spend some time bathing in the hot pools or indulge in a luxurious spa treatment at Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa. In the afternoon, take a wander around the town and enjoy the quaint gift stores and stylish fashion boutiques.
For those looking for a bit more action today, there are plenty of activities to keep you entertained. Hanmer Attraction(opens in new window) centre is a one-stop shop for a wide range of adventures based around the Waiau Awa (river) and historic Ferry Bridge. Quad biking, horse trekking, rafting, and jet boating are all on offer here, along with a whole range of hiking and mountain biking trails.
Beautiful Hanmer Forest Park(opens in new window) is also well worth exploring. The park dates back to 1901, when prison labour was used to plant a variety of imported trees and test their commercial viability. Today it is an eclectic mix of native and exotic species.
Start your journey back to Christchurch early, allowing plenty of time to enjoy the Waipara wine region. Specialities are Pinot Noir and Riesling, but other varieties include Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Once back in Christchurch take some time to find out what makes this place unique. The ever-evolving city is brimming with innovativeness, creativity, and heritage charm.
Visit the stunning botanic gardens, enjoy a punt on the Ōtakaro Awa/ Avon River, or check out the lively art scene. With plenty of quality bars, restaurants and cafes, there is something for everyone. The Tramway restaurant, housed in a working heritage tram, offers unique sightseeing and fine dining in one.