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New Zealand Trade Manual has been designed with travel industry professionals in mind.
  • Selling New Zealand provides you with handy sales tools, quick facts and latest news from the New Zealand travel industry.
  • Travel Planner makes planning New Zealand travel easy. Find itineraries, information on accommodation/transport and more.
  • About New Zealand has everything on New Zealand culture, nature, lifestyle, activities and events that make New Zealand a unique destination.

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Whales are a common sight in a region blessed with abundant marine life in a coastal playground. Inland, beyond the mountains, is a picturesque alpine spa resort and vineyard-draped valleys.

In northern Canterbury are some of New Zealand’s most famous experiences. The spa resort of Hanmer Springs is an enticing destination – especially in winter, when snow falls around steaming pools! At Kaikoura, rugged mountains drop to the ocean, where you can encounter marine wildlife from albatrosses to seals and whales, and feast on local delicacies such as crayfish. Further south, the Waipara Valley is dotted with vineyards.

Download the Kaikoura & Hanmer Springs section from New Zealand Trade Manual 2013

Kaikoura & Hanmer Springs (from New Zealand Trade Manual 2013) (1453)


Marine wildlife A deep underwater trench off the coast of Kaikoura makes this the perfect habitat for whales, dolphins and albatrosses. Hanmer Springs The picturesque alpine resort of Hanmer Springs is a popular destination, offering hiking, adventure activities and, of course, thermal hot pools. Wine tasting in the Waipara Valley The Waipara Valley enjoys a microclimate that’s perfect for growing grapes, making this Canterbury’s foremost wine-producing region. Kaikoura This coastal village, sandwiched between soaring forest-clad mountains and the Pacific Ocean, offers a fantastic range of wildlife encounters and adventure activities. Maori culture Evidence suggests that for at least 800 years Kaikoura has been an important Maori settlement.


Hanmer Springs Peaceful alpine spa village with thermal hot pools. Waipara Valley Wine-producing region in a sheltered microclimate. Kaikoura Famous for its abundant marine wildlife and encounters. Culverden Rural village with a bakery serving superb pies. Amberley Bustling town with several cafés and boutique shopping.

Getting There and Around

Air There is an airstrip at Kaikoura for scenic flights and charters. The nearest international airport is in Christchurch. Road Kaikoura is 2 hours, 35 minutes from Christchurch and 2 hours, 15 minutes from Picton. Hanmer Springs is just under 2 hours from Christchurch, and Amberley (in the Hurunui) is 50 minutes from Christchurch. The 370-kilometre Alpine Pacific Triangle route links Kaikoura, Hanmer Springs and the Hurunui. The region is served by coaches/shuttles. Picton to Kaikoura [157 km; 2 hr, 15 min] Christchurch to Kaikoura [183 km; 2 hr, 35 min] Christchurch to Hanmer Springs [135 km; 1 hr, 55 min] Christchurch to Amberley [55 km; 50 min] Amberley to Hanmer Springs [90 km; 1 hr, 20 min] Hanmer Springs to Kaikoura [141 km; 2 hr] Rail Kaikoura is on the TranzCoastal line between Picton and Christchurch.

Making the Sale

  • Kaikoura, Hanmer Springs and the Waipara Valley are within easy reach of Christchurch, making them the perfect combination for a shorter South Island visit.
  • Within a relatively small area, visitors will encounter diverse landscapes and experiences, from rugged coastal scenery to an alpine village.
  • Hanmer Springs boasts a wonderful thermal spa resort, which offers spa treatments as well as a hot pool complex.
  • The Hurunui region is best known for its wineries.

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