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Alpine Pacific Highway

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The Journey

Compact and highly scenic, the Alpine Pacific Triangle takes you to the wine and food experiences of Waipara, the spa delights of Hanmer Springs and the marine mammal encounters of Kaikoura.  Spend a bit of time exploring Christchurch, particularly the RE:Start temporary development before heading to Hanmer where the thermal hot pools await.  Of course you will also want to experience all that the Waipara region has to offer in particular the vineyards with their cellar doors awaiting your arrival!

To follow this campervan driving itinerary, pick up and return your vehicle at our Christchurch branch. Visit maui campervan hire Christchurch for more details.

Travel

3 - 5 DAYS


Route

Christchurch to Christchurch

450km


Best Time of the Year

Any time of the year

Highlights

  • Kaikoura
  • Waipara
  • Hanmer Springs

The Journey

Days

1 2 3

Day 1
Christchurch to Kaikoura

Distance 184km - Driving Time 2.25 hours

The South Island’s largest city, Christchurch is an entertaining mixture of refined lifestyle and cultural excitement. The RE:Start area made up of funky retailers, cafes and restaurants is not to be missed - after the earthquake this development was quick to form out of shipping containers - it really shouldn’t be missed.

The trip north takes you past the surf beaches of Woodend, Waikuku, Leithfield and Amberley. Waipara is known for its vineyards and olive groves – an excellent place to pause for refreshment. From Cheviot you can detour to Gore Bay to see the fascinating cliff formations. The impressive scenery of the coastal ranges accompanies the rest of the way to Kaikoura.

Kaikoura is a base for wildlife experiences of all kinds – it’s also a great place to eat crayfish. A whale watch tour, with Whale Watch Kaikoura, can take you to see Minke, Humpback and Southern Right whales mixing it with dolphins and orcas. You can also walk to see fur seal colonies and spy on big seabirds such as mollymawks, albatross and petrels.

Day 2
Kaikoura to Hanmer Springs

Distance 132km - Driving Time 2.25 hours

There are a number of ways to get to Hanmer Springs from Kaikoura.  The most scenic route is via the Inland Road which takes you past the entrance to the ski village of Mount Lyford, or you can travel a bit further south and take the Leader Road. The Leader Road incorporates coastal and rural farming views and finishes at the Waiau Township. On both routes there are plenty of photo opportunities for the avid photographer.

Hanmer Springs is a destination for relaxation and indulgence. You can soak in the hot springs or treat yourself to a range of spa therapies. Outdoor activities are also a Hanmer specialty. Forest walks, horse trekking, trout fishing, jet boating, bungy jumping and golf are some of the options.

Day 3
Hanmer Springs to Christchurch

Distance 135km - Driving Time 1.75 hours

The route to Christchurch initially follows the beautiful Waiau River. Then it leads you through the Balmoral Forest and across the Hurunui River. Farmland, vineyards and olive groves characterise the Waipara region, which is known for its wine and food – an excellent place to pause for refreshment. The last leg of your journey takes you past the surf beaches of Amberley, Leithfield, Waikuku and Woodend.

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