There’s something inexplicably gratifying about a road trip - the wind whispering in your ears; the miles of land you drive past; the empty stretches of tarmac ahead of you- they are all you need for a quick getaway from the monotony of your work routine. And what better way to unwind than driving to the mountains for some solitude, or to the coast for soaking in the sun? Christchurch has multiple local getaways for all this and more.
Less than two hours by road from Christchurch is Hanmer Springs, a place akin to the hot springs of Europe. Nestled in the mountains, Hanmer Springs is home to some of the best natural thermal pools in New Zealand. Having started out as a simple bathing area in the 1850s, the Hanmer Springs has now become a major tourist attraction, with more than half a million visitors annually. With waterslides and private pools, it’s perfect for families as well as those looking for some peace and quiet.
However, if you need something to get your adrenaline pumping, then head over to Waiau River, just over an hour north of Christchurch. You can bungee jump off a bridge from here, over the frothing rich river. But, if free-falling headfirst into the waters isn’t your cup of tea, then there’s rafting, canoeing, paintball and much more to get you excited.
From the adventurous stop at Waiau river, make your way to Akaroa, for a heavenly driving experience. Settle into this lovely French town, with a view of one of the most stunning seascapes in the world. Get some shopping done at the nearby boutiques, or sit down at a cafe and eat to your heart’s content.
You could also make a trip to the portside town of Lyttelton, and spend the day at the harbour, watching the waves roll in. Make your way to Diamond Harbour by road, and soak in the spectacular view as you drive by. Make the most of your time here by renting a mountain bike, exploring the cliffs or maybe just going for a leisurely swim.
There are more than enough activities to indulge in, not far from Christchurch. Skip that boring movie and dinner plan with your friends, and instead, get a car hire from Christchurch to set off on a weekend to remember!