With its jagged mountains, aqua lakes and sprawling countryside flecked with livestock, it’s obvious why New Zealand is ideal road-trip territory. To add to the appeal, northern Canterbury tourism chiefs have come together to create the new Alpine Pacific Touring Route – a 450-kilometre stretch from Christchurch to Waipara Valley, on the South Island.
The route has been designed to reinvigorate the region, which was affected by the magnitude 7.8 Kaikoura earthquake in November 2016. For those who’ve travelled the Alpine Pacific Triangle route (370km), think of the APT as a longer, renewed version aimed at encouraging more tourists to visit the area.
It’s a great trip for a soft adventure, as travellers pass through rural countryside and coastal landscapes, and get up close to local marine wildlife, such as sperm and humpback whales. Starting at Christchurch International Airport, the trail passes through Kaikoura and Hanmer Springs, and ends in New Zealand’s “newest wine region”, Waipara.