Our Towns

Not only does Hurunui offer lifestyle, adventure, and a chance to experience the rich history and culture of rural New Zealand, it‘s also a great place to live and work.

In recent years more and more people have chosen to move to the district to enjoy all the benefits of living in the country.

Not surprising when you consider Hurunui has been ranked by BERL (Business and Economic Research Limited) for the second year in a row, as one of the top ten performing districts in the country.

Founded during the 1860's, today Amberley is a rural service town with access to both coastal and inland areas while being on the edge of the Waipara Valley wine region.

A classic rural town, Cheviot is the centre of a pastoral farming area. In the township there are several cafes, shops, galleries and a museum. Drive the Gore Bay Tourist Drive through the hills, along the surfing beaches of Gore Bay, past the Cathedral Cliffs and relics of historic Port Robinson.

Culverden was established following the arrival of the railway in 1886. Set in the middle of the wide Amuri Basin, it’s a delightful country town and a common stopping point for travellers seeking a rural New Zealand experience. Each October is time for the Christmas Country Fete showcasing arts, crafts, food and wine in a garden party atmosphere.

Greta Valley & Motunau Beach Greta Valley was created in the late 1970s. Motunau Beach is a popular coastal holiday settlement and a focal point for the local crayfish industry. The beach settlement has expanded over the past 50 years, complementing the many earlier “traditional Kiwi baches” that characterise it.

Situated in a high country basin the alpine village of Hanmer Springs is a natural place to unwind amidst clear mountain air and tall trees. Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa is the major draw card and one of New Zealand’s historic visitor attractions.

Hawarden is home to the well-known Flaxmere Gardens and is the gateway to the secluded wilderness and pristine Lake Sumner Forest Park area offering excellent fishing and hunting grounds.

Leithfield village is one of the oldest towns in Canterbury; it was founded in 1857 by John Leith as an important coach stop and to provide services to the surrounding farming and milling area.

Rotherham - Waiau The town of Waiau originated in the 1860s and runs alongside the Waiau River, where the village green marks the town’s centre. There is excellent access to salmon and trout fishing. The development of the town of Rotherham followed in 1877. The Amuri Golf Club is located between both towns. 

Waikari offers panoramic views of the Puketeraki and Kaikoura ranges and is the final stopping point for the Weka Pass Vintage Railway.

At the southern gateway to the Hurunui District is one of New Zealand’s finest and most rapidly expanding wine regions, known as Waipara. The microclimate, soils and topography of the valley favours full ripeness in both red and white grape varieties.