Mt Somers & Highcountry

Discover the stunning Mt Somers and Canterbury Highcountry - ecotours, tramping, hiking, bush walking, fishing and Lord of the Rings film locations make this a must-see destination!

Looking for something special? Then here it is. Enter New Zealand’s dramatic backcountry.

There are a number of smaller towns and villages and you find the pick of these as you travel SH72 and skirt the foothills of the Southern Alps on the Inland Scenic Route.

Let's head South along SH72, cross the Rakaia Gorge bridges, and on to Staveley where the old store is now a great cafe and you can go ice skating and curling in the winter or hiking all year round. Farmstays and B&B’s offer you true rural hospitality.

A little further on is Mount Somers, which requires a short detour. Here is the most amazing hedge in the world, along with a store, a pub, awarding winning restaurant, two camping grounds and B&B’s.

Mt Somers and the high country is an outdoor recreational paradise - tramping and hiking, horse treks, mountain biking, fishing for trout and salmon, windsurfing on the lakes, bird watching, and nature trails. The newly established Hakatere Conservation Park includes many of these options in a wide and dramatic landscape. Take a 4WD high country adventure and witness the unspoilt beauty and scenery.

Popular more physically demanding activities occure in the Mt Somers Conservation Area. These range from short bush walks to the renowned two-day hikes - the Mt Somers Sub-Alpine Walkway and the more demanding Round-the- Mountain Mt Somers Track.

Lakes Emma and Roundabout, accessible by four- wheel drive, offer excellent fishing, while Lake Camp is popular with boaties, water skiers and fishermen. Lake Clearwater, with its small village of holiday homes, is popular for windsurfing, sailing, rowing and fishing. It is an important wildlife refuge for the rare and endangered Great Crested Grebe. The Maori Lakes and Lake Heron also offer good fishing and are also important wildlife refuges.

Further on is Mayfield where there's another pub, fuel for your car and an amazing second-hand shop.

The beauty of any of these places is that they are jumping off points to that great high country wilderness. Add this drive to your bucket list!