Activities in the Area

Lovat Downs lies in the beautiful Greta Valley in the heart of North Canterbury, with a superb variety of activities and attractions for everybody to enjoy. You can experience everything from farm tours to skiing to wine tasting to whale watching – all within an hour and a quarter of Lovat Downs Bed & Breakfast Country Lodge.

Some of our visitors simply love the peace and quiet of the Greta Valley. We may be on the main road, but thanks to our kilometre-long driveway it’s like being in the middle of nowhere. However, if you are looking for something to do the Hurunui District has much to offer you.
If you are interested in sea fishing there are several marine charters based in the Greta Valley and Motunau area, or perhaps you could simply take a boat ride, taking a look for marine wildlife. Alternatively you could take a drive to Motunau Beach, and try your luck at surfcasting or crayfishing.

Perhaps you would prefer to take in the beauty of the countryside, and wander the Greta Valley Walkway.


Just 15 minutes down the main highway is the town of Waipara, set in the heart of the Waipara Valley. The Waipara Valley is one of New Zealand’s premium wine producing regions. You could spend some time touring and tasting at the valley’s 31 wineries, or feasting on fine food and wine at the four winery restaurants.

Perhaps you’d prefer to take a trip back in time, and take a ride on the Weka Pass Railway. They operate both vintage steam and diesel-electric locomotives along a 12.8km scenic line through the limestone beauty of the Weka Pass out of Waipara.

Another way to enjoy the beautiful Hurunui countryside is by bicycle. You can cycle around the region following the Waipara Valley Vineyard Trail. Enjoy a trail specifically designed for cyclists, walkers and joggers, avoiding the hustle and bustle of the busy main road traffic.

Hamner Springs

Hamner Springs is about an hour’s drive North West of Lovat Downs. It provides many activities, both for the outdoor adventurer and for those wanting nothing more than to relax and soak in the hot pools.

The Hamner Springs Thermal Pools and Spa are the South Island’s premier hot pool complex, featuring more than 15 outdoor thermal, sulphur and freshwater pools. If you really want to treat yourself there is The Spa next door, a health and beauty retreat providing beauty treatments from waxing to facials and massage.
If you’re more into skiing and snowboarding the Hamner Springs Ski Area is ideal for winter fun. Whether you are a beginner learning to ski, or experienced wanting to glide down groomed trails or adventure in off-piste areas, you will find terrain to meet your needs.

Hamner also caters for the adrenaline junkies amongst you. Go wild at the Hanmer Springs Adventure Camp on their mountain bikes, roller blades or motorised scooters. Try one their exciting quad bike fun trips on their 4,000 acre property.
The kids will love a trip to the Hamner Springs Animal Park, where they can touch and feed animals such as red / Wapiti deer, Nubian and Angora Goats, emus, donkeys, sheep, Tibetan yak, alpacas, llamas, rabbits, and birds.

View of nature reserve on the way to beach

Motunau Beach 20 minutes drive

Relax on the farm