The Alpine Pacific Touring Route encompasses some incredibly beautiful and unique environments.

This whenua (land) is our taonga (treasure) and looking after it, so it can be enjoyed by future generations, is a responsibility close to our communities’ hearts. 

We all care deeply about this region, and the gifts it provides to us and our guests.

You don’t have to look far to find evidence of how hard our communities and businesses are working to become more sustainable. There are electric vehicle stations throughout the district, along with opportunities for visitors to recycle and even offset their carbon emissions.

This is work we are enormously proud of.

Waipara Valley, North Canterbury Wine Region

The North Canterbury Wine Region is a leader in sustainable viticulture.

50 vineyards are now part of the Greening Waipara project, a joint initiative with Lincoln University to enhance the ecosystem by reintroducing native plants.

The project has been able to introduce greater biological control of pests and diseases (reducing fungicide and insecticide use), suppress weeds, increase biodiversity and enrich soils in the area.

Several of the region’s vineyards have also transitioned to certified organic viticulture.  

Hanmer Springs

Hanmer Springs village rests within an irreplaceable and exceptional alpine environment.

The village’s largest attraction, Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa, has made a name for itself as an award-winning energy innovator. It holds the world’s smallest mining permit to enable it to generate electricity from waste methane – a system that now powers nearly 15% of the complex.

Thermal waters are the complex’s lifeblood – it takes Mother Nature more than 170 years to heat every drop and infuse it with minerals. Great care is taken to limit the use of these waters and the complex has saved more than 58-million litres of water in the past year.

The St James Premium Accommodation plants a native tree every time a guest opts out of having their room service, under their innovative ‘Save a Service, Plant a Tree’ programme.

The Te Tihi o Rauhea Hanmer Springs Conservation Trust plants those trees. It’s a community led initiative that protects and enhances the village’s unique ecosystem and forests.

tree planting

Tree Planting in Hanmer Springs


Kaikōura was the first town in the world to become Platinum Certified under the Earthcheck Sustainable Communities global programme.

The Kaikōura District Council has an Environmental and Social Sustainability Policy, which is also publicly available.

The town also has a Tree for Travellers programme allows visitors to offset their carbon emissions by way of purchasing a native tree, which is then planted on a local reserve.

Whale Watch and Ngāi Tahu have strict conservation policies, which include the use of specially designed vessels to reduce their impact on the marine environment.

Encounter Kaikoura has also made a commitment to sustainability, with the creation of a charitable trust that funds projects which enhance the natural environment by way of a share of each fare from their tour passengers.

Check out the work of the Hutton’s Shearwater Charitable Trust. The trust is dedicated to raising awareness of the plight of this endangered bird, which can only be found in Kaikōura

Christchurch Airport

Those who arrive by air to our region will land at Christchurch Airport – an organisation well known for championing the South Island and looking after its place in the world.

Since opening the new terminal building in 2013, the airport has shed more than 20% of its annual energy use. As a member of global initiative EV100, the airport’s migrating its entire small vehicle fleet to electric. It has partnered with Fulton Hogan to test a new asphalt made from previously unrecyclable plastics, and has electric ground power units so planes do not have to burn fuel on the ground at the airport between flights to power their systems.