If you are in Christchurch New Zealand and you want to visit Hanmer Springs and the Thermal pools, you have only one real option when it comes to the choice of roads to get there.
Sure it is possible to get there via other tiny back roads but in truth, that would involve driving the long way for hours longer than necessary.
The best and only practical option is to take the Main North Road out of Christchurch until you get to the Waipara turnoff and then take State Highway 7 inland to Hanmer Springs.
This route on State highway 7 means after you have passed though the tiny town of Waiau, you will come to the bigger township called Culverden.
“Culverden” is a byword for generations of Canterbury families and their children and instantly several key words and phrases spring to mind ” Public Toilet stop” and ” Tea Rooms” ( if you are an adult) “icecream” and “playground” ( if you are a kid).
If I were the gambling sort of person (I’m not) I”d be willing to lay money on the fact that if you did a poll of Christchurch residents and asked them to tell you the first things that sprang to mind when the word “Culverden” was mentioned, these these four words would be right at the top of the list.
So, a tiny town with a loo stop in a critical location… let’s go take a look at the sights of Culverden.
Noooo, I don’t mean we will look at the loo, I’ll spare you that bit, I’m sure you know what a Public toilet block looks like !
I mean the Tea Rooms. Let’s take a look around.
So once we’ve got our lunch and drinks, we head out into the sunshine (well actually a picnic table in the shade) whilst the kids expend some energy in the Domain and Playground that’s almost next door…