Amberley and Waipara

A boy swimming in a lake.

Not to be mistaken for simply a place to pass through, North Canterbury's Amberley and Waipara have a few aces up their sleeves when it comes to places worth lingering a while. Wine country in Waipara is home to a number of top-class vineyards and tasting rooms. Here, you'll look out upon rolling hills of vines and sip wide varieties of wine, while hearing about the process from the talented winemakers themselves. Vintage shopping or boutique beer anyone? Amberley has the best of both, and after meandering your way through thrift shop finds and filling up your takeaway rigger, there are cafés aplenty to rest your feet in and fill up on small-town cheese scones.