Visit Fairlie, NZ

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  • Fairlie is a tranquil village in the eastern Mackenzie District, beside the Opihi River. There are some great specialty shops, restaurants and heritage attractions in the town, which has many parks, gardens and short walks.

    Canterbury Ski Area - Ski Season Dates 2014

    · Mt Hutt - From 7 June 2014

    · Mt Dobson from 12 July 2014

    · Tekapo (Round Hill) from 6 July 2014

    · Fox Peak – from June/July, as snowfall permits

    ·       Click here for information on skiing in the South Island

    The surrounding region is popular for skiing, especially at Mount Dobson and Fox Peak ski areas, and for hiking and mountain biking, as well as fly-fishing in rivers and hunting in designated areas.

    Llama and alpaca farms are open to visitors, and alpaca wool products can be purchased. Guided riverside walks with pack-bearing llamas are available.

    Accommodation in Fairlie (NZ)

    Fairlie has a number of high-quality hotels, motels andlodges. In addition, there are many bed & breakfast and farm-stay accommodation providers. There are also cottages and holiday homes for rent.

    Holiday parks cater for camping and backpacking travellers.

    Freedom camping is permitted along the river, away from roads and houses. Campers should consult the Department of Conservation or local council to learn about restrictions on freedom camping, such as maximum number of nights camping permitted at one location.

    Transport around Fairlie

    Fairlie is on State Highway 8, which leads into the Mackenzie District from Timaru on the east coast (50 minutes drive). An alternative route, via State Highway 79 from Geraldine, takes 35 minutes. Fairlie is about 30 minutes from Lake Tekapo, and 70 minutes from Twizel in the centre of the Mackenzie District.

    Inter-city coach transport connects Fairlie with the main centres of Timaru and Wanaka, and with other Mackenzie District centres such as Twizel, Mount Cook and Omarama.

    Cycles can be hired at Fairlie for local transport. Alternative transport is provided by local mini-bus operators.

    Tourist Activities around Fairlie

    There is plenty to see and do around the township of Fairlie. There is a heritage museum with exhibits documenting the district’ early life as a frontier town, founded in 1865. Nearby is the historic settlement of Burke’s Pass, in which many of the original buildings are still standing.

    Day trips from Fairlie can include farm visits, including alpaca and llama farms. Llama treks of 3 hours and more around the river and district are an interesting excursion. The town has craft shops and galleries that sell wool and alpaca products, painting and crafts. A smoked food grocer sells locally caught and smoked salmon, venison, duck and other meats. Restaurants and pubs provide for good evening entertainment.

    Parks and gardens around the town offer numerous places for picnics and play. A unique arboretum that has over 200 species of conifers from the Americas, Europe and China, set in landscaped gardens is a unique attraction.

    There are many walking tracks in the area, some of which are suitable for mountain bikes. The Riverside Track along the Opihi River is a popular walk. Longer walks reach the Opihi River Gorge. Loop tracks include the Spur Road and Rockwood Road tracks.

    Fly-fishing for salmon and trout in the Mackenzie Country is very good, and fishing guides are available. Hunting also is possible in designated areas, for red deer, thar, wapiti and wallaby. Guides are available who will provide transport to hunting locations.

    Fairlie has a well-regarded 18-hole golf course.

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