If you want rest and relaxation away from the crowds, it's time for a drive to Maruia Springs. The thermal pools at the Maruia Springs Thermal Resort are naturally heated and laden with minerals. Sit back and enjoy the stunning views over the river and out to the mountains. Close by to Maruia Springs, there are pristine rivers with good fishing and fishing guides can be hired on request, or tackle some of the walking tracks in the forests of the Maruia area.
West of Maruia Springs and Springs Junction is the Victoria Forest Park. This is New Zealand's largest forest park and the beech trees here are beautiful. If you have time to stop, there are plenty of activities in the forest including hunting (for chamois and red deer), walks, fishing for rainbow and brown trout, four-wheel drive safaris and horse trekking. Head north at Springs Junction
and you'll pass through the lovely Shenandoah valley and up to the Maruia Falls. The falls are the result of a large earthquake in 1929, and are popular with whitewater rafters. As you drive east through Lewis Pass
, there is breathtaking scenery to enjoy - glistening rivers and towering beech forest surrounded by mountains, or pay a visit to the picturesque alpine resort of Hanmer Springs