Spend a little time in Tapanui, a friendly rural town which was founded as a sawmilling town in the mid-1860s and is situated between the western slopes of the Blue Mountains and the Pomahaka River. Part timber plantation and part unspoiled conservation area; its forests are much favoured by deer and pig hunters, with further great opportunities for trampers and intrepid mountain bikers. There’s plenty to enjoy on the doorstep too, with Whisky Gully and Black Gully offering gentle rambles through native bush or hearty treks to the tops for spectacular panoramic views. The southern end of the Blue Mountains holds one of the largest remaining populations of the native mohua bird.
Alternatively, take advantage of some of New Zealand’s finest trout fishing in the Pomahaka River, picnic at the striking Leithen Glen or take in Kelso’s historic buildings and monuments. You can have a hit of golf on the scenic 18 hole course at Tapanui. For a shorter round, try Heriots 9 hole golf course. Another attraction is Todd Cottage in Heriot, dating back to 1885.