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Multi-million Dollar Tourism Attraction Unveil


The Hurunui is about to become home to a major, multi-million dollar development, which will bring major benefits to the region’s tourism and wine industries.

The development will be known as Waipara Wine Village, and is being built on ten acres of prime real estate at Waipara Junction (the intersection of State Highway One and Mount Cass Road), just over half an hour’s drive north from Christchurch.

The $20 million development will encompass international hotel and villa accommodation, a restaurant and wine bar, boutique ale house, wine tasting facility, food and wine school, function centre and conference facility, as well as a retail area, the new Waipara visitor information service, a wine cellar and a banquet hall.

“This will be one of the biggest non-farm developments in the Hurunui for several years. Waipara Wine Village will become a major contributor to the region – a key employer, a keen participator in its local community and a focal point for Waipara’s tourism and wine industries,” says Richard Hunter, Director, Waipara Wine Village Developments Ltd.

A key feature of the development is the wine tasting facility, which will enable people to taste and compare the different varieties of wine produced in the Waipara district.

This tasting facility will be high-tech and offer virtual reality (audio visual) tours of the wineries.

“Waipara is New Zealand’s most rapidly expanding wine region. It produced around 130,000 cases of wine in the 2004 vintage, yet it has no physical centrepiece. Waipara Wine Village will become just that,” says Richard Hunter.

Perched on New Zealand’s main trunk line, close to Christchurch the capital of the South Island, Waipara Wine Village will be a major attraction for both international and domestic visitors.

“This development will strengthen the Waipara corner of the Alpine Pacific Triangle, which already attracts nearly a million visitors per year,” says Richard Hunter.

“The wine village will enhance that figure. We are passionate about Waipara and will become a major contributor to the region’s accommodation and activities sectors.”

Construction is due to start in May. The village is expected to be completed by October 2006.

“Waipara Wine Village will bring major opportunities for the Hurunui. Our investment in this project reflects our innate confidence in Waipara’s tourism and wine industries and their potential for growth,” concluded Richard Hunter.


Gerald Carter, of Carter Smith Architecture and Interior Design, has been responsible for the design of Waipara Wine Village.

As the name suggests, the village encompasses several buildings – the focal point of the development will be the main building.

“This building will be large and eye catching to ensure no one drives past without noticing the village,” says Gerald Carter.

The main building is where the restaurant and wine bar, boutique ale house, food and wine school, function centre and conference facility, retail area, Waipara information service, wine cellar and banquet hall will be located. The circular wine tasting room is attached to this building.

Adjacent to the main building are the high-end accommodation facilities.

The facilities include 64 luxury hotel rooms, which are sited in four identical, two storey buildings and thirty villas.

Each villa features two double bedrooms with ensuite style bathrooms, a lounge, kitchen facilities, deck and garage.

“The overall design reflects the developers’ desire for the village to be a ‘pre-eminent wine centre’. Natural colours and many raw materials are being used to create what I would describe as a ‘classic contemporary’ look to ensure the village will stand the test of time,” says Gerald Carter.


Waipara Wine Village Developments Ltd is committed to enhancing the Waipara Valley’s reputation as one of New Zealand’s premier wine producing regions.

The wine industry in the Waipara Valley is growing rapidly – faster than any other area in the country. It is now gaining worldwide recognition and has won a collection of international and national wine awards.

“Globally wine areas are enjoying huge growth, increased property values and rising visitor numbers. We have huge confidence Waipara will follow these international trends,” says Richard Hunter.

There are currently nearly 70 vineyards in the district – around 16 of them produce wine (the rest sell the grapes they grow to wine producers).

“Waipara’s wine industry is first class. Its Pinot Noirs are considered by some critics to be the best in the country and its soils have been likened to those in Burgundy, one of France’s top wine regions,” says Richard Hunter.

Waipara Wine Village is an opportunity for the individual vineyards.

“We want to become the face of the district’s wine industry. We will be encouraging the wine producers to work on joint marketing initiatives and providing them with market intelligence and up to date industry-specific data,” says Richard Hunter.

The high tech wine tasting facilities will enable people to taste and compare the different varieties of wine while taking a virtual tour of individual vineyards.

“This is important as research shows people are more likely to buy by comparison,” says Richard Hunter.

“If you want a jersey you shop around for a style and colour, you won’t just buy a blue jersey from the first shop you go to. The same purchasing habit applies to bottles of wine.”

“Waipara Wine Village is a central place to promote all of the valley’s wines. This is an opportunity for the vineyards themselves to proactively increase the awareness of their own products and the number of bottles they are selling,” says Richard Hunter.


Situated on State Highway One, on one corner of the Alpine Pacific Triangle touring route, just over half an hour’s drive from Christchurch, the South Island’s largest city, Waipara Wine Village is poised to become a major tourist attraction.

Waipara Wine Village will offer hotel and villa accommodation. It will also be home to the new Hurunui information centre and a 24-hour rest area.

“We have strategically located and planned this village to take advantage of the enormous growth in the South Island’s tourism market. This development will encourage particularly free independent travellers (FITs) to lengthen their stay in the Waipara Valley which will have positive spin-offs to other businesses,” says Richard Hunter.

“The concept of the village has been developed to reflect growing international demand for leisure type tourism activities.”

Richard Hunter says Waipara Wine Village will add to the Hurunui’s already strong tourism product.

“We will work alongside other tourism operators and strengthen the Waipara corner of the Alpine Pacific Triangle. The village will be a one stop shop for tourists wanting to discover all that Waipara has to offer, encouraging them to spend more time, and money, in the region,” concluded Richard Hunter.


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