“It is a region of steep mountains, sprawling fans, smooth terraces and wide river beds. It is an area of contrasts: of rain forests and impoverished grasslands, of spectacular erosion and green paddocks, of pleasant hillside streams and raging mountain torrents.”
The grand limestone rock battlements of Kura Tāwhiti led early European travellers to name the area Castle Hill.
Climbers, families, students, scientists and travellers have always been drawn to this spectacular place, to explore its natural, cultural, historic and recreation values.
Bounded by the high mountains of the Torlesse Range to the east and the Craigieburn Range to the west, the limestone tors of Kura Tāwhiti Conservation Area dominate the basin.
A 594 metre long cave within Cave Stream Scenic Reserve is one of the most outstanding natural features in the Canterbury region.
Castle Hill Village
Castle Hill Village began as a development in 1982 when the then owner of Castle Hill Station, John Reid, conceived a plan to create a high alpine village on an area of farmland near Thomas Bush beneath the Craigieburn Range as a centre for recreational activities in the area.
Since its inception the village has steadily grown and by 2020 contained over 150 houses with more planned. Most of these are seasonal holiday homes although more and more residents are making it a permanent home.
Note: There are no commercial shops in the village for food or fuel.