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Hanmer Springs News

Hanmer Springs high country purchase

Tourism revenue is expected to be boosted in North Canterbury with the Crown's acquisition of a major high country station.

The $40-million purchase of the St James Station will guarantee public access to the land. The 78,000 hectare property is located on three mountain ranges, has 11 tramping routes and encompasses the Hanmer Springs ski field. Buying from the Stevenson family, who have owned the property since 1927.

Scott Pearson from Alpine Pacific Tourism says Hanmer Springs is ideally situated to experience a boost in tourism from the deal. He expects the purchase will also have flow-on effects for other tourism areas in the South Island.

"It is an area that has incredible opportunity from a visitor point of view and we're keen to see that we make the best use that we can of it."

Some 430 indigenous species of flora have been identified on the property and 30 native bird species have been sighted there.

The station's rich historic heritage will also be protected, referring to old Maori access routes across the top of the South Island and several early European historic sites. Bringing the land into public ownership will boost North Canterbury and in particular the Hanmer Springs area as a tourism destination.

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