The scenic gravel drive along Jacks Pass, to the north of the village, crosses the lower slopes of Mt. Isobel before dropping into the upper Clarence River valley, an alpine area 15 minutes from Hanmer Springs. This is the beginning of some serious backcountry. The tiny stream trickling past the road at the end of the pass eventually reaches the coast north of Kaikoura at the rough and rumbling Clarence River—a favorite for rafters and kayakers. This is also the southern end of the Acheron Road through the Molesworth Station and the 4WD Rainbow Road through to St. Arnaud and the Nelson Lakes. There's restricted access at certain times of the year and the roads can be impassable during winter so before you go check with the Hanmer Springs i-Site Visitor Centre.