Outside the city the best way to explore the region is by car. Roads across the Canterbury Plains tend to be straight and flat with good signage and low traffic volume. State Highway 1 runs the length of the region's coast, linking all the major towns. State Highway 72 follows the contours of the hills, farther inland, beneath the Alps. State Highway 7 leaves the main road at Waipara and heads inland to Hanmer Springs before heading north to Nelson, and State Highway 73 heads west across the plains before leaping into the Southern Alps on its way to the West Coast.