Canterbury prides itself as one of the most accessible regions in New Zealand. Home to the second largest city in the country, Christchurch, the region has everything you need for an authentic Kiwi experience.
Christchurch is the gateway to the Canterbury region and the spectacular experiences you will have within the South Island of New Zealand. Explore the range of activities and attractions we have on offer.
Adventure, wine and thermal waters - Hurunui's Alpine Pacific Triangle touring route lets you experience all of this and lots in-between.
The Alpine Pacific Triangle Touring begins only 45 minutes from Christchurch International Airport in the Waipara Valley, a Trip Advisor 2012 Top 10 South Pacific Wine Destination. Further north you will discover the alpine resort of Hanmer Springs, home to both relaxation and adventure activities.
Only 90 minutes from Christchurch, the alpine spa village of Hanmer Springs is a haven for both relaxation and adventure. For more than a century, visitors have sought the rejuvenating tonic of this beautiful village with its fresh mountain air and therapeutic hot pools.
Relax and indulge in Hanmer Springs
There's something for everyone at Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa, from soothing indulgence to exciting family fun with outdoor and private, sulphur and thermal pools, sauna and steam rooms, a lazy river, and water-fuelled action with waterslides and chutes.
A soak in the pools is just one way to indulge yourself in this idyllic township. Browse the boutique shops, savour fine local fare and wines, or unwind with a massage or body treatment at a day spa. There are plenty of cafes and restaurants on hand to refuel, and accommodation for every taste and budget - from campsites to sumptuous country lodges.
Hanmer Springs adventure
Hanmer Springs is not all about rest and relaxation - there's plenty of opportunity to get the heart racing. Hurl yourself off a bridge with Hanmer Springs Attractions bungy jump, wrestle the rapids on a white-water rafting trip, or buckle up for a nail-biting jet boat ride.
Whether by foot or by bike, you simply have to get out and explore the network of trails around this picturesque corner of Canterbury. If you're only up for a short stroll, you're well catered for, or take on a half or full day hike.
For two-wheeled adventures, take advantage of some of New Zealand's best mountain biking, with exhilarating downhills, uphill challenges and undulating forest trails. The St James Conservation Area offers thousands of hectares of diverse backcountry landscape - and recreational pursuits galore, including the 64km St James Cycle Trail.
Family fun in Hanmer
Families just love this district - with forests, parks, rivers and hot pools, it's like a massive outdoor playground. Check out the animals at Hanmer Springs Animal Park, or make a splash and have some fun in the family activity area at Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa. In winter, hit the slopes at the family-friendly field just out of Hanmer.
Waipara Valley is one of Trip Advisor's 2012 Top 10 South Pacific Wine Destinations. Your gastronomic journey begins only 45 minutes north of Christchurch International Airport, with award-winning wines, delicious produce and world-class dining, set amid some spectacular scenery.
The geography, soils and climate together with the magic of wine makers combine to produce regional specialities of rich, spicy Pinot Noir and Riesling. There's also some fine Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc to be had.
Meet producers at a cellar door tasting and let them introduce you to a drop that will make your palate sing. Park up at a vineyard restaurant, and enjoy some famed Canterbury lamb, or local cheese dish, superbly matched with a Waipara drop.
On a summer's Saturday morning, visit the Waipara Valley Farmers' Market in Amberley. Sip on a sublime coffee while you ogle the colourful produce, olive oils, preserves, breads and stacks of other mouth-watering local treats.
North Canterbury Food & Wine Trail
Plan your own Waipara Valley journey with the North Canterbury Food & Wine Trail. Download the guide or use the interactive map to explore vineyards and wineries, along with restaurants, cafes, markets, artisan producers and accommodation. Your only quandary will be deciding where to go first!
Weka Pass Railway
Climb aboard a vintage steam or diesel-electric locomotive for a nostalgic journey through steep gorges and rolling farmland. Operating on the 1st and 3rd Sunday of each month, every Sunday in January and most public holidays, there's fun for the whole family on the 12.8km Weka Pass Railway scenic line.
Waipara Valley walks
Lap up Waipara Valley's scenery with a walk. There are plenty of trails to choose from, including the Mt Cass Walkway and Tiromoana Bush Walk. Head to Leithfield Beach for some good surf, a cooling dip, or a relaxing seaside saunter.
Māori rock art at Weka Pass Historic Reserve
Weka Pass Historic Reserve is home to a large limestone overhang shelter, containing examples of Māori rock art. A walkway crossing farmland takes you to the rock art site - 40 minutes walking each way.
Cheviot & Gore Bay
Cheviot is located on State Highway 1 between Christchurch and Kaikoura. The beautiful township is home to lovely cafes and an eclectic range of shops.
Five minutes drive from Cheviot you'll find Gore Bay, home to a safe swimming and surf beach, lots of great walks, excellent family camping ground and holiday homes for rent. The hidden gem of the highly photographed Cathedral Cliffs are located close by and a must see for those visiting the area.