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Mid Canterbury

From the Southern Alps to the Pacific Ocean, with stunning snow-capped Mt Hutt and bordered by impressive braided rivers and crystal clear lakes, Mid Canterbury offers an inspiring range of activities, complemented by genuine New Zealand hospitality.

Within an hour’s drive from Christchurch International Airport you can enjoy:

  • skiing/snowboarding
  • white-water rafting
  • skydiving
  • jet boating
  • horse riding
  • country golf courses
  • amazing gardens 
  • relics of aviation and transport history
  • hiking and mountain biking

A cluster of high country lakes lures avid fly fishers, a hot air balloon or heli flight provides a bird’s eye view of a magnificently varied landscape, or a 4WD adventure can take you on a journey into the high country wilderness.


Ashburton is the bustling hub of the district combining city facilities and vibrancy with rural town friendliness. Enjoy shopping, eclectic cafés and restaurants, craft shops, as well as a nationally recognised art gallery and museum.

Lake Hood, on the outskirts of Ashburton, is a paradise for water enthusiasts, with activities including swimming, yachting, boating and water skiing. Enjoy coffee or dining at the lakefront restaurant and watch the world go by. For the thrill-seeker, a skydive with incredible alps to ocean views is a must!

Methven/Mt Hutt

Methven is at the heart of nine Canterbury ski areas and over 1000 kms of New Zealand’s best heli-skiing terrain.

Even if you are not a skier or snowboarder, there are many reasons to visit Methven at any time of year. Within minutes of arriving you can enjoy a country golf course, horse trekking through the countryside, hot air ballooning, hiking or mountain biking, or sit back and relax with a brew at a local pub. This corner of Canterbury is definitely renowned for its relaxed, refined lifestyle and quirky characteristics. 

Did you know Methven's Kids 4 Free deal makes the ultimate snow experience even more accessible for families. Mt Hutt Ski Area offers children 10 and under to stay, eat and play for free during the ski season.

Mt Somers/High Country

There's nearly 60,000 hectares to explore at Hakatere Conservation Park – just inland from Ashburton.

The landscape is made up of tussock lands, beech forest, lakes and rivers including the mighty Rakaia and Rangitata. Take time out to swim, boat, tramp, climb, ski, hunt, mountain bike, horse ride, fish or simply relax and enjoy a picnic in stunning surroundings. 

For a glimpse into the history of the area, visit the old lime kilns at Staveley and Mt Somers, the coal mines at Woolshed Creek, the 1860’s Hakatere stone homestead and the Barrhill Historic Village.

New Zealand’s Alpine and Agriculture Encounter tells the stories of the mountains, plains and people. Take time to visit quaint historic churches and homesteads dotted throughout the district. 

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