The Wonders of Canterbury
Mountains, lakes and rivers, cycling, walking, food and wine – Christchurch and its backyard of Canterbury is a snapshot of the most stunning beauty and wonders of New Zealand. Located in the majestic South Island, Christchurch is a fantastic place to base yourself for that true Kiwi experience.
Imagine a magical place where the mountains plunge into the ocean, and whales, dolphins, seals and sea birds abound. Feel the spirit and heart of New Zealand in Kaikoura, with a strong Maori cultural embrace, abundant marine life, breath taking scenery, and incredible seafood all of which urge you to be more in tune with the land and its natural offerings. The deep trench that lies just off the coast, creates a year round play ground for all kinds of marine life like Sperm Whales, Dusky Dolphin, New Zealand Fur Seals and different kind of the majestic seabird, the Albatross.
Hanmer Springs and Hurunui
Whether you are after a weekend of indulgence and relaxation or are after something to invigorate and rejuvenate, Hanmer Springs the ideal setting, and only 90 minutes’ drive from Christchurch. The alpine environment is perfect for walkers and cyclists to get out and about, and adventure activities like 4WD, jet boating and bungy are all within easy reach. Or perhaps you simply want to sit back, relax and spoil yourself with the natural thermal springs hot pools, day spa, gourmet restaurants and nearby Waipara Valley Wine region.
Spend some time discovering Waimakariri's country townships. There's plenty of fun and adventure to be had as you enjoy golfing, jet boating, kayaking and sailing, horse riding, farm tours, farmers' markets and much more. You can design your own foodie tour with the help of the North Canterbury Food & Wine Track, or simply pack a picnic of local goodies and park up beside the coastal beaches, perfect for a seaside stroll, a plunge, or just dipping your toes in the surf.
Christchurch is one of the world’s most unique destinations – see urban regeneration and innovation, set within stunning gardens, tradition, and a picturesque backdrop. Discover vibrant new retail, restaurants and creativity, and experience a range of activities such as ski, golf, bungy, cycling, hot-air ballooning, whale watching and visit wineries and gardens... all within just a few hours’ drive.
Stretching from the majestic Southern Alps and Arthurs Pass, down the braided Rakaia & Waimakariri rivers and over the patchwork Canterbury Plains, “sensational” Selwyn hosts some of the best that Canterbury has to offer. Ski fields, outdoor pursuits, and the luscious gardens are only outdone by the stunning scenery and collection of artisan wine and food producers, offering experiences that range from unique and memorable wine tastings with the growers, to sampling fresh regional produce, and destination cafes and restaurants serving local food and fine wine.
Amongst the snow-capped mountains, rugged high country, glacial lakes and rushing rivers, you'll discover plenty of things to do in Mid Canterbury. It is the ideal haven for outdoor enthusiasts, with the perfect terrain for back country getaways, and secret fishing spots and an abundance of traditional rural hospitality. Get on your bike or walk for miles on the incredibly scenic tracks & trails, ski Mt Hutt, or perhaps something a little more adventurous like skydiving!
Aoraki Mt Cook Mackenzie
Big mountains, big skies, and big adventure means the Aoraki Mt Cook Mackenzie District always makes a big impact. The magical turquoise colours of Lake Tekapo and Pukaki will take your breath away, and the powerful glaciers, sky piercing Alps will leave you wanting more of this enchanting and unique part of the country. Trek the well-worn paths of New Zealand’s mountain climbing pioneers, heli hike on NZ’s longest Glacier, cycle through the dramatic and ever-changing landscapes, or simply relax in some hotsprings before stargazing the night away under some of the world’s darkest and clearest skies.
South Canterbury and Waimate
South Canterbury's rolling hills, meandering rivers, native forest and unspoiled coastline give a snap shot of the best of country New Zealand. With many picture-postcard views to be had here, there are lots of ways you can get out and discover these gorgeous environments. Walking and mountain bike trails zigzag their way through the area, large canyons lending their hand to adrenalin junkies and ancient Maori rock art takes you back in time to New Zealand’s history.