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Explore Canterbury

Escape the 9-5 and Explore Canterbury

Looking for big scenery and big experiences to help you escape the mundane 9-5 gruel? You Can Do Exploration in Canterbury.

Day 1: Christchurch to Aoraki / Mt Cook Village

Find your bearings in Christchurch and start the day in a big way with the biggest breakfast the legendary C1 Café has to offer.

Drive 4 hours to Aoraki/Mt Cook Village and experience everything the journey has to offer. From Geraldine's boutique chocolate shops to Fairlie's Bakehouse, the home of award winning pies.

Spend the afternoon in Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park exploring New Zealand's longest glacier, by boat, plane, or in season, by skiing on it!

Unwind with a night in the Panorama Room at The Hermitage Hotel – where the view are almost as amazing as the food!

Day 2: Aoraki / Mt Cook to Lake Tekapo

Journey from Aoraki / Mt Cook to Lake Tekapo in a short hour and spend the morning exploring this stunning national park.

Fish the afternoon away in the hydro canals or bountiful lakes and find some of the freshest trout and salmon New Zealand has to offer. Or hop on a bike and take in the beautiful Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail along the lake from Aoraki / Mt Cook to Twizel, a great option for a day long activity.

Enjoy the evening in Lake Tekapo and experience Tekapo Springs. Here you can ice skate or snow tube in the colder months or glide down the world's largest inflatable slide in the summer. But if that all sounds a bit much, just relax in the hot pools and enjoy the breathtaking vista.

Finish the day with some stargazing in the Mackenzie basin, the world's largest, gold status International Dark Sky Reserve. Enjoy a world class stargazing experience with the Dark Sky Project and finish your night with a nibble and drink at the Astro Cafe located at the mount-top Mt John's observatory.

Day 3: Lake Tekapo to Methven

Soak up the beautiful scenery of the Canterbury Plains at the foothills of the Southern Alps on the 2 hour drive to Methven - a bustling ski town in winter and adventure playground in the summer.

In Methven you'll find a choice of jet boating, hiking, biking, golf or clay bird shooting. And if you're visiting in winter, Mt Hutt is right on Methven's doorstop ready and waiting for epic afternoon of skiing or boarding.

Head to one of the local pubs for spot of dinner to refuel and recharge with some true Kiwi hospitality.

Day 4: Methven to Christchurch

Rise early and take a hot air balloon trip over the Canterbury Plains and experience the magical sunrise, complete with a champagne breakfast.

Head back to Christchurch with just enough time for a trip up the Port Hills and take in the glorious ocean to alps views.