Discover the heart of the South Island
Drive through South Canterbury and take in the vast beauty of the countryside.
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South Canterbury countryside

A 2-hour drive from Christchurch you'll find South Canterbury. A brilliant area for outdoor enthusiasts, with forests, paddocks and rivers the main characteristics of this region. Peel Forest, is famous for native trees and bush, with a great range of forest walks throughout. Once you’ve warmed up, the next adventure has to be Rangitata Rafts. Offering challenging rafting on the Rangitata river with exhilarating rapids and celebratory BBQ afterwards.

There are plenty of alternatives for those who prefer to stay dry. Further south is the pretty town of Geraldine, famous for its berry fields. There's an option to visit the world-famous mosaic replica of the Bayeux Tapestry (it’s currently showing in the UK) or have a berry smoothie at an orchard farm café. On the way back to Christchurch stop near Ashburton to visit the beautiful Trotts Garden.

Photo stops:

  • Walk up Little Mt Peel and be rewarded by beautiful views of the Canterbury Plains and ocean.
  • Mt Sunday, a short inland drive from Mt Somers, offers the best panoramic shots, with snow-capped mountains and vast countryside.

Insider Tips:

  • Staveley Store is the perfect example of the good old fashioned country cuisine. The food and products on offer are the real deal! Try their venison or jams and spreads - irresistible!


Intercity and Atomic Shuttle run daily services.


  • Live For Adventures?

    Searching for the ultimate thrill or a double dose of adrenalin? Try our picks for the top Canterbury adventures!

  • Freedom Camping Etiquette

    Freedom Camping is a great way to explore the hidden gems of the Christchurch & Canterbury region.

    To ensure our scenery, waterways and environment are protected for visitors, locals and future generations to enjoy, make yourself familiar with the rules and regulations.