Arrowtown, New Zealand
Auckland, New Zealand
Beach, New Zealand
Fiordland, New Zealand
Lake Matheson, New Zealand
Mount Maunganui, New Zealand
Queenstown, New Zealand
Rotorua, New Zealand

Canterbury, New ZealandCanterbury Activity Highlights

Canterbury | Regional Information | Activity Highlights | Scenic Highlights | History

When you see the Canterbury landscape you just want to get out there and interact with it. The region is packed solid with opportunities to encounter the amazing environment.

Canterbury Activity Highlights Overview

There is so much to see and do in the Canterbury region.

Enjoy fast and furious white water rafting on the Rangitata River. Sample quality wines at one of the Waipara Valley wineries, complemented by contemporary New Zealand cuisine. See Kaikoura's famous whales—up close and personal or from the air. Take a leisurely punt ride along the Avon River through the centre of Christchurch. Or walk the alpine trails of Mount Cook National Park, then explore the Tasman Glacier terminal lake by boat.

In winter go skiing or snowboarding at one of the are 14 ski fields in the region. Relax afterwards and soak in the hot pools at Hanmer Springs, or go flightseeing over the snow-covered Southern Alps.

» Canterbury Activities Directory

Send a Canterbury related E-Postcard to your friends.

Have a Whale of a Time in Kaikoura

A variety of rare marine mammals converge off this piece of coast - sperm whales, New Zealand fur seals, dolphins and penguins.

Image Source: Tourism New Zealand. Fur seals in Kaikoura, Canterbury, New Zealand
Fur seals Kaikoura, Canterbury
Photographer: Hiroshi Nameda
(hnamechan@hotmail.com)
  • Go whale-watching by boat or air, all year round
  • Swim with or observe dolphins on a dolphin encounter
  • Experience seal swimming with a land-based or boat-based guided seal snorkelling tour
  • Take a bird watching tour, to view seabirds, albatross , molly-mawks, petrels and many more
  • Hike the Kaikoura Peninsula walkway—three hours return to visit a seal colony, limestone formations and a seabird colony
  • Visit Fyffe House, a colonial whalers cottage

» Kaikoura Regional Information

» Kaikoura Travel Directory

History and Adventure in the Central South Island District

The area between Christchurch and Dunedin is a must if you're doing a self-drive tour of the South Island

Image Source: Tourism New Zealand. Rock climbing at Castle Hill, Canterbury, New Zealand
Rock Climbing Castle Hill
Canterbury
Photographer: Graham Charles
(imagematters@clear.net.nz)
  • The area has the largest collection on Maori Rock Art in New Zealand
  • Timaru has the largest collection of preserved urban Victorian and Edwardian architecture in New Zealand
  • Book with Rangitata Rafts for a day of rafting grade 5 rapids
  • The Artisan Forge and Gallery is the only commercial blacksmith in New Zealand - visit for a demonstration
  • The Pleasant Point Railway is home to the world's only Ford Model T Railcar and the railway society have regular steaming days
  • Sip awarding winning wine at Opihi Vineyard
  • Take in a glassblowing demonstration at Denise Belanger-Taylor's studio
  • Enjoy a trip around Caroline Bay with Timaru Marine Cruises
  • Stay at Castle Claremont, a boutique hotel with convention facilities and its own church
  • Visit the Geraldine Vintage Car and Machinery Museum
  • Sample the tastes at Barkers Fruits in Geraldine
  • Walk, bike or be at one with nature in the Waimate District

Delicious Indulgence - Hurunui District (Hanmer Springs and the Waipara Valley)

Relax and rejuvenate with hot spas, excellent wine, great food and thrilling adventure.

Image Source: Tourism New Zealand. White water rafting on Ragitata River, Canterbury, New Zealand
White Water Rafting Rangitata River
Canterbury
Photographer: Graham Charles
(imagematters@clear.net.nz)
  • Soak in the hot thermal pools at Hanmer Springs Thermal Reserve
  • Hike or bike through Hanmer Springs Forest and find some of New Zealand's oldest exotic plantings
  • Go jet boating in the Waiau, or Waimakariri Gorge
  • Ski at Mount Lyford or Hanmer Springs
  • Discover the wineries of the Waipara Valley. Stop for a tasting and a meal
  • Ride the Weka Pass historic railway from Waipara to Waikari
  • Do a wine tour the slow way - in a wagon behind a team of Clydesdale horses
  • Ride through the high country with Hurunui Horse Treks
  • Drive the Alpine Pacific Triangle touring route which links popular Canterbury destinations Hanmer Springs, Waipara Valley and Kaikoura

Fishing, Skiing and Walking Around Ashburton

The Ashburton District can offer you a memorable Canterbury experience.

  • Try the world famous trout and salmon fishing on the braided Rakaia river
  • Go skiing at Mount Hutt in winter
  • From Methven you can go hot air ballooning, jet boating, parachuting and mountain biking
  • Walk to historical sites, deep river canyons and native beech forest in the Mount Hutt Forest area and along the Mount Somers Sub Alpine Walkway
  • Visit Ashford Craft Village in Ashburton for local and New Zealand-made arts and crafts
  • Travel to Selwyn and visit Lake Coleridge. This deep blue high country lake and adjacent village are renowned for their fishing, water skiing and scenery

» Ashburton Travel Directory

Useful Canterbury Links

To help plan your Canterbury holiday choose from the main categories below:

Send a Canterbury related E-Postcard to your friends.

Canterbury Region Information

Canterbury Tourism Operators

Featured

 
Mainstay New Zealand Hotels

Mainstay NZ Hotels

Large collection of independent hotels.

Choice Hotels

Choice Hotels

Holiday packages for any occasion.

Distinction Hotels

Distinction Hotels

Great hotels in great NZ wide locations.

Featured

 
Mainstay New Zealand Hotels

Mainstay NZ Hotels

Large collection of independent hotels.

Choice Hotels

Choice Hotels

Holiday packages for any occasion.

Distinction Hotels

Distinction Hotels

Great hotels in great NZ wide locations.