Welcome to Canterbury! A place where coastal and mountain experiences combine to make a place where there's something hair-raisingly thrilling, day-dreamingly relaxing and breath-takingly beautiful for every traveller. In Canterbury you'll find many worlds within one region. Popular tourism destinations in Canterbury include Christchurch City, Hanmer Springs, Timaru, Lake Tekapo and Mt Hutt. more
Canterbury is the South Island’s largest region, it is the region of stark contrasts. The region is home to both New Zealand’s largest plains – the Canterbury plains with intensive pastoral farming and New Zealand’s highest mountains – Mount Cook. It is home to the South Island’s largest city of Christchurch and some of the country’s most remote wildernesses. It is a land of dramatic mountain ranges, cascading rivers, unbelievably glacial-flour-coloured lakes, rolling hills, flat plains, dramatic coastlines, glaciers, wineries and much more.
Enlarge your itinerary with Canterbury’s huge range of activities including numerous ski resorts, skydiving, bungy jumping, hot air ballooning, trout and salmon fish, chartered sea fishing, whale, dolphin and seal watching, hot-water springs, hiking, Lord of the Rings tours, farm tours, jetboating, wine tasting, glacier climbing, mountaineering, mountain biking to name only a few activities. Canterbury has a selection of activities for everyone including thrill-seekers, families, backpackers, honeymoon makers, groups and elderly.
The mid coastal region of Canterbury is dominated by the large pastoral Canterbury plains, Christchurch and numerous towns. The Canterbury plains are intensively farmed with dairy, sheep, beef and deer faming and is the economic and population centre of the South Island. The town Methven (located on the Canterbury plains at the foot of the towering mountains as they ascend dramatically out of the plain) is the gateway for the popular Mt Hutt ski resort – a thirty minute drive away.
The north is mountainous and dry, boasting most of the region’s wineries – especially in the Waipara region. Secluded in its own valley is the South Island’s most popular hot-springs resort as well as popular ski resort – Hanmer Springs. And to the far north is the popular coastal town of Kiakoura – a prime base for a host of wildlife encounters and famous for its whales, fur seals and dolphins who live permanently on this coast. Kiakoura is scenic mountainous region with a dramatic coastline showcasing many mountains descending down into the sea. Take a drive long the Kiakoura coastal highway you are sure to see many fur seals resting on the rocks.
The western inland regions (also known as “McKenzie Country”) are dry and mountainous. This region includes many of New Zealand’s alpine lakes including famous lakes of Tekapo and Pukaki – these lakes are unique in New Zealand for their distinctive glacial hue. This region is dominated by towering snow-capped mountain ranges, deep glacier cut valleys, tussock grasslands and wild gushing rivers. Mount Cook, New Zealand’s tallest mountain, is found here and from it tumbles New Zealand’s longest glacier – the Tasman Glacier – measuring 27 kilometres long. Mt. Hutt is a popular ski resort found close to the Canterbury plains region. Two of the three mountain passes crossing east-west across the Southern Alps are found here namely, Arthurs Pass and Lewis Pass – these are two of the most spectacular alpine drives in the country.
Canterbury’s south is dominated by scenic rolling hills and pastoral farming. The largest town is Timaru.
Canterbury has a massive range of accommodation options encompassing five-star accommodation, budget motor lodges and motels, luxury alpine lodges and retreats, cheap backpacker accommodation, camping grounds, self-catering apartments, villas, among other options. Regardless of your needs – be it conferencing or assessable accommodation – Canterbury has the right accommodation options for you.
Take a moment to send a Canterbury related E-Postcard to your friends.
What Do You Want To Do?
Exclusive chauffeured / guided off-road Lord of the Rings and Custom Made tours from Christchurch. One day to six weeks throughout the Southern Alps and South Island. Friendly experienced hosts, small groups (Min 2, max 8). Magnificent views guaranteed, no crowds or coaches, unlimited photo stops, homemade refreshments and meals, homely Kiwi accommodation. We offer exclusive quality, not quantity.
Mobile-friendly - Welcome to Absolutely Fabulous Southern Lakes Tours! Ideal for couples or family groups of all ages. Very family friendly with no age restrictions. Four-day Lord of the Rings tours. Christchurch to Queenstown, Milford Sound and beyond plus four-day Southern Lakes Sightseeing Tours. Option to fly out of Queenstown or return to Christchurch. Tour vehicle is exclusively reserved for you.
Mobile-friendly - Comfortable accommodation furnished with tasteful decor. Studio and family units all with queen-size beds, Sky TV and BBQ area. Accessible accommodation. Offering an ideal balance between convenience and tranquility. Kaikoura is a magical destination located between Christchurch and Blenheim. Experience the rugged coastal alpine scenery, whale watching, dolphin swimming, diving and an abundance of eco-tourism related activities.
Mobile-friendly - Enjoy the thrills of offroad motorcycle and quadbike fun, riding the best high country trails in New Zealand. Trails suitable for novice to experienced riders. Coaching can be arranged for beginners. Includes transport from Christchurch, all riding gear, experienced guide, snacks, drink, latest model trail and quad bikes from 100cc to 450cc. Half-day/day tours departing daily all year.
Mobile-friendly - Adventure Trailrides New Zealand offer corporate tours allowing us to put your team through their paces on an enduro motorcycle or atv quad bike in Christchurch. Our tours are suitable for beginners with coaching available and we can cater for up to 16 people. Single or multi-day options are available as well as lunch or corporate meals.
The Aigantighe Art Museum (pronounced 'egg and tie') in Timaru, New Zealand is renowned internationally for its collection and innovative exhibition and education programmes. Aigantighe holds New Zealand, Pacific, Asian and European art works from the sixteenth century to the present day. Its British Victorian painting collection is of great significance.
Air Kaikoura was the first to offer Whale Watching flights and for the last 25 years has been providing amazing whale experiences, scenic flights, pilot-a-plane trips and pilot training. Let Murray and his friendly team of pilots/instructors fly you over the Kaikoura Sea Canyon to view the mighty Sperm whale from the tip to the tail.
Mobile-friendly - Air Milford proudly operates the only brand new Cessna Caravan aircraft. This aircraft offers leather seating, quiet air conditioned comfort and great viewing for all passengers. It is one of the safest aircraft flying today. Eco-tours, aircraft charters, fishing, hunting and personalised tours. Flights to Milford Sound, Doubtful Sound, the Southern Alps and Glaciers.
Scenic flights over the South Island's spectacular Southern Alps. Our high wing Cessna seats five and provides fantastic viewing and photo opportunities. Enjoy unimpeded views as you fly through a landscape of unbelievable grandeur and beauty. Scenic routes include Mt Cook & West Coast Glaciers and the Rangitata Headwaters. Airport transfers from Christchurch to Queenstown or anywhere in between.
Mobile-friendly - Spectacular and unforgettable Grand Traverse scenic flights of the Mount Cook and Westland World Heritage Parks. Explore the alpine wonderland of New Zealand's highest mountains and largest glaciers on this incredible flightseeing experience. Depart hourly from Lake Tekapo, Glentanner Park and Franz Josef on modern, well equipped aircraft. All window seats.
Sail with dolphins on New Zealand's oldest ketch—Fox II. See penguins, seals, albatross, and other sea birds. A real sailing experience; as crew, or just relax. Quiet, eco-friendly green boat, two masts, six red sails. Food, refreshments, complimentary coffee/tea. 2.5 hour cruise, departing 10:30am and 1:15pm from Dalys Wharf, Akaroa late Dec-May. Satisfaction guaranteed! Private charters. Company functions. Weddings.
Mobile-friendly - Akaroa French Connection Services connect with harbour cruises, dolphin swimming, sea-kayaking, horse-treks and local tours. Your journey includes comfortable coach transport, free pick-up from inner-city accommodation, refreshment and photo stops en-route, informative driver commentary and a 'drive through introduction' of the charming Akaroa Village. Come and experience Akaroa and enjoy a spectacular scenic drive across picturesque Banks Peninsula with us!
We provide the only environmentally sustainable and exciting harbour cruise around Akaroa Harbour. Enjoy an encounter with wildlife, on their terms, without disrupting their environment. Our 47-foot classic ocean sailing yacht, Manutara, is one of the last A-Class keelers built. Enjoy a 2.5-hour sail experience cruise around Akaroa Harbour, with basic, personal sail training included.
Mobile-friendly - Stunning views across the majestic Akaroa harbour, and only a 300-metre walk to the main street—the ideal getaway from busy city life. Only an 85 kilometre drive from Christchurch. A full range of campsite facilities including a swimming pool, BBQ area and TV Lounge. Accommodation catering to all needs, from self contained units to budget cabins to spacious camp sites.
Mobile-friendly - Akaroa Tours & Transfers offer local, knowledgeable, scenic tours. Scenic Guide, Philip Narbey, provides cruise ship passenger tours, transfers to and from Christchurch. Sports group transport. Cruise shore trips. Exclusive small group tours. Corporate & Conference transfers. Banks Peninsula Track transfers from Christchurch to Akaroa and return.
Mobile-friendly - Kaikoura has the greatest number of different seabirds in a small area. View these birds in their natural environment. Birds include albatross, petrels, shearwaters, terns, shags and gulls. Experience the sensation of getting close to the mighty albatross, one of the world's largest flight birds.
Take a break from the hustle and bustle and escape to Red Cottage in Staveley. Enjoy romantic evenings with open fires, candle light and the warm wooden ambience of this restored historical cottage. Watch the sun set over the surrounding mountains while enjoying local produce and fine wine, after a day of exploring this wonderful area.
Your Akaroa Alpaca Farm Tour experience takes you on a scenic-drive to the western-side of Akaroa Harbour to Shamarra Alpaca Farm. Our Akaroa alpaca farm has breathtaking views of the harbour. Alpaca farmers, Frank and Anya, will treat you to an interesting, interactive introduction to these animals (renowned for their ultra-fine fleece). Light refreshments included on your Akaroa farm tour.
Mobile-friendly - Walk the Waihi River, South Canterbury, leading your alpaca. Interact with these beautiful animals, get up close and take some photos! Cuddle our pet lamb, rabbits and guinea pigs too. Relax and take in the beauty of the Four Peaks range and Mt Peel. Suitable for all ages, free entry for children under 5. Open 7 days a week.
Mobile-friendly - Alpine Adventure Holiday Park is situated 2.5km outside town in a quiet, bush-clad valley at the foot of Jack's Pass, the park is set on the site of an historic staging post. Offering a large range of accommodation to suit all tastes and budgets, the park boasts the best facilities around including a pool, games room, adventure playground, and more.
Mobile-friendly - Hanmer Springs' central mini golf course is located just past the Heritage Hotel and this course has been recently rebuilt with lots of new and exciting holes! This is also your starting point for the Village Cruisers. Families have been enjoying our bikes for 17 years! A fun form of transport to get around Hanmer Springs designed for 4-6 people!
Imagine spending your holiday on one of our exhilarating trail rides in the high country of New Zealand's South Island. Guided horse riding pack trips from two hours to twelve days though the North Canterbury high country. View spectacular scenery: snow-capped mountains, vast river flats, crystal clear lakes and rivers.
Mobile-friendly - Alpine Jet will take you deep into the foothills of the Southern Alps through the breathtaking Waimakariri River canyon. We are situated only 50 minutes from Christchurch Airport. Breathtaking views, excellent mixture of scenery and excitement, our safari tour option doubles as an eco-experience with magnificent scenery, native bush and wildlife.
Range of warm, affordable accommodation in Canterbury's alpine thermal wonderland. Excellent facilities and close to the village amenities. Alpine Lodge Motel in Hanmer Springs is close to ski fields and a challenging golf course. Breakfasts available. Popular recreational activities available and we are happy to assist. A great area to relax and unwind.
Mobile-friendly - Accommodation set in picturesque, quiet, rural setting with stunning mountain views, but still only 400 metres from town. Excellent selection of accommodation, cabins, en-suites and motels, with park facilities for powered campervan or tent sites. Facilities include heated pool and spas, wireless Internet and high pressure showers. Qualmark 4.5 star rating for holiday park and Qualmark 4 stars for Motels.
Where Do You Want To Go?
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This is the story...
A thought-provoking, belly aching and all-around fun journey through a lifetime. ‘This is the story’ is a celebration of what makes who we are, it applauds our failures, our victories and everything in between.The ...
Where: Dim 7th Jazz and Whisky Bar, Christchurch
Address: 363 Lincoln Road, Christchurch
From: 9:00pm on Friday 20th October 2017
To: 10:00pm on Friday 20th October 2017
Yoga Retreat in Hanmer Springs
A small, personalized retreat to enjoy daily Hatha Yoga asana practice for overall wellness including pranayama and meditation practices. Explore strength building and relaxation techniques to enhance overall well-being ...
Where: Alpine Holiday Home, Hanmer Springs, Hurunui
Address: 18 Amuri Ave, Hanmer Springs, Hurunui
From: 6:00pm on Friday 20th October 2017
To: 9:30am on Monday 23rd October 2017
The Sound of Music
One of the world's best-loved musicals, The Sound of Music, will tour New Zealand this September and October. From the producer of the recent touring stage shows Grease, HMS Pinafore, Menopause the Musical and South ...
Where: Theatre Royal, Timaru, South Canterbury
Address: 124 Stafford St, Timaru, South Canterbury
From: 7:00pm on Friday 20th October 2017
To: 9:30pm on Friday 20th October 2017
Bic Runga and Special Guests - A Celebration of Drive
Bic Runga’s captivating voice and songs have become part of the musical fabric of New Zealand. She is a New Zealand icon, and this concert celebrates her music and her contribution to New Zealand music. Joining Bic ...
Where: Isaac Theatre Royal, Christchurch
Address: 145 Gloucester St, Christchurch
From: 8:00pm on Friday 20th October 2017
To: 11:00pm on Friday 20th October 2017
Braveheart Christchurch Launch
This is your opportunity to express your confidence and pride in the city - to display the spirit and the strength of the people who live here. To show that its not merely about buildings and infrastructure, its about ...
Where: Cathedral Square, Christchurch
Address: Cathedral Square, Christchurch
From: 8:00pm on Friday 20th October 2017
To: 8:45pm on Friday 20th October 2017
Viper Live ft. Brookes Brothers & More
Viper Live ft. Brookes Brothers, TREi and Ekko & Sidetrack. Tickets on-sale, Thursday 7th September 7pm. Viper (Live): Drum & Bass power imprint Viper Recordings are bringing their iconic events brand “Viper ...
Where: Winnie Bagoes City, Christchurch
Address: Corner Madras & Allen Streets, Christchurch, Christchurch
From: 10:00pm on Friday 20th October 2017
To: 11:59pm on Friday 20th October 2017
The Comedy Gong Show!
The Comedy Gong Show Koha Entry! An open mic night where comedians are really put to the test! It may be an open mic but there is no room for amateur comedy here. If the comedian can't hold your attention the the ...
Where: Evil Genius Bar, Christchurch
Address: 1091 Ferry Rd, Christchurch
From: 7:45pm on Friday 20th October 2017
To: 10:30pm on Friday 20th October 2017
A Night of: House Music ft. Jaycen A'mour & Local DJs
A night of returns with A Night of House feat: Jaycen A'mour ft. NFX, Eddy C & other local DJ's. This bass house juggernaut has released some of the juiciest bangers to hit the dancefloors of NZ and especially ...
Where: Deja Vu Nightclub, Christchurch
Address: 32 Allen St, Christchurch
From: 8:00pm on Friday 20th October 2017
To: 3:00am on Saturday 21st October 2017
"Strangers" explores the moment when two strangers meet. It may be a fleeting moment of connection, the start of a whirlwind romance, or the beginning of a deadly rivalry. Watch as our actors create beautiful moments ...
Where: Papa Hou , Christchurch
Address: 12 Hereford, Christchurch
From: 7:30pm on Friday 20th October 2017
To: 9:00pm on Friday 20th October 2017
Catch Paul McKessar DJing at Casa Publica from 9pm til late
Where: Casa Publica, Christchurch
Address: 180 Armagh Street, Christchurch
From: 9:00pm on Friday 6th October 2017
To: 11:59pm on Friday 20th October 2017