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 - 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.
Mobile-friendly - AgriTravel creates customised agricultural and special interest tours for discerning rural and business travellers. From small private groups through to agribusiness study and technical tours of all sizes. Our team designs creative and insightful tour programmes, connecting you with the people of New Zealand, hear their stories and share their passion. Contact us to start your journey now.
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.
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 - 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!
Mobile-friendly - 3 minute walk to thermal pools. Range of modern motel units with excellent facilities, all fully self-contained and serviced daily. Queen-size beds, Sky TV with FreeView TV/DVD. Free unlimited WiFi, complimentary towels for thermal pools, morning paper. Guest laundry available. Continental breakfast available. BBQ area. Access unit. Friendly hosts will help make your stay a great experience in Hanmer Springs.
Where Do You Want To Go?
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Dr Bugs Popcorn Factory Tour
Have you ever wondered how popcorn is made? Wanting something for the kids to do in the chilly July school holidays? Come join us at our Christchurch popcorn factory, and we'll show you around. During the 45 minute ...
Where: Dr Bugs Popcorn, Christchurch
Address: 89a Sturrocks Road, Casebrook, Christchurch
From: 9:30am on Tuesday 17th July 2018
To: 4:45pm on Wednesday 18th July 2018
Circus Workshop : SOLD OUT
Come and join the circus. This workshop is a great chance to try acrobatics, juggling and aerial arts at Circotica Circus School. This workshop is suitable for kids aged 5-8 years.
Where: Circotica, Christchurch
Address: 4/235 Waltham rd, Christchurch
From: 4:30pm on Tuesday 17th July 2018
To: 5:30pm on Thursday 19th July 2018
2 for 1 Tuesdays
That's right, come in on Tuesday with a mate and only pay for one of you! Offer applies to: - Sightseeing - Single Uplift - 3 Uplift - Day Pass - All Lessons - Bike Rental & insurance - GoPro Hire - DH ...
Where: Christchurch Adventure Park, Christchurch
Address: 109 Shalamar Dr, Christchurch
From: 9:00am on Tuesday 26th June 2018
To: 5:00pm on Tuesday 31st July 2018
Test your brains with our great Believe It or Not Quiz Nights. Prizes and specials during the night.
Where: Armadillos Bar, Christchurch
Address: 155 Colombo St, Christchurch
From: 6:45pm on Tuesday 17th April 2018
To: 9:30pm on Tuesday 31st July 2018
The Early Early Late Show
The family-friendly favourite which delivers the fun of Scared Scriptless to an audience of all ages is back. Christchurch’s Court Jesters are the masters of fast, funny, improvised comedy. They’ll create scenes, ...
Where: Science Alive, Christchurch
Address: 290 Durham St. North
From: 6:30pm on Saturday 7th July 2018
To: 11:59pm on Saturday 21st July 2018
School Holidays Fun
People have been asking us whether Arcadia is child friendly, and the answer is yes! Come down and see for yourself this school holidays, and you can even indulge your own inner child while you’re at it! We will be ...
Where: Arcadia Retro Arcade and Pinball Emporia, Christchurch
Address: 206 Barbadoes St, Christchurch
From: 1:00pm on Saturday 7th July 2018
To: 5:00pm on Sunday 22nd July 2018
From "Arabian Nights to "A Whole New World", "Aladdin" takes you on a journey that will makes your wishes come true. Follow Aladdin, a Street Rat who lives in Agrabah, with his faithful monkey friend Abu! While in ...
Where: Merivale Lane Theatre, Christchurch
Address: 10 Merivale Lane, Christchurch
From: 11:00am on Sunday 15th July 2018
To: 3:30pm on Saturday 21st July 2018
Adventure At the Haunted House
It is Midwinter Yuletide and Riccarton House Ghost Tours are back—a must "see and do" these Winter Holidays! A series of 30-min long immersive adventure-style tours are aimed at older kids (10+), teenagers and young ...
Where: Riccarton House & Bush, Christchurch
Address: 16 Kahu Rd, Riccarton, Christchurch
From: 6:00pm on Tuesday 10th July 2018
To: 8:30pm on Thursday 19th July 2018
Alice Through The Looking Glass
Building on the success of last year's Alice In Wonderland, Imagine Youth Theatre returns with song, dance, comedy and colour to bring you Alice's wild adventures in the fantastical world of Alice Through the Looking ...
Where: Elmwood Auditorium, Christchurch
Address: Elmwood Normal School, Aikmans Road, Merivale, Christchurch, Christchurch
From: 11:00am on Tuesday 10th July 2018
To: 2:00pm on Saturday 21st July 2018
The Littlest Ninja
Ninjas are cunning! Ninjas are clever! Ninjas know cool moves! Miki is little and everyone always seems to forget she’s there. But when the villainous Hanzo comes to steal the Temple’s ancient scroll, Miki ...
Where: Court Theatre, Christchurch
Address: Bernard St, Addington, Christchurch
From: 11:00am on Saturday 7th July 2018
To: 11:59pm on Saturday 21st July 2018