Christchurch - Canterbury
From the silvery beaches of the coast to the jagged peaks of the Southern Alps, the Canterbury landscape is impossible to ignore. Big scenery is the order of the day - huge panoramas of ocean or mountains, great sweeps of pastureland and massive amounts of sky.
An amazing arena for adventure and indulgence
The highest point of the region is the highest point of New Zealand. The spectacular Aoraki Mount Cook stands at 3754 metres (Aoraki is Maori for Cloud Piercer). At the other end of the scale, the submarine trenches off the coast of Kaikoura are thousands of metres deep, providing an ideal environment for the whales, dolphins and seals that live there permanently.
Between the mountains and the sea, the vast plains are patchworked with the patterns of rural life. Hundreds of years ago, Maori moa hunters worked these plains leaving a rock art record of their successes.
In the two cities of the region, Christchurch and Timaru, great care has been taken to preserve Canterbury’s colonial heritage. Grand architecture, historic homesteads and immaculate parks intermingle with the technology and style of modern life.
Aoraki Mount Cook National Park
This park is a land of ice and rock. Glaciers cover 40% of its area and there are 19 peaks over 3,000 metres, including New Zealand's highest mountain Aoraki Mount Cook. Mount Cook Village is a base for climbers and hikers.
Alpine Pacific Triangle Touring Route
The Alpine Pacific Triangle takes you to the gourmet area of Waipara, spa delights of Hanmer Springs and marine mammals of Kaikoura. Between destinations, enjoy the beautiful country scenery.
Akaroa and Banks Peninsula
Banks Peninsula and Akaroa Harbour were formed by volcanic eruptions, many thousands of years ago. Originally a French settlement, the historic town of Akaroa is a place to enjoy fine cuisine and wildlife cruises.
Christchurch international airport receives flights from Australia, Asia, the UK and the USA, providing a convenient gateway to South Island destinations.
Comfortable driving distances let you pack more into your holiday. In Canterbury it’s possible to go surfing and skiing on the same day!
Mount Hutt is usually the first New Zealand ski field to open and the last to close. Snowmakers keep the slopes in top shape.
The city of Timaru has a domestic airport. Flights arrive daily from Wellington.