Canterbury stretches from ocean to the Alps, a land of plains
and peaks. It is a place of variety and innumerable
attractions where you can ski, play golf, bungy jump, go whitewater
rafting, mountain biking, wind surfing, whale watching, and visit
World class vineyards and gardens.
North of Christchurch is the alpine spa village of Hanmer
Springs with natural thermal pools accessed through the Waipara
Wine Valley, a great place to stop and enjoy lunch and take some
To the east lies Kaikoura, New Zealand's eco-tourism capital
where you can encounter wildlife from whale watching to swimming
with the dolphins and seals.
To the West wander around the picturesque bays and villages of
banks Peninsula. Akaroa, Canterbury's oldest village, is a
French settlement, steeped in history - Maori, British, French and
A must-see is New Zealand's highest peak, Akoraki Mount Cook.
The region is renowned for its incredibly starry nights,
brilliant sunny days, remarkable turquoise blue lakes, valleys of
emerald green and snow-capped mountains. Shaped by the giant
forces of nature, massive glaciers hjave scoured the land leaving a
trail of lakes and rivers across the landscape. Mount Cook
is New Zealand's highest mountain at 3,754 metres above sea level
and towers over the expansive countryside.
Its an area to see from the sky - take a ski-plane trip from the
massive Tasman Glacier and get a birds-eye view of the glorious
magnificent scenery including the surreal opaque turquoise-coloured
lakes that are a feature of this glaciated area. Lake Tekapo
is one of these and Tekapo township features, amongst other
attractions, the exquisite Church of the Good Shepherds which, with
its altar window framing Aoraki Mount Cook, is probably the most
photographed church in the country.
In February 2011, Christchurch was hit by a huge earthquake.
Much of the central city with its neo-Gothic architecture
was destroyed. But it remains a beautiful city, a city where
you can cycle alongside the river, stay in good hotels and indulge
in fine sophisticated dining, and a city where, just 15 minutes
from the cntre, you can scramble up mountain bike tracks or ride a
wave at a surf beach. The may have been damaged but the soul
of the city and the welcoming spirit f the Cantabrian people remain
very much intact. Dont miss visiting Christchurch.
Get to know the 'English city' of Christchurch. Walk
through the Botanical Gardens and Hagley park. Punt
languidly on the Avon River. Visit SoMo - the area "south of
Moorhouse" that has come to life since the earthquake. this
is Christchurch's newest and most dynamic neighbourhood where you
can enjoy great coffee, or a beer and listen to live entertainment.
Go shopping in the new "shipping container" development on
Cashell mall. Iconic Christchurch shops mix with New Zealand
boutique designers, alongside hip new bars and eateries.
There are a number of day trips to do from Christchurch that
take in the splendour of the area.
Discover Akaroa and experience a rare treat. This is
where you are able to swim with the rare Hector's Dolphin.
After your trip on the water, head back to the village and enjoy
the french ambience. Visit the French Farm winery, a
stunning location in which to enjoy wine, with its sweeping views
across the heart-shaped harbour.
Kaikoura offers you wildlife and walking. Take in the
local culture with your local Maori guide who will teach you about
the local fauna and history of the area. Whale watch, swim
with dolphins or seals - an exciting natural encounter awaits.
Take a flight and take in the whales and feel amongst the
breathtaking mountains from above.
Head north and take a drive through Waipara wine country.
Dine with views across the vines before heading to the scenic
alpine village of Hanmer Springs. Known as a place of
relaxation, enjoy a long soak in the soothing mineral waters.
The spa offers private pools, and a variety of beauty and
massag treatments, all accompanied by clean alpine air.
Drive the highway to aoraki Mount Cook. Pass
through the settlement of Lake Tekapo renowned as having the
cleanest and clearest air in New Zealand. Be sure to head up
Mt John to the observatory and see the night skies from the World
Heritage listed, Sky Night Reserve. Pass by pristine blue
glacier lakes on your way.
Take the Tranz Alpine train from christchurch, through Arthurs
Pass to Greymouth on the West Coast. Take in the amazing
views through large panoramic windows. Be met there by a
local guide to take you further down the Coast to step on a live