canterbury mackenzie

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 time.

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 whaling.

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 glacier.

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