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CanterburyNew Zealand

Akaroa which includes a coastal town and general coastal views

Whale watch, bungee jump, tour wineries and relax in hot springs in this picturesque South Island region of New Zealand, home to the country’s Garden City.

Canterbury is a picturesque region and popular holiday destination on New Zealand’s South Island. It is home to vibrant cities, seaside villages, ski resorts, spa towns and wineries. Canterbury stretches from the Southern Alps past patchwork fields until it reaches the Pacific Ocean. Amid this glorious natural landscape you’ll find many opportunities to try adventure sports and go wildlife spotting.

Start your Canterbury holiday in the regional capital, Christchurch. Discover why it’s called the Garden City at the Botanic Gardens, Hagley Park and Victoria Square. Ride a traditional punt on the Avon River or spend a day surfing, watching colourful birdlife and walking across sand dunes at New Brighton Beach.

A short drive from Christchurch is Banks Peninsula, a hilly area dotted with beaches, coastal villages and secluded coves. Wander the village streets and waterfront of Akaroa, a town that maintains a French influence after the French settled here in the 1800s. Join boat trips to see the peninsula’s striking cliffs and caves and spot large pods of the rare Hector dolphin. Travel inland from Christchurch to go jet boating on the Waimakariri River and kayak on Lake Pegasus.

In the north of the region, visit Hanmer Springs to relax in thermal pools, bungee jump, white-water raft and ski. Tour the wineries of the Waipara Valley, famous for the production of pinot noir and riesling wines. Discover a blend of European and Māori heritage and go whale watching at Kaikōura.

Thrill-seeking travellers flock to Arthur’s Pass National Park for climbing, skiing and trekking within its mountain terrain. Explore the unspoilt countryside of Selwyn by bike, horseback or on foot. Experience a sensory overload at the markets, restaurants and wineries located on the Selwyn Food and Wine Trail.

Follow trails through the mystical landscapes of the Aoraki / Mount Cook Mackenzie region. Take a scenic flight over New Zealand’s highest peak, Mount Cook. Fish for salmon and camp beneath a star-lit sky at Twizel. Cycle along miles of pristine coastline in South Canterbury.

Reach Canterbury by flying to Christchurch International Airport and get around by bike, bus, rented car or organised tours. Step aboard the TranzAlpine for a memorable train journey from Christchurch to Greymouth.

Popular cities in Canterbury

Christchurch
Christchurch
Known for Garden, Café and Business
The Garden City delights visitors with native parklands, Māori culture and adrenaline-charged adventures through the countryside.

Reasons to visit

  • New Brighton Beach
  • Willowbank Wildlife Reserve
  • Sumner Beach
Akaroa which includes mountains
Akaroa Harbour
Known for Boating, Dolphins and Tour
Swim with dolphins, sail around the bay and visit a sculpture and mosaic garden in this charming French and British colonial town in a volcanic setting.

Reasons to visit

  • Akaroa Wharf
  • Akaroa Lighthouse
  • Akaroa Museum
Lake Tekapo featuring mountains, a lake or waterhole and wild flowers
Lake Tekapo
Known for Lake, Church and Small Town
Take in awe-inspiring views of rugged mountains by day and dazzling stars by night at the township on the edge of this magnificent glacial lake.

Reasons to visit

  • Lake Pukaki
  • Lake Tekapo
  • Tekapo Springs