Canterbury stretches from ocean to the Alps, and is land of plains and peaks. It is a place of variety and innumerable attractions.  Within two hours of an international airport, you can ski, play golf, bungy jump, go whitewater rafting, mountain biking, wind surfing, whale watching, and visit world-class vineyards and gardens. Where else in the world can you do that?  A must-see is New Zealand’s highest peak, Aoraki Mount Cook. Go hiking in Arthur’s Pass National Park or just wander around the picturesque bays and villages of Banks Peninsula. And then there’s New Zealand's second-largest city, Christchurch known as ‘The Garden City'.

In February 2011, Christchurch was hit by a huge earthquake. Much of the central city with its classic 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 centre you can scramble up mountain bike tracks or ride a wave at a surf beach. The buildings may have been damaged but the soul of the city and the welcoming spirit of the people remain very much intact. Don’t miss visiting Christchurch.

For answers to frequently asked questions about the Christchurch earthquake please see


National Parks

Arthur's Pass, Arthur's Pass is the highest pass over the Southern Alps.

National Parks

Aoraki Mount Cook, Home of the highest mountains and the longest glaciers.

Christchurch Botanic Gardens

Founded more than 140 years ago, the Christchurch Botanic Gardens has many special areas to explore.


Walking tracks and wildlife spotting. The Shoreline Walk from Point Kean leads you to colonies of fur seals and sea birds. Pack a picnic and a camera.

On and Around Beautiful Lyttelton Harbour - Scenic Lyttelton Harbour, located right beside Christchurch City, has spectacular scenery and fascinating Maori and European history.

Peel Forest Park

Enjoy ancient native forest, delicate ferns and alpine tussock in this scenic forest park. Stand beneath a waterfall or picnic beside an alpine lake.

Cave Stream Scenic Reserve

A limestone cave nearly 600 metres long provides a unique, and rather wet, adventure at Cave Stream Scenic Reserve.

Lake Sumner Hikes

Dust off your hiking boots and discover remote high country lakes, beech-clad mountains, wide rivers and hot springs.

Lindis Pass

This alpine area of tall, tussock-covered mountains is beautiful in every season, but with a dusting of snow it's particularly enchanting.

Mount Somers Conservation Area

What's an old volcano doing at the edge of the Southern Alps? Around Mount Somers, the usual greywacke rock is upstaged by lava formations.

Hanmer Forest

Hire a mountain bike and explore the trails in Hanmer Forest, a botanic paradise where exotic and native trees live in harmony.

Pohatu Marine Reserve

Flea Bay is certainly off the beaten track. In fact, you'll need a 4WD vehicle to get here.

Craigieburn Conservation Area

Enjoy the sheltered forest valleys and rocky tussock slopes of this alpine park. Follow a short nature trail or stretch out along a four-hour hike.

Canterbury Plains

y Plains lie serenely between the mountains and the sea.

Lake Tekapo is a photographer’s dream come true. The snow-topped mountains, turquoise blue lake and tussock-covered hills will have you enthralled.


The most French town in New Zealand, Akaroa will have you entranced with its historic buildings, magnificent harbour and passion for fine food.



Christchurch-Canterbury fuses sweeping plains, soaring mountains and pretty harbours. Include Christchurch, Akaroa, Kaikoura and Lake Tekapo in your visit.  Townships include...


Akaroa, Christchurch, Hanmer Springs, Kaikoura, Lake Tekapo, Timaru, Twizel, Amberley, Aoraki / Mount Cook, Arthurs Pass, Ashburton, Cheviot, Fairlie, Geraldine, Kaiapoi, Kurow, Lyttelton, Methven, Omarama, Rangiora, Temuka, Waimate, Waipara and Weedons.



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