Canterbury: Christchurch

About The Region
Attractions + Events
Drive Times

About The Region

The Canterbury Plains give travellers a chance to experience a real taste of what New Zealand is all about. Learn and discover more about the heritage, nature, wildlife, coastal & mountainous landscapes, arts and Maori culture. Christchurch ‘The Garden City’ is the largest city on the South Island and the gateway for arrivals to the south.

“At 3 754 metres, Aoraki Mt Cook is New Zealands highest mountain”

With everything from skiing, whale watching, wildlife encounters, hiking, art galleries, hot springs, jet boating, hot air ballooning, swimming with dolphins, maori cultural tours and more – Canterbury promises an enjoyable experience for everyone who visits.


Every season offers you the experience of a lifetime

Bounded by the Southern Alps to the west and the Pacific Ocean to the east, the beautiful garden city of Christchurch is the gateway for this diverse region of the South Island. Witness Christchurch re-emerging after the earthquake as a world-leading city.

On the edge of the Canterbury Plains is New Zealand’s second largest city Christchurch, the gateway to the South Island. After arriving at the airport within 2 hours you can be off exploring internationally-acclaimed wineries and gardens, ski at a world-class alpine resort, play golf, mountain bike, hot-air balloon, wind surf, whale watch, swim with dolphins, bungy jump and more.

Lonely Planet has described Christchurch as “re-emerging as one of New Zealand’s most exciting cities”

A funky and vibrant new retail and cafe precinct has been opened in the CBD called Re:START featuring over 30 retail shops built in fashionably presented shipping containers it is situated in the Cashel Mall area of Cashel Street. More than 95% of the shopping malls, supermarkets and petrol stations in Christchurch city are back in operation.

Top Attractions

  • The 30 hectare Botanic Gardens in Hagley Park
  • Punting on the River Avon
  • Ocean to Alp views and back across Christchurch from the Port Hills.
  • Banks Peninsula
  • Charming seaside port of Akaroa.
  • Swim with the dolphins or take a scenic harbour cruise at Akaroa.
  • Ski (Jun-Oct) at Mt Hutt, 90 mins drive from Christchurch.


  • 17th July 2015
    All Blacks Vs Argentina
  • 1st October 2015
    Maroon 5 Concert
  • 7th – 15th November 2015
    New Zealand Cup and Show Week
  • 21st – 31st January 2016
    The World Buskers Festival

Attractions + Events


  • Skiing at Mt Hutt or Porters Ski Area
  • Salmon Fishing (February to March) in the Rakaia River
  • Hike the tracks around Arthur’s Pass
  • Visit Banks Peninsula
  • Akaroa and Lyttelton harbours
  • Discover Aoraki Mt Cook & the Mackenzie District including Lake Tekapo
  • Tasman Glacier
  • The TranzAlpine train journey from Christchurch to Greymouth is hailed as one of the top 6 rail journeys in the world.
  • Waipara Wine Valley
  • Whale Watching in Kaikoura
  • Relax at Hanmer Springs, visit the local hot pools
  • Visit many of the local Lord of the Rings film locations


Visit Canterbury and attend one of the many local events in this region. Attending a local event is the perfect way to experience the friendly ‘Kiwi hospitality’.

  • 3rd October 2015
    Kaikoura: Kaikoura Seafest
  • 9th – 11th October 2015
    Akaroa: Akaroa French Festival
    Twizel / Lake Tekapo / Mt Cook: Aoraki Mackenzie Starlight Festival
  • 23rd January 2016
    Twizel: Twizel Salmon and Wine Festival
  • 19th March 2016
    Akaroa: Le Race


Canterbury NZ Map

Drive Times

From To Kms Hrs
Christchurch Akaroa 82 kms 1 hrs 30 mins
Christchurch Picton 342 kms 5 hrs
Christchurch Kaikoura 185 kms 2 hrs 35 mins
Christchurch Hanmer Springs 135 kms 1 hrs 30 mins
Christchurch Methven (near Mt Hutt) 94 kms 1 hr 15 mins
Christchurch Greymouth 255 kms 3 hrs 45 mins
Christchurch Franz Josef Glacier 396 kms 5 hrs 40 mins
Christchurch Mount Cook 331 kms 4 hrs 45 mins
Christchurch Dunedin 365 kms 5 hrs 10 mins
Christchurch Queenstown 486 kms 7 hrs