Explore Canterbury from the ocean to the alps

Christchurch and Canterbury – the gateway to New Zealand's awe-inspiring South Island and a destination like no other. Easily accessible because of its world-class international airport, Christchurch is the largest city in the South Island and a fantastic place to live, work, play and visit.

The city is rich with natural blessings – a beautiful coastline, a meandering river and undulating hills – but it also has everything you would expect in a modern city. There are world-class facilities for conferencing, a range of accommodation to suit all budgets, and an ever-changing array of festivities and events to keep visitors and locals entertained. Soon it will boast a brand new state-of-the-art convention centre in a new-look central business district that will be the envy of cities around the world.

Seasonal delights

No matter what time of year you visit Christchurch, it delivers up something special each season.

Spring - September to November

Christchurch is renowned worldwide as the Garden City. In Spring it is full bloom with New Zealand Cup and Show Week, and biennial events like Akaroa's French Festival and New Zealand IceFest celebrating our unique relationship with Antarctica.

Summer - December to February

Summer heralds the World Buskers Festival and Garden City SummerTimes with a host of free outdoor events in the city's expansive network of parks. Ellerslie International Flower Show delights more than 45,000 visitors in late February.

Autumn - March to May

Time for Christchurch's tree-lined parks and avenues to turn brilliant colours, the New Zealand Jazz and Blues Festival, and delicious wine and food festivals.

Winter - June to August

Enjoy Canterbury's winter wonderland, with snow on the mountains surrounding the city. Celebrate with the Festival of Lights in Lyttelton and enjoy the arts with the popular biennial Christchurch Arts Festival.

Regional wonders

Journey a short distance out of Christchurch and you will find lush vineyards, alpine hot pools, snowy peaks, and an ancient volcanic peninsula dotted with charming townships, hidden bays and breathtaking views. Regional destinations like the French-influenced settlement of Akaroa, the thermal resort of Hanmer Springs, and Mackenzie's starry skies offer fabulous options for business events.

Sealy Tarns Mt Cook at Night

Pristine snow-capped mountains, glacial lakes and a network of turquoise canals form the tapestry of this remarkable region. At the heart of it all towers Australasia's highest peak, the majestic Aoraki / Mount Cook and it all begins only 2.5 hours away from Christchurch International Airport.

New-Regent-Street-LandscapeRESIZE

No. 2 on The New York Times's 52 Places to Go in 2014. The South Island's "Garden City" is accessible via Christchurch Airport and scenic rail services.

Kea on a Mountain

'Sensational' is how we describe what's on offer in this area of 'middle earth' New Zealand. Experience Selwyn's scenery, ski fields, outdoor pursuits, gardens, food, wine and hospitality, and you'll soon agree that this word sums the region up nicely.

Hanmer Spring bridge - Daniel Murray

Adventure, wine and thermal waters – experience all of this and more on Hurunui's Alpine Pacific driving route. Beginning only 45 minutes from Christchurch, you can enjoy award-winning wine in the Waipara Valley before heading to the alpine resort of Hanmer Springs.

Ballooning Canterbury

Located in the heart of Canterbury, Mid Canterbury is a region of sweeping plains, stretching from the magnificent Southern Alps to the Pacific Ocean and bordered by spectacular braided rivers and high country lakes.

Seals

Only 2.5 hours north of Christchurch, Kaikoura is internationally renowned as a whale watching destination. Discover its astonishing wildlife, spectacular coastline, breathtaking scenery and fascinating Māori and European history.

Akaroa Pink House Carmen Huter

Banks Peninsula is home to picturesque bays, seaside villages, boutique galleries, cafés and spectacular harbour wildlife. Only 20 minutes from Christchurch is the historic port town of Lyttelton. While a 90 minute scenic drive takes you to the French inspired village of Akaroa.

Waimate farmland

A great snapshot of the best of New Zealand - with beautiful outdoor environments, rich art, history and heritage, plenty of outdoor adventures, fabulous fare, and great Kiwi hospitality.

Ryde Falls

Only 20 minutes north of Christchurch you can enjoy jet boating on the Waimakariri River, kayaking and sailing on Lake Pegasus, horse riding, farm tours and farmers' markets. Enjoy Canterbury hospitality and experience our New Zealand country lifestyle.

Canterbury map

A comprehensive Canterbury touring map. Highlighting key touring routes and hidden gems found throughout the region. Download map (PDF, 2.27MB)