Christchurch - Canterbury
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.
- Christchurch international airport receives flights from Australia, Asia, the UK and the USA, providing a convenient gateway to South Island destinations.
- Comfortable driving distances let you pack more into your holiday. In Canterbury it’s possible to go surfing and skiing on the same day!
- Mount Hutt is usually the first New Zealand ski field to open and the last to close. Snowmakers keep the slopes in top shape.
- The city of Timaru has a domestic airport. Flights arrive daily from Wellington.