5 best family adventures near Christchurch

Families love New Zealand for so many reasons – ncluding its safe environment and adventure activities for all ages.

Here are five of our favourites for families – all within an hour of Christchurch City, the gateway to the South Island.

Treat your family to something special by following these slightly “off the beaten track” suggestions.

1.       Meet the Local Llamas

Where else but Clenthills high country Station? Take a half-day, full-day picnic or farm tour. This is magical high country where you can indulge in the warmest country hospitality and classic Kiwi experience.  The llamas carry your gear, making the walk easy and letting you enjoy the scenery.

2.       Braided Waters Cycleway Trail

If your family is up for a challenge, consider one of the country’s most accessible yet inspiring cycleways (145km in its entirety). It’s a gentle grade 1-2 journey taking in some of New Zealand’s most ancient geology and some of its newest agricultural technology. The compacted fine gravel path (2.5-3m wide) passes through towns and villages for amenities and accommodation.

3.       Clydesdale Adventures

Erewhon high country station has a team of eight Clydesdales and tailored horse-drawn wagon experiences which take you to their private mountain hut. A hot cast iron bath awaits – along with snow slides in winter and the excitement of new foals in springtime.

4.       Hakatere Conservation Park

Explore nearly 60,000 hectares of rugged mountain country, tussocklands, beech forest and sparkling clear lakes between the mighty Rakaia and Rangitata Rivers. Located only two hours south of Christchurch City, this special park may become the largest conservation park in New Zealand – paradise for walking, biking, sport fishing, ski-touring, climbing, boating and big-game hunting (permit required).

5.       New Zealand’s First 4D Movie Ride Experience

Rakaia’s Salmon World (less than 45 minutes from Christchurch) includes a themed aquarium and unique 4D movie ride experience. Strap yourself in and feel yourself lifted off the floor, thrillseeking above the Canterbury Plains and along the Rakaia River, with views to the Southern Alps. The excitement of jet boating, helicopter rides and hot air ballooning – it’s all possible without leaving your seat!


There are so many ways to Experience Mid Canterbury - fantastic places to stay and people to meet.

It’s easy to book accommodation and plan your visit – find Mid Canterbury visitor information here.


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