South Island trips

Christchurch, South Canterbury and Mackenzie

4 Days
751km
467mi

Route

Christchurch to Christchurch

Highlights

  • Christchurch city
  • Aoraki Mt Cook
  • Lake Tekapo

Best time of year

All year

Explore the beauty and excitement of Christchurch, South Canterbury and the Mackenzie region on this 4-day itinerary. Your journey begins in funky Christchurch and takes you through the rural settlements of Ashburton, Timaru and Waimate.

Visit New Zealand's tallest mountain, Aoraki Mt Cook, and enjoy stargazing at Lake Tekapo, which is part of a UNESCO Dark Sky Reserve. The final day of your journey sees you venturing back to Christchurch via Geraldine and Methven.

Info

View from Point Bush Estate vines over Waimate

Photo by Christchurch & Canterbury Tourism

Day 1

Christchurch - Waimate

2 hrs

42 mins

210 km

131 mi

Christchurch - Canterbury

Today is the day to appreciate the patchwork quilt of the Canterbury Plains. On departing Christchurch and travelling south you will pass the rich pastures of crop, dairy and sheep farming land.

Take the time to explore the bustling farming town of Ashburton. If gardens are your thing you can’t miss Trots Garden, a Garden of National Significance graded by The Royal Institute of Horticulture.

Continue your trip south, arriving in Timaru in time for lunch at the beautiful Caroline Bay. After lunch explore the town, and be sure not to miss the tranquil Botanical Gardens and blooms at the Trevor Griffiths Rose Gardens.  The Te Ana Maori Rock Art site and centre is also well worth a visit; tours run every day at 2pm.

Travel onto Waimate and enjoy an afternoon's stroll through the native forest; you'll be accompanied by songs of the bellbird and tui. At dusk keep an eye out for the famous Waimate Wallaby.

Finish your day at Point Bush Estates with a taste of Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir. Pre-book to enjoy a winery tour and tasting platter.

Explore the surrounds of Christchurch, Canterbury.

Start in Christchurch

Christchurch city promises an eclectic mix of historic elegance and contemporary culture. As the gateway to the South Island, it's a must on any itinerary.

Views of Waimate township from Point Bush Estate Winery

End in Waimate

Waimate is synonymous with beautiful landscapes, Edwardian architecture and wild wallabies.

Things to see and do

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