Canterbury stretches from ocean to the Alps, and is land of plains and peaks. It is a place of variety and innumerable attractions.
Located in the middle of the South Island, Canterbury is easily accessible by air, land and sea.
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', which around 340,000 people call home.
Christchurch, New Zealand is interwoven by two rivers linking parks, gardens and avenues. Bordered by the Port Hills and the Pacific Ocean, it is situated on the Canterbury Plains with the Southern Alps as a majestic backdrop. The award-winning Christchurch Botanic Gardens feature one of the finest collections of exotic and native plants found in New Zealand,
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. Innovative shops and businesses are springing up as the city rebuilds.
You can explore the city by foot, on an open top bus, tram or even relax in a punt as you float down the Avon River on a punt. Experience polar life at the International Antarctic Centre, see the rare kiwi at Willowbank Wildlife Reserve, dive into aviation history at the Air Force Museum or visit Orana Wildlife Park, New Zealand’s only open range zoo. Don’t miss visiting Christchurch.