ARTHUR'S PASS DISTRICT
The Maori first used this trail through the mountains to gather precious pounamu (greenstone) on the West Coast and then, when gold was discovered, Arthur's Pass was carved through the mountains to the goldfields. Today this route provides spectacular scenery of the Southern Alps, and those who linger and explore its wonders by foot will be rewarded with gorgeous waterfalls, intriguing caves and rock formations, ridges and valleys, and staggering 360 degree views of snow-capped peaks. During the winter, skiing is popular, and serious climbers enjoy the challenges of the district's peaks in the summer.
Famous for Mount Hutt skifield and Terrace Downs High Country Resort, a golf club nestled in the foothills of the Southern Alps, the Ashburton district has a lot to offer all year round. For a slower pace, visit Ashburton's vintage railway and its fabulous craft village or take a leisurely stroll around the many pubs and gardens. World-renowned salmon fishing can be found at Rakaia and ice-skating can be enjoyed on Staveley's natural ice-skating rink during winter.
TIMARU & SOUTH CANTERBURY
Step back in time in Southern Canterbury's quintessential country townships, then visit Timaru, a lively, colourful town with a striking piazza overlooking Caroline Bay. Watch a movie in an old-time theatre, see modern-day blacksmiths at work, take a ride on an historic steam train or visit an acclaimed pottery factory. Fishing is also popular here and horse riding, rock climbing and mountain biking provide a great way to explore the countryside and to sample local epicurean products. On the coast you can enjoy all your favourite beach and adventure activities.
In the heart of the dry Mackenzie Country hinterland lie the breathtaking turquoise-blue waters of Lake Tekapo and Lake Pukaki. Beyond is the Mount Cook National Park, home to New Zealand's highest peaks and longest glacier. Take in the views on a scenic flight, enjoy the skiing, heli-skiing, heli-hiking, tramping or simply take in the stunning scenery of this region by road. Fishing is good in the lakes and rivers, and druing winter the region's skifields offer a variety of slopes.
THE BEST OF MID CANTERBURY AND SOUTH CANTERBURY
For more ideas on the best things to see and do, our favourite places to stay, and the top spots to wine and dine tantalise your taste buds with the best of New Zealand cuisine and delicious kai in the Mid Canterbury region or South Canterbury check out our website.
Travel like a local with an itinerary created by a Kiwi travel agent. We'll work together to design a bespoke trip specifically tailored to suit your personal interests, tastes, travelling style and budget featuring local insights into New Zealand.