Christchurch is the gateway to the pastoral Canterbury region crisscrossed by braided rivers and a patchwork of farmlands. Spend time in Timaru, the historic main centre of South Canterbury and shop for crafts and gourmet foods in the country town of Geraldine. Get in touch with French settler history in the quaint village of Akaroa, swim with dolphins in the harbour or take a brisk and breezy walk across the hilltops of the Banks Peninsula. Farther afield lays Methven, close to popular ski fields and the magnificent Southern Alps which come alive in winter with skiers and snowboarders and an ideal location to escape the hustle and bustle of the busy city.
Don’t miss Matariki - Maori New Year
Matariki - known as the Maori New Year - is celebrated throughout Christchurch in June. Ngā Hau E Wha National Marae (Pages Road) will be lit up with festive lights from 13 to 24 June and there will be cultural entertainment, stargazing, craft activities and exhibitions at the marae, Christchurch City Libraries/Ngā Kete Wānanga o Ōtautahi and other venues. The appearance of the star cluster Pleiades or Seven Sisters in the north-eastern pre-dawn sky in late May/early June, Matariki is one of the most significant celebrations on the Maori calendar.
Did you know?
Fancy a lifestyle where you can go skiing in the morning and surfing in the afternoon? That’s the type of variety you can experience in Christchurch and Canterbury. And it’s all so easy to get to! There is nowhere else in the world where within two hours of an international airport you can ski at a world class alpine resort, play golf, bungy jump, go rafting, mountain biking, hot-air ballooning, wind surfing, whale watching and visit world class wineries and gardens.