By Julian Apse
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Christchurch-Canterbury fuses sweeping plains, soaring mountains and pretty harbours. Include Christchurch, Akaroa, Kaikoura and Lake Tekapo in your visit.
Christchurch is one of the world’s most unique destinations, combining urban regeneration and innovation with heritage, culture and exhilarating activity.
The most French town in New Zealand, Akaroa will have you entranced with its historic buildings, magnificent harbour and passion for fine food.
Harbour cruises and great cafés attract visitors to the historic port town of Lyttelton, just 20 minutes from the centre of Christchurch city.
The thriving country town of Rangiora serves the local agricultural and horticultural community. There’s no better place to enjoy Canterbury lamb.
Kaiapoi was once the site of a major Ngai Tahu trading settlement. You can visit the pa, which appears as a series of low grassy mounds.
Ashburton is a large town that serves the surrounding farming district. It sits between two major rivers, so fly fishing is the local obsession.
In winter, Methven is a snow sport town. In every other season, it’s a place to launch yourself into all kinds of outdoor adventure activities.
Mount Hutt is a favourite among skiing families, with lessons, childcare and a wide range of runs suitable for all ages and abilities.
Amberley is a place to find country hospitality on your journey through North Canterbury. Enjoy fresh air and mountain views – golf and fishing too!
Wine is the reason to stay a while in Waipara. The area is known for superb Pinot Noir and Riesling. You’ll also find some wonderful food experiences.
A taste of Cheviot hospitality might be just what you need on the road between Christchurch and Kaikoura. This rural town is very welcoming.
Oxford is a charming farming town located at the inland edge of the Canterbury Plains.
Best known for its natural hot pools and stunning landscapes, Hanmer Springs, a picturesque alpine village, is the perfect spot to unwind on your journey back to Christchurch.
The picturesque coastal town of Kaikoura is the perfect place for marine life encounters, coastal walks, and tucking into a plate of crayfish.
Arthur’s Pass, climbing to more than 900 metres through Arthur's Pass National Park, is the highest and most spectacular pass across the Southern Alps.
Aoraki Mount Cook is New Zealand's highest mountain, with a height of 3,754 metres.
Picturesque by day and dazzling by night, Lake Tekapo is part of a UNESCO Dark Sky Reserve, making it the perfect spot for stargazing.
Waimate is synonymous with beautiful landscapes, Edwardian architecture and wild wallabies.
Nestled in a broad basin between mountain ranges, Omarama is well known to glider pilots. Come here to soar in the skies and fish in the fast rivers.
Twizel is a handy base for explorations of Mount Cook National Park and the Mackenzie Basin. From mountain climbing to heli-biking, it’s all here.
Fairlie is known as the ‘Gateway to the Mackenzie Country’. It’s an attractive rural service town that doubles as a ski town in winter.
Take a break in Timaru and enjoy the beachside attractions of Caroline Bay. You’ll find botanic gardens, an aviary and wonderful walks
Geraldine is a pretty country town with an artistic streak. Shop for arts and crafts, refresh at a friendly café and take a stroll around the historic trail.
Will you stop in Temuka to fish for salmon or shop for stoneware? This South Canterbury country town is a centre of angling and pottery.
Check out what other travelers say about New Zealand on TripAdvisor.
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