South Island‘s vibrant and largest city, Christchurch is located in the region of Canterbury and lies by the Pacific Ocean. Kaikoura, a couple of hours north along the coast is great for oceanic wildlife encounters, while to the west, visit the largest mountain in New Zealand, Aoraki.
What you’ll love most about the Canterbury Region
- See the best of both worlds – explore the majestic alps to the west and the picturesque coast to the east
- Christchurch combines urban regeneration and innovation with heritage, culture and exhilarating activity. It’s a great hub to discover the Canterbury plains, the southern alps and the Banks Peninsula
- Kaikoura is known for its abundant wildlife and its sperm whale population. It’s the place to stay if a luxury lodge retreat is on your accommodation wish list
- If North Island’s thermic Rotorua is not on your New Zealand itinerary but you fancy a natural hot pool dip, head to Hanmer Springs. It’s a picturesque alpine village 90 minutes from Christchurch that’s also known for its active pursuits such as mountain biking, bungy jumping and jet boating. In the winter months, you can take to the slopes for some skiing
- For mountain walks and glacier viewing, visit New Zealand’s tallest peak, Aoraki Mount Cook. At the southeastern foot of the slopes, check out the nigh sky from the Dark Sky Reserve – located by Lake Tekapo