TOP 5 EXPERIENCES
From lush vineyards and wild coastlines to sky-piercing mountains and pristine glacial lakes, Canterbury is a region of remarkable contrasts and a haven for those seeking incredible scenery and adventure.
5. TEKAPO SPRINGS AND HOT POOLS
Get some respite at Tekapo Springs Hot Pools. Overlooking the beauty of Lake Tekapo and the mountains beyond, the hot pools are fed by alpine springs and heated to 82-104 degrees Fahrenheit. With NZ’s largest inflatable waterslide, sauna & steam rooms, fully equipped day spa and an aqua play area for kids, there’s something here for everyone!
4. TASMAN GLACIER AND AORAKI MT COOK VILLAGE
New Zealand’s largest glacier is accessible on foot, by bike and by boat. Glacier Explorers take you onto the terminal lake, where you can touch icebergs and learn how the Tasman Glacier was formed. While you’re here, take time to marvel at our tallest mountain, Aoraki Mt. Cook, and explore the national park. Favorite short walks from Mt. Cook Village include the Governors Bush Walk (1 hour) and the Hooker Valley Track (3-4 hours).
3. TRANZALPINE RAIL JOURNEY
The TranzAlpine journey through the Southern Alps is one of the most scenic train rides in the world. Beginning in Christchurch, you’ll travel through the patchwork Canterbury Plains up into Arthur’s Pass National Park. From here, you’ll venture down into the wild beech forests of the West Coast, finishing in Greymouth. The trip takes four hours one way, or nine hours return with a one-hour break in Greymouth.
2. WAIPARA VALLEY WINERIES
One hour north of Christchurch you’ll find fields of lavender, olive groves and more than 60 vineyards, with dozens of cellar doors open for wine tasting in the Waipara Valley. We suggest renting a bike or hopping on to one of the many winery tours to explore this region’s bounty.
1. ARTHUR’S PASS
Explore the highest route through the Southern Alps, connecting the vast Canterbury plains in the east with the wild and rugged West Coast. Drive this spectacular journey at your own pace or relax and take the famous TranzAlpine train. The National Park is a popular spot with hikers, with day trippers particularly enjoying the walk to the Devil’s Punchbowl Falls.