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A South Island playground, Christchurch is a must-see city for wine lovers and adventure seekers. It’s the gateway to the Canterbury region and the most common South Island port for travellers coming from Australia. You’ll never be far be far from beautiful snow-capped mountains or spectacular coastal towns. The CBD is slowly re-opening after the devastating 2011 earthquake to provide many fresh and innovative experiences.
Aoraki Mount Cook
New Zealand’s highest peak is an unforgettable sight to admire and explore. Unleash your adventurous side with 4WD safaris, horse treks, scenic flights, snow landings and walks through the national park. The alpine village in the Mackenzie region is renowned for its massive glaciers and incredible starry skies at night.
A journey on a punt boat is the best way to explore Christchurch’s beautiful Avon River. Sit back and relax as a punter guides you through the waters and past some of Christchurch’s cherished spots. The Avon River is the perfect setting for a romantic outing.
Step aboard the Christchurch gondola to see amazing views of the city and its surrounds. The gondola is open all year round and gives all travellers a real appreciation for Christchurch’s beauty and landscape. This is a memorable and eye-opening experience only 15 minutes from the city.
Christchurch Shopping and Dining
Christchurch is home to over 450 retail businesses and 130 restaurants and bars. You’ll be delighted at the range of options, many of which have developed following the recent earthquakes. The CBD is adopting a ‘pop-up’ theme to its shops and restaurants, creating excitement and energy in the community. Visit Cashel Mall to see the latest retail development named Re:Start. High Street between Hereford and Lichfield Streets is where you’ll find your fashion fix. The three main dining precincts are Poplar Street, Sol Square and The Terrace. Even among the Christchurch suburbs you’ll find a range of cuisines and settings to suit your preferences.
Kaikoura Whale Watching
2.5 hours from Christchurch, the Kaikoura region is home to a beautiful mix of water, mountains and wildlife. Take a boat cruise, helicopter, or plane to get up close with the sperm whales, fur seals and dolphins. You can even choose to take a dip in the pristine waters and swim with the animals! An eco-tourism gem, Kaikoura is rich with natural and cultural heritage.
1.5 hours from Christchurch, Mount Hutt is one of the largest and highest ski areas in the South Island. It also boasts the longest ski season and has daily shuttles from Christchurch and Methven (35 minutes away). Mount Hutt boasts one of the largest drops in the South Island, but conveniently caters to all skier profiles, from beginner to professional. With skiing, snowboarding passes and day trips a plenty it's easy to discover ‘true’ New Zealand ski country!
Waipara Valley is a spectacular wine region just a 40 minute drive north of Christchurch airport. Take the Alpine Pacific Route from here to discover Hanmer Springs, a therapeutic mineral springs and adventure resort. Waipara Valley is highly regarded around the world, and the Waipara Valley wine and food festival in March is the perfect way to celebrate the region’s 80 wineries and its fares.