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From Christchurch to Canterbury

From Christchurch to Canterbury

Christchurch is the largest city on the South Island of New Zealand and the joys in the stretch around its region of Canterbury are many – ocean, alps, history, culture, urban regeneration and adventure. Gorgeous getaways full of interesting experiences are accessible within a two to four hour drive from Christchurch. Here are our top stops for 2022:

Braemer Road: Alps to Ocean Cycling

Part of the Aoraki/Mt Cook ‘Alps to Ocean’ trail Braemar Road Cycle Trail starts at White Horse Hill Campground, only 7km from Mt Cook airport. Catching a short helicopter ride to transport you and the bikes across the Tasmin River offers nothing short of awesome views of the alps and ocean.

Tasman Glacier Boat Tour

An ice adventure in the natural beauty of the Aoraki/Mount Cook area, Glacier Explorers offer Glacial Lake iceberg exploration and the only glacial boat tour in New Zealand. A world of wonder in pristine icy alpine landscapes – 2.5 hour tours running September to June. 

Astro-Tourism at Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve

Astro-tourism is star gazing and interacting with the natural world at its most wondrous. With premier guided astronomy experiences at the summit of Mount John, at the edge of a crater at Cowan’s Private Observatory, or at an indoor guided astronomy experience, the Dark Sky Project Base in the Takapo area has your star gazing desires well met. 

Deep restoration and gourmet dining at Maruia Hot Springs 

Connect back with nature while you unwind in the geothermal waters nestled deep in the Lewis Pass National Reserve. Just 2.5 hours out of Christchurch, Maruia Hot Springs has been a place of healing for centuries – now offering various experiences and contemporary accommodation options with resident chefs topping off the trip with a delightful menu. 

Stunning Skiing on the Slopes of Mt Hutt

Well known for deep powder snow, Mt Hutt has been voted New Zealand’s best resort many times over. Canterbury’s own ‘big mountain, Mt Hutt is just 1.5 hours from Christchurch and an option for all members of the family. Clear skies most days offer summit sights from one side of the country to the other – from the west the rugged spine of the Southern Alps; to the east, the vast patchwork of rich farm land to the Pacific ocean. Enjoy the new (and NZ’s first) eight-seater chair lift complete with padded seats and headrests – supremely comfy and a speedy way to the top. 

Open-Air Viewing on the Tranzalpine train

Standing outside for unobstructed views in the open-air carriage of the Tranzalpine train is the picture-perfect way to experience New Zealand’s grand alps. You can tune in to the GPS triggered audio commentary while you experience the fresh air on your cheeks. 

Wine tours at Waipara Valley

For a food and wine experience then the Waipara Valley area is for you. You can enjoy the drive from Christchurch to Pegasus Bay Winery in 45 minutes, or you can take the scenic route by helicopter service.

There are many options to explore in and around Christchurch. One thing in common between WBC’s top stops is the opportunity for deep immersion in the pristine natural world of this region.

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