YOU Discover Canterbury

A YOU Travel Guide to the Canterbury Region 🌄🐋🚋

Have YOU been to Christchurch lately? Refreshed and renewed, it’s a wonderful place to visit! Enjoy punting along the Avon River, cycling along its many paths, or visiting Botanical Gardens! Christchurch is a great base to explore further afield, whether it be to Aoraki Mt Cook,  Lake Tekapo, Hanmer Springs to soak in thermal pools or go stargazing as the region is home to some of the world’s darkest skies!

Ski Mt Hutt
Voted New Zealand’s best ski resort five years running at the World Ski Awards. A true alpine experience, with wide open terrain with leg burning runs, huge snowfalls, and spectacular views. You’ve not skied in New Zealand until you’ve skied Hutt!

Day trip to Aoraki Mt Cook
Experience a truly unforgettable day with breath-taking scenery including ancient glaciers, towering mountains, high country mountain lakes and braided rivers. Travel into the southern alps on your way to the Aoraki/Mt Cook World Heritage National Park.

Whale watching in Kaikoura
Get up close to nature on a whale watching tour! Kaikoura is world renowned for its marine mammals, including Giant sperm whales and you may even see acrobatic Dusky Dolphins! The day trip also includes a visit to a seal colony and winery.

One of the world's most famous train journeys

Your adventure begins when you check in to The Classic Villa in Christchurch, in a heritage building erected in 1899. This is a beautiful Italian-style villa with polished timber floors, ornate plaster ceiling roses, luxury bedding and mirrored wardrobes. Then take a day trip on the TranzAlpine traversing across the mighty Southern Alps from Christchurch to experience the rugged and beautiful Arthur’s Pass National Park and Otira Gorge. The TranzAlpine is one of the world's most famous train journeys!

Nothing beats a classic kiwi roadie! Perfectly wrapped by great tunes, snacks and fabulous views, its a classic kiwi holiday that everyone loves. Tourism NZ have put together some of the best roadie itineraries, featuring the must see hot spots of the Canterbury region and beyond.  Whether it's in a car, a camper or zooming the highways on your bike, the sights along the road will take your breath away!

Canterbury Stargazing & Lakes
Days: 4
Distance: 750km
Highlights: Christchurch city, New Zealand's longest Glacier, Stargazing at Lake Tekapo.
Stops: Christchurch, Aoraki Mount Cook & Lake Tekapo

Top of the South
Days: 5
Distance: 860km
Highlights: Marine wildlife, Abel Tasman National Park, Thermal hot springs
Stops: Christchurch, Kaikoura, Blenheim, Nelson & Hanmer Springs

Alpine Pacific Touring
Days: 4
Distance: 467km
Highlights: Whales and seals, Natural hot springs, Wairapa wineries
Stops: Christchurch, Kaikoura & Hanmer Springs

The top spots from YOU Travel Experts
Visit Hanmer Springs, the pools are fantastic! You should also try mountain bike riding - Jason, YOU Westgate
See Akaroa, a beautiful town with French influence and home to the rare Hector's dolphin - Anne, YOU Helensville
The Little High Eatery is a must - Terri, YOU Newmarket
Geraldine is great for foodies with Barkers (jams and chutneys) and Talbot Forest Cheese. For a taste of classic Kiwiana, The Running Duck Cafe. For nature lovers, visit Peel Forest for nature walks. For thrill seekers go white water rafting on the Rangitata River - Christy, YOU Timaru
Check out the Riverside Market, the Library, the cardboard Cathedral and the Canterbury Earthquake Memorial wall. There’s also a brand new Regent Street Precinct, with beautiful pastel heritage buildings - Ruby, Head Office
Go for High Tea at Moana Vale,  punting on the Avon and the gondola in the Port Hills - Nicola, YOU Eltham

Truly tranquil escape
Set in a forest wilderness, nestled between the turquoise waters of Lake Pukaki and the majestic Ben Ohau ranges. This luxury, high country retreat specialises in garden to plate cuisine, once in a lifetime activities and wellness therapies.

Indulge in a little romance
Stay in 5 star luxury at The St James located in the middle of Hanmer Springs alpine village and just a few minutes walk to the thermal pools. Discover a place where you can indulge, relax and rejuvenate or explore with golf, forest walks or jet boating.
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Image Credits: (Top left to bottom right) Just for the Day - ChristchurchNZ; Mt Hutt - NZ Ski; Mt Cook - Alex Meban, ChristchurchNZ; Kaikoura - ChristchurchNZ; Something a bit different - The Great Rail Journeys of NZ; Canterbury Stargazing - Lee Cook, ChristchurchNZ; Top of the South - Hanmer Springs, ChristchurchNZ; Alpine Pacific Touring - Matt Crawford, TourismNZ; Must Dos - ChristchurchNZ; The Garden City - TourismNZ