Getting to Mid Canterbury

By Air:

Auckland to Christchurch
     - 1 hour 20 minutes
Wellington to Christchurch
    - 1 hour
Queenstown to Christchurch    
    - 1 hour 5 minutes

By Road:
Driving Distances (in Kilometers) ex Christchurch:


To Rakaia – 57km
To Ashburton – 86 kms
To Methven – 99 Kms
To Mt Hutt – 103km
To Mt Somers – 120km

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....Experience Mid Canterbury….Winter, spring, summer or fall!

Located in the middle of the South Island, Mid Canterbury is a region of sweeping plains, stretching from the magnificent Southern Alps to the Pacific Ocean and bordered by spectacular braided rivers and high country lakes. You’ll find classic New Zealand landscapes, traditional rural hospitality and a raft of activities. A region with endless opportunities and full of unexpected discoveries, where virtually any interest can be pursed.

Located in the Heart of Canterbury, within an hour from Christchurch International Airport you can be skiing or snowboarding, white-water rafting, skydiving, enjoying a country golf course, visiting gardens of blazing blooms, uncovering relics of aviation and transport history, hiking or mountain biking nature trails. A cluster of high country lakes lure avid fly fishers, a hot air balloon or heli flight provides a bird’s eye view of a patchwork landscape, a 4WD adventure can take you on a journey into the high country wilderness. Heritage trails, craft markets, art galleries, country festivals, cycle trails and farm tours will fill your time with memorable New Zealand experiences.


TOURISM IN MID CANTERBURY

Tourism in Mid Canterbury is fundamental to our community and one of the region's major economic drivers alongside of farming - Kiwis have been holidaying here for years; drawn by the diverse natural beauty and laid-back lifestyle. Today, Mid Canterbury is enjoyed by a growing number of international visitors, predominantly from Australia, UK/Europe China, USA and Asia. While Mid Canterbury caters well for groups, our visitors are mostly independent travellers. We see a high proportion of second-time visitors here, who tend to stay longer and have a higher spend.

We are also keen to explore and engage more with new and emerging markets from India and South East Asia countries, who are keen on developing small and large group travel options for their clients.

The region has a good range of commissionable activities and high quality accommodation, and we are proud to have a number of Qualmark businesses in the district.  

VISITOR SEASONALITY

Mid Canterbury has two peak seasons. November to mid-January, when New Zealanders take their traditional summer holiday break and July to September when both International and Domestic visitors enjoy our winter months on the slopes of Mt Hutt and the surrounding ski areas.

KEY CENTRES

  • Rakaia – 50kms south of Christchurch. After crossing the longest bridge in the Southern hemisphere, you’ll be welcomed to the district by a striking salmon landmark heralding some of the best salmon fishing in NZ in one of the worlds best examples of a braided river.
  • Ashburton – the bustling hub of the region, combining city facilities and vibrancy with rural town friendliness. You’ll appreciate the high quality shopping precincts, eclectic cafes and restaurants, and shops.
  • Methven - at the heart of nine Canterbury ski areas and over 1000kms of NZ’s best heli-skiing terrain. This alpine themed village buzzes in winter, while in the summer it is humming with markets and multisport events.
  •  Mt Somers High Country - enter the dramatic backcountry, an outdoor recreational paradise – tramping and hiking, horse treks, mountain biking, fishing, sparkling lakes and rivers, and Mt Sunday (home of Edoras in the lord of the Rings)                       

TOP TEN MID CANTERBURY EXPERIENCES

  1. Take a scenic balloon flight over the Canterbury plains including a champagne breakfast on landing.
  2. Experience the awesome adrenalin rush of a tandem skydive
  3. You gateway to playing ten of Mid-Canterbury’s finest golf courses. Tailor made golf tours and/or training school to suit your groups needs
  4. Walk or Mountain Bike the numerous tracks  - from one day, to four days.
  5. Don't miss a visit to the Ashburton Aviation museum, one of NZ’s finest.
  6. Take to the slopes at the world renowned Mt Hutt Ski Area, with its great snow and one of the longest ski seasons in the Southern Hemisphere.
  7. Jet boat the stunning Rakaia Gorge or Raft the white waters of the Rangitata Gorge
  8. Try Ice Skating or Curling surrounded by native beech forest on one of the few natural outdoor rinks left in the country
  9. Venture in the high country – an outdoor recreational paradise and home to the Hakatere Conservation Park and genuine Kiwi farming experiences.
  10. Enjoy a leisurely lunch at one of the many award-winning eateries.