Canterbury Things to Do

  • Akaroa Harbor
    Akaroa Harbor
    by kris-t
  • A huge staircase leads down to the Rose Garden.
    A huge staircase leads down to the Rose...
    by Kakapo2
  • An impressive display of paua shells.
    An impressive display of paua shells.
    by Kakapo2

Canterbury Things to Do

  • City Center

    Christchurch Things to Do

    A good way of seeing Christchurch is to use the classic 1960's open top bus.You have a choice of a 1 hour or a 3 hour tour.The tour comes with an excellent commentary. We found the tour quite emotional as the amount of damage and destruction was far worse than we realised.However, the New Zealand people have big plans for Christchurch and in time...

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  • Castle Hill

    Arthur's Pass National Park Things to Do

    Look familiar? Castle Hill was the site of the battle scens in the movie 'Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe'. It is in a privately owned station on the road from Christchurch across Arthur's Pass. It is a popular spot for 'bouldering' - climging over the huge limestone boulders. Limestone from this region was used in the...

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  • International Antarctic Centre

    Christchurch Things to Do

    The Snow Storm room at the International Antarctic Centre is a well sealed safe environment with real snow. The temperature is set at -4C but at pre-determined times during the day a 'storm' occurs with thunder and lightning and 40kph winds, dropping the temperature to -18C. Visitors are provided with a warm jacket and overshoes. A great...

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  • The Arthur's Pass Road

    Arthur's Pass National Park Things to Do

    On leaving Arthur's Pass State Highway 73 runs through Otira Gorge over the Otira Viaduct. After climbing down from the mountains you have a choice. Follow SH 73 along the Taramakau River to Kamara Junction and the intersection with SH 6 along the West coast. OR Take the turn to the right into Lake Brunner Road which takes you past picturesque...

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  • The Christchurch botanical gardens

    Christchurch Things to Do

    Hagley Park, created in 1855, is the largest open space in Christchurch. It was named after the country estate of Lord Lyttleton and is famous for its open spaces. It is the home of the Christchurch Botanic Gardens to be found on the banks of the Avon River which flows through the park. The open spaces serve a number of purposes including netball...

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  • Arthur's Pass Village

    Arthur's Pass National Park Things to Do

    I found this sign (I collect photos of funny or interesting signs from around the world) in the Parking lot of Arthurs' Pass, where our cruise bus was parked for our excursion into the mountains. It reads---"Frosty Boy, Often Licked-Never Beaten"

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  • Christchurch Gondola

    Christchurch Things to Do

    The Gondola had been closed after the earthquake on 22 February 2011 - not because of structural damage but because of flooding at the summit station. Now everything is ok again, some pillars have been made safe in order to avoid potential rockfall damage. Grand re-opening on 25 March 2013!!! Get up there as you will not get anywhere near the place...

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  • Tramping in Arthur's Pass NP

    Arthur's Pass National Park Things to Do

    It rained on our Arthur's Pass hike maybe half the time, but we still got some rays coming through, and hey, when you are there from USA only for the day, you take what you can get and be happy! My son and I had pretty much won a 2 week trip to Australia/NZ and this was part of our cruise excursions....Wonderful clean air, waterfall views, we even...

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  • Punting the Avon River

    Christchurch Things to Do

    The tours from the Antigua Boatsheds – called Punting in the Park – are not the only option for such guided boat trips on the Avon. Other tours start at the Worcester Boulevard bridge (beside the badly damaged and heavily secured red-brick building of Our City-O-Tautahi, about half-way between Cathedral Square and the Art Gallery). You have to...

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  • Canterbury Museum

    Christchurch Things to Do

    Update 02 July 2012 - Museum reopened Parts of Canterbury Museum have reopened. See below why it was closed in April. The Museum has reopened areas of the building that are well above the new building code. These are the Mountfort Gallery (decorative arts and costume) and Maori galleries, as well as the Early European Settlement display, the...

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  • Sumner

    Christchurch Things to Do

    Earthquake update June 2010 Sumner has been hard hit by the February earthquake, and again on 13 June. The areas on top and at the bottom of the cliffs have either crumbled, with a house finally crashing down the cliff, or have been hit by huge rocks. Two or three people died in their houses in February. However, an incredible lot of cafés,...

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  • ARTS CENTER

    Christchurch Things to Do

    Update May 2011 Some of the crafts and food stalls of the Arts Centre Market have shifted to the Ferrymead Heritage Park after the 22 February 2011 earthquake, as the Arts Centre remains cordoned off. For that reason admission to the Ferrymead Heritage Park is free on weekends. You can still walk along the fences that have been erected around the...

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  • Port Hills

    Christchurch Things to Do

    Treat yourself to a rewarding day of sightseeing! The Port Hills is one of Christchurch's most revered landscapes, with tussock slopes and rocky outcrops rising in stark contrast to the flat Canterbury plains. There are no less than 39 reserves in the Port Hills! Start at the stunning and historic restaurant, the Sign of the Takahe, at 200...

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  • Banks Peninsula

    Christchurch Things to Do

    Akaroa is 84km by road from Christchurch and is at the end of State Highway 75. It has a population of about 600 but in peak tourist time this can rise to about 7,000. The town sits on a large sheltered harbour and is surrounded by the remains of an ancient volcano. While settled by the British, Akaroa’s claim to fame is its French history. In...

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  • Orana Wildlife Park

    Christchurch Things to Do

    Orana Park gives more a zoo feeling than the cosy and more intimate wildlife park The Willowbank. This is not only due to the many exotic animals like lions, zebras, rhinos, giraffes, cheetahs and Sumatran tigers they have there in huge enclosures, and wide open spaces. Although Orana Park is also renowned for its breeding programmes of rare New...

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  • New Art Gallery

    Christchurch Things to Do

    The new Art Gallery was opened in 2003 and is a great addition to Christchurch. It has wonderful curving glass facades and spectacular outdoor sculpture. The Gallery has one of the largest permanent collections in New Zealand. The collection totals over 5,500 paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings, and crafts emphasizes local work. There are...

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  • Sign of the Takahe

    Christchurch Things to Do

    The Sign of the Takahe is a roadhouse that was built to provide a rest stop to travellers crossing the Cashmere Hills in the early twentieth century. The building is a fabulous looking structure both inside and out. It was completed in 1949, after work began on it way back in 1908. Today, the building is used as a restaurant and is open in the...

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  • New Brighton Library

    Christchurch Things to Do

    The library itself is really small, but it's right on the beach and has a great view of the sea with comfy chairs where you can read and listen to music. The Children's section has interactive games and playstations. There's 2 cafes in it, you can have a walk on the pier, or do a 10km beach walk around the South Shore split and come back to where...

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  • Ferrymead Heritage Park

    Christchurch Things to Do

    This museum was located a little out of town. We took a bus I think to get there. It was like an old transport and technology museum. We got a glimpse of what colonial Christchurch may have been like.

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  • Waimate, a Nice Surprise in Wallaby...

    New Zealand comedians traditionally make jokes about the people of Waimate, suggesting they inbreed and are a little stupid.When you are there you do not get aware of this LOL You just wonder why this lovely little rural town 40 km south of Timaru is not even mentioned in some travel guides. This probably is due to its location 6km west of SH1. The...

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  • Recognise the Alpine Plants and Flowers

    As I can post only 5 pictures here, the description of the alpine plants which you will see mainly in the Mt. Cook and Arthur's Pass areas will be limited to some striking examples, and as I am only a hobby botanist I would not even be able to tell you about all 600 alpine plants that can be found throughout New Zealand. You will remember the...

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  • Hanmer's hot pools are great even in bad...

    Just the other day friends touring the South Island told us they did not soak in the hot pools in Hanmer Springs because of bad weather. What a pity!Nearly no weather - apart from hail and lightning - is bad enough to not enjoy the relaxing hot mineral waters in this alpine resort township, just one and half to two hours by car from Christchurch....

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  • Ashburton and its lovely Domain

    There are three important things I have to say about Ashburton, a town about a one hour’s drive (86 km) south of Christchurch, on SH 1:It is always a great stop for its neat toilets, and it has a delightful Domain. And not to forget the fabulous café in the southern suburb of Tinwald, with its fantastic European cakes including those hard-to-resist...

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  • Arthur's Pass Walks and Kea Encounters

    There are times when you will not spot a kea in and around Arthur's Pass. But the chance is high that you can watch them hop on car tops, check rubbish bins for food, throw down flower pots etc. If you have a closer look you might spot houses where they have installed mesh fence around their flower pots for saving them from what the keas call fun....

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  • Go West, Tramp & Drive: Christch. -...

    You can do this trip in a day, as a day tour from Christchurch, or use it as the route to the West Coast - or you stop at all the magnificent places on the way, do a bit of tramping, and you will end up spending several days in this area.When you have left the rich foothills of the Canterbury Plains behind, the road mounts steeply up to Porters...

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  • Arthur's Pass - The Center of Canterbury...

    On our scenic drive from Christchurch to the West Coast of the South Island, we made a nice little stop in Arthur's Pass National Park. It is located about 150km Northwest of ChCh, and can easily be reached in 2.5 hours by car by taking Highway 73 out of town. Whether you head out for a short day trip, or go out to spend the night, it is a nice...

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  • Omarama – a Gliding Paradise

    To me Omarama, 25 km south of Twizel, and shortly before/after Lindis Pass, has never been a lot more than a place for refreshments. Last time I stayed there nearly a week because I reported about the Grand Prix World Championship in Gliding. So you can guess why this place is well-known far beyond the borders. Since the World Championships in 1995...

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  • Just Cry: High Country becomes...

    If you have read my introduction to the South Island (Chapter 2: A Unique Landscape under Threat) you already know that I love the High Country, the desert-like tussock grass landscape of the MacKenzie Basin and Central Otago - and that I hate it being transformed by farmers into green pastures like the Canterbury Plains.When we drove along the...

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  • Take your Aussie Friends to the Snow ;-)

    As you know, Kimi the bear is a well-travelled New Zealand resident. As Aussie visitors are always very keen to see and get into the snow, he takes his Koala friends to areas with more snow than Christchurch.Sometimes it is far enough to cross Lyttelton Harbour and get to Banks Peninsula. When it snows Mt. Herbert is a fabulous place to go to....

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  • Winter Pleasures at Lake Lyndon

    Lake Lyndon is a very much loved winter place of the people from Christchurch. You just have to get over Porters Pass, and there you are. In very cold winters it freezes over, and many people do ice-skating there, or play ice-hockey, or just slip over the surface. After the first snow many people go there and build snowmen, throw snowballs at each...

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  • Winter Magic at Castle Hill

    Before going on this trip in winter...1.) check the weather forecast2.) check the road conditions3.) store snow chains in the boot of your car 4.) pack warm clothes and sturdy shoes (and food and water, for the rare case you get stuck in a snow storm)If the road is not closed but snow chains are compulsory police might control this in Springfield....

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  • Sink into the Water Worlds of the...

    Although the Waitaki Valley links the east coast and the high-country lakes it is a little off the beaten path because most tourists travel clockwise or anti-clockwise around the South Island and do not travel along this beautiful river and its many artificial lakes which - on a sunny day - have the same spectacular turquoise blue colour as the...

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  • Walks around Hanmer Springs before Pool...

    As mentioned in the tip about the hot pools in Hanmer Springs, it is perfect to combine a walk with the relaxation in the pools. First the walk, then the hot pools, of course.A short walk or half-day tramp would do for that purpose. There are an incredible lot of short and easy walks in Hanmer Forest, and also a big range of 2.5 to 6h walks. If you...

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  • Walks, MTB, Hunting and Driving around...

    As surprisingly beautiful Waimate with its many historic buildings is, this little rural town is also very diverse. Apart from feeding the tame wallabies at EnkleDooVery Korna (see extra tip) there are a lot of other activities on offer. Here is a little selection.Walks Whitehorse Walkway (3km/2hr return): Views over the district to the sea and...

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  • Wear Sturdy Shoes in Wallaby Enclosures...

    I do not want to miss to give you a very useful tip when you visit the Wallaby Park (EnkleDooVery Korna) in Waimate:Even in splendid sunshine you should wear sturdy shoes! As you might imagine 65 wallabies can leave a LOT of poo in the enclosures, and you will walk right through it, and it is much softer than those practical sheep pellets... ;-)...

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  • Cuddle and Feed Wallabies in Waimate

    A lady named Gwen Dempster-Schouten has hand-raised orphaned wallabies since 1977 but only in October 1999 she opened her wallaby park, named EnkleDooVery Korna, to the public. It was so successful that Gwen was able to extend her park by adding some enclosures. Actually (June 2007) she has 65 tame wallabies that wait for the visitors to feed them....

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  • Lupin Roads of Canterbury - a...

    Tourists and many locals love them, environmentalists hate them although most of them admit that they look beautiful... I speak of the splash of colour that the Russell lupins add to the ochre Mackenzie Country from November to January, and also to many of the braided riverbeds of Canterbury.Many people even think those flowers have always grown...

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  • Kekerengu

    Kekerengu is Canterbury's northern most place and noteworthy due to The Store which is a great stop for a cuppa and piece of cake. The views up and down the coast are great.Kekerengu is located approx 45 minutes north of Kaikoura.

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  • Kaikoura

    Kaikoura (Maori for meal of Crayfish) is one of Canterbury's northern towns. It is quite small though quite busy as a rest stop when travelling between Picton (and its Ferry terminal) and Christchurch. The town is well known for its Whale Watch tours as there are regular visitors from the Whale community along the coastline.Kaikoura has some good...

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  • Christchurch

    The city of Christchurch is the big city of Canterbury and home to a plethora of things to do. From watching sport at Jade Stadium to an Antarctic experience at the Antarctic Centre Christchurch is an interesting place to spend a few days. The middle of the city is dominated by the Christ Church Cathedral. It is this building that is the reason for...

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  • Akaroa - An Afternoon French Style!

    85 km to the Southeast of Christchurch is a lovely little former French Settlement in the middle of Canterbury. Small Cafes, a nice little waterfront park, and plenty of shopping is what can entertain you here in Akaroa.By far the best part about this trip from Christchurch however is the road into Akaroa. The town is set inside a crater which is...

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  • Canterbury Museum

    The Canterbury Museum is a museum located in Christchurch, New Zealand.Daily 9AM-5:30PM summer, 9AM-5PM winter. Includes colonial,

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  • South Canterbury

    last stop before you reach Otago, South Canterbury's Main Center Town, Timaru...the State Highway 1 goes straight through on your way to Dunedin..further south around 200km.Timaru has a couple of nice place where you can stretch your legs, have a fine lunch or even stay for day and visiting the orchards or farms in this area. nice and relaxing...

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  • Arthur's Pass

    the Gateway and great Divide from the Pacific Ocean to the Tasman Sea...from Canterbury to Westland. an awesome drive through the Southern Alps. around 180km pure Nature, nowadays a good road.Mother Nature could definitly not stop herself creating this part of NZ...or, she just was in a very good mood

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  • from the Port Hills

    drive up the Port Hills in Christchurch...or take one of the half day trips...quite affordable, around $US 15.- including a cuppa tea, take your pics up here.....looking over the plains towards Lake Ellesmere

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Canterbury Things to Do

Reviews and photos of Canterbury things to do posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Canterbury sightseeing.
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