Canterbury Holidays & Travel Guide

Located on the South Island of New Zealand, Canterbury is a popular region on the east coast home to Christchurch, the largest city on the South Island. Canterbury holidays boast the beautiful Banks Peninsula and the Southern Alps of the Canterbury Plains as well as the glacial lakes of Mackenzie Country and the Hanmer Hot Springs of North Canterbury. A spectacular and diverse region, this Canterbury travel guide is designed to help you familiarise yourself with this expansive region.

Stretching from the Conway River in the north to the mighty Waitaki River in the south, Canterbury reaches from the Pacific Ocean in the east and is punctuated by the volcanic formations of the Banks Peninsula. A vibrant blend of 1800 Europe and cosmopolitan lifestyle, Canterbury is a picturesque region. The city of Christchurch was designed as a garden city for religious citizens but the parks and cathedrals are now interspersed by the modern shopping, dining, galleries, theatres, culture and attractions.

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Popular Canterbury Regions

Cathedral Square, Christchurch


Located on the east coast of Canterbury, Christchurch is the South Island's largest city and is steeped in history while boasting modern shopping and dining.

Southern Alps - Grand Circle Tour

Mount Cook

New Zealand's highest mountain, Mount Cook measures 3,724m high and is a popular natural attraction also known as Aoraki. This spectacular region is bursting with scenic beauty and nature.


Lake Tekapo

Approximately 3 and a half hours drive southwest of Christchurch, Lake Tekapo is part of a UNESCO Dark Sky Reserve and is picturesque by day but simply dazzling by night.

Whale Watch Tour


Located 180km north of Christchurch, Kaikoura is a picturesque coastal town known for its crayfish, marine encounters and scenic coastal walks.


Hanmer Springs

Famous for its stunning landscapes and natural hot pools, Hanmer Springs is a scenic alpine village located an hour and a half's drive from Christchurch.

Canterbury Accommodation

Canterbury accommodation offers a great range of options for all budgets and travellers. From the city centre of Christchurch to the heritage of Hamner Hot Springs, alpine resorts of Wanaka and the majesty of Mount Cook, Canterbury accommodation offers easy access to the region's most popular attractions. Ranging from 3 stars to 5 stars, Canterbury accommodation offers everything from boutique properties to modern hotels, affordable options, major hotel chains and lakeside lodges.

Canterbury Holiday Packages

Canterbury holiday packages offer the most value for money and are the most affordable and easy way to visit the South Island's largest city. Enjoy the convenience of brining all your travel needs together for one discounted price while also saving time and money, and taking the stress out of organising each aspect of your holiday. Combining the essentials like accommodation and flights, Canterbury holiday packages also offer added extras like car hire, transfers, tours, travel insurance and more. There are an excellent range of existing packages to choose from or you can customise one to suit your needs.

Things To Do

Ride the historic trams or enjoy a scenic gondola ride with the option of dining at 'Pinnacle' restaurant. Relax around the cafes of Cathedral Square and visit the Aquarium of Discovery complete with hundreds of aquatic species, a fly fishing simulator and glow worm cave. Visit one of the several nearby wineries or indulge at the resort oasis of Hanmer Springs. Visit the picturesque harbour town of Akaroa, with cruises taking in the penguins, seals, dolphins and even whales if you're lucky. If whales are what you seek, you'll find humpbacks, orcas, minckes, sperm and southern rights in Kaikoura, a half day's drive north. There's also the once-in-a-lifetime Dolphin Encounter or Albatross Encounter in Kaikoura. More Things To Do in Canterbury.

Getting There

Christchurch is the international gateway to Canterbury and New Zealand's South Island. Overseas visitors arrive at Christchurch International Airport, situated in Harewood, approximately two and a half hours' drive from Canterbury. Getting to Canterbury from the airport is easy thanks to the number of main routes and state highways that cross the picturesque landscapes. To get to Canterbury from Christchurch, just follow State Highway 1. More about Getting to Canterbury.