Located on the east coast of New Zealand’s South Island, Canterbury is a popular region featuring the South Island’s largest city Christchurch as well as the beautiful Banks Peninsula, the Southern Alps of the Canterbury Plains, the glacial lakes of Mackenzie Country and the Hanmer Hot Springs of North Canterbury. 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.
As the international gateway to New Zealand’s South Island, overseas visitors will arrive in Christchurch before making their way to Canterbury. Located approximately 2.5 hours’ drive from Christchurch, how to get to Canterbury is as easy as following State Highway 1. Situated in Harewood, the Christchurch International Airport is connected to the South Island by a number of state highways and main routes that transverse the picturesque landscapes.
Getting to Canterbury from Australia is easy thanks to a number of direct daily flights offered by both Virgin Australia and Air New Zealand. Departing Cairns, Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth, these flights to Christchurch take between 3 to 10 hours, depending on where you depart from and whether or not they are direct.
Getting to Canterbury from the Christchurch Airport is fairly straight forward. There are a number of taxis and airport shuttles available in the arrivals area. However, many visitors to the South Island prefer to hire a car or motorhome and explore the stunning countryside at their leisure. For those exiting the airport and wondering how to get to Canterbury, simply follow the signs to State Highway 1. This route traverses the entire length of the Canterbury Plains and will showcase some of the most popular destinations along the way. Although the trip should only take between 2 to 3 hours non-stop, its recommended that you allow plenty of time to make the trip and enjoy stopping in the little towns along the way.