Relaxed, rugged and incredibly beautiful, Canterbury is a sweeping region in New Zealand’s South Island that ranges from snowy mountains to green pastures, littered with alpine villages and charming colonial cities.
The Canterbury Plains form an epic landscape of Alpine peak the interspersed with glassy glacial lakes and acres of national parks. A guaranteed adventure whether you explore on foot or by air, the likes of the dramatic Arthur’s Pass is a memorable experience to cross via the TranzAlpine train. Out towards the coast, the Kaikoura area is one of the best spots in the South Island for wildlife, with wild fur seal colonies and whale-watching expeditions.
Canterbury’s major city Christchurch won even greater respect in the eyes of its locals and visitors after surviving one of the country’s worst natural disasters in 2010. With inspiring cooperation and resilience, the city survived a series of devastating earthquakes and is working hard to restore its former glory as New Zealand’s most charming provincial capital.
At the heart of the city is its iconic gothic cathedral, soaring over lively street performers in Cathedral Square. Perfectly flat and compact enough to navigate on foot, Christchurch certainly lives up to its Anglican namesake. There’s an English country quaintness in its vintage tram, punts meandering down the River Avon and botanic gardens bursting with colour.
A youthful student population gives the city its vibrant, artful edge, with the likes of the Christchurch Art Centre providing the population with a choice of theatres, art galleries and buzzing weekend markets, in addition regular festivals, concerts and events.
Experience the South Island with a luxury tour of one of New Zealand’s most surprising regions. Plunge from the cities into the wilderness on a classic Kiwi adventure that the Lightfoot regional specialists will tailor to your every need.