At the top of the South Island a compact area of mountain ranges and forested valleys known as the Nelson Lakes National Park is home to the beginning of the breath-taking Southern Alps. The National park has something for everyone.
Kaikoura, located on a rocky peninsula of the East Coast is a picturesque town well known for its astounding seafood and marine wildlife.
Stretching from the East Coast to inland alpine villages and lush green forests is the Hurunui District. Just a 45 minute drive from Christchurch, the area is rich in accommodation, activities and eateries.
Bounded by braided rivers, the sensational Selwyn District ranges from the Pacific Ocean, across the Canterbury Plains, to the spectacular Southern Alps. Whether you visit for a day or stay for an entire winter, Selwyn is an amazing playground for all outdoor enthusiasts.
The district starts just 10 minutes from Christchurch. Travelling through the dramatic Great Alpine Highway you will pass through rural and alpine towns, including Darfield, Springfield, Castle Hill and Arthurs Pass.
It’s an exciting time to visit Christchurch: as the post-earthquakes rebuild transforms the city in many ways. Christchurch is a gateway to the Southern Alps, the largest city in the South Island and is full of creative quirks and activities to keep you busy.
Methven is the perfect escape for snow lovers and just over one hour’s drive from Christchurch. The alpine-themed village nestled close to the Southern Alps is a tranquil, yet exhilarating, relaxing, yet vibrant place for all tastes and budgets.
The Mackenzie basin is a true winter wonderland. Experience the breath-taking contrast between the grand, open tussock terrain with turquoise blue lakes, snow-capped mountains and New Zealand’s highest mountain Aoraki Mt Cook. Fairlie, Tekapo, Twizel and Omarama are all small and unique rural towns in the area.
The Waitaki valley is an untouched valley home to rivers and lakes with arguably some of the best scenery in New Zealand. Take a drive through Omarama, Otematata, Duntroon or Kurow and feel inspired to get in touch with nature.
Set against the pristine backdrop of Mount Aspiring National Park and renowned for crystal clear lakes and rivers, Wanaka is home to some of the best terrain in Australasia. Perched on the edge of Lake Wanaka, the township holds a special winter charm. For a breath-taking drive, the Crown Range links Wanaka with Queenstown, which sits on the shores of Lake Wakatipu with a backdrop of the Southern Alps.