Canterbury makes National Geographic's Best Trips List

New Zealand’s Canterbury region has been named as one of the world’s best adventure destinations to explore in 2019.

New Zealand’s Canterbury region has been named as one of the world’s best adventure destinations to explore in 2019.

Just published, National Geographic Traveler magazine’s Best Trips issue reveals 28 must-see destinations and travel experiences for 2019. The magazine’s editors and National Geographic Explorers have selected their list of top seven places to travel in four categories covering cities, nature, culture and adventure.

Canterbury was selected in the adventure category. New Zealand’s biggest region occupies a significant portion of the eastern South Island, encompassing alpine peaks and glaciers, lakes and braided river valleys, the vast Canterbury Plains, and a long stretch of Pacific Ocean coastline that includes Kaikoura and volcanic Banks Peninsula, and a dark sky sanctuary.

From the main urban centre of Christchurch, regional adventures range from whale watching in Kaikoura and swimming with the dolphins in Akaroa, to skiing the many ski fields, witnessing the spectacular Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve, as well as mountain biking, ziplining, kayaking, canyoning, rafting and jet boating.

Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive Stephen England-Hall says it’s fantastic to see the Canterbury region included on the list.

“Canterbury has a lot to offer visitors, it’s great to see the region being recognised by such a highly regarded publication. Tourism New Zealand seeks to spread the benefits of tourism across the country by heavily promoting the regions in our work. International exposure through this accolade will help encourage more visitors to the Canterbury region and the rest of the South Island.”

ChristchurchNZ’s GM Destination and Attraction, Loren Heaphy, says Cantabrians are very aware they live in an amazing region to explore but the global recognition is the icing on the cake.

“Making the list of such a highly regarded travel magazine is fantastic news for the city and region. Christchurch is a logical place for visitors to base themselves while they explore all the amazing adventure activities on offer around the region and we know many Traveler magazine readers will be inspired to put Canterbury on the top of their travel list after seeing us featured.”

National Geographic’s Best Trips 2019

National Geographic Traveler editor-in-chief George Stone says the Best Trips issue features 28 destinations and experiences that can inspire us, change our perspectives and connect us with cultures, places and ideas that matter in the world.

“The issue is packed with spectacular National Geographic photography and is driven by our mission to explore, conserve, respect and engage with our planet.”

National Geographic Traveler publishes six issues per year and is the world’s most widely read travel magazine, with 18 international editions. Content is also shared with its @NatGeoTravel community of more than 50 million people.


  • Canterbury Region, New Zealand
  • Greenland
  • Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness, New Mexico
  • Isla de los Estados, Argentina
  • Macedonia
  • Caño Cristales River, Colombia
  • Oman


  • Dakar, Senegal
  • Salvador, Brazil
  • Kansas City, Missouri
  • Toronto, Canada
  • Matera, Italy
  • Perth, Australia
  • Mexico City, Mexico


  • Peruvian Amazon  
  • Montenegro  
  • Belize  
  • Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique  
  • South Walton County, Florida  
  • Fanjingshan, China 
  • Tahiti, French Polynesia


  • Cairo, Egypt
  • Hoang Lien Son, Vietnam  
  • Galway, Ireland  
  • Bauhaus Trail, Germany  
  • Oakland, California  
  • Vervey, Switzerland
  • Dordogne, France