Christchurch, the South Island's largest urban centre, is characterised by its English heritage and the creativity and innovation of urban regeneration following the Canterbury earthquakes.
The picturesque city also serves as a gateway to fun-filled southern adventures, with an international airport and short drive to the sparkling Pacific Ocean, majestic Southern Alps and the ancient volcanic Banks Peninsula dotted with charming townships and hidden bays.
Dominated by New Zealand’s highest mountain, Aoraki Mt Cook (3,754 metres or 12,316 feet), and surrounded by the Southern Alps – a chain of mountains bigger than its European namesake – Canterbury's vast landscapes offer countless outdoor nature pursuits and thrilling adventures.
On-the-go visitors can ski down awe-inspiring slopes, play golf on world-class courses, take to the water swimming, surfing, windsurfing, jet boating or white-water rafting, or pedal along stunning cycle trails. Afterwards, they can relax with winning wines at beautiful vineyards, wander through outstanding gardens or soak their cares away in an alpine spa.