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Canterbury offers unlimited excitement - relaxation - sunshine and snow - world class sporting and cultural events - wining, dining and accommodation - unique attractions and activities - and all within two hours of Christchurch International airport. You'll be glad you came and You'll be sad to leave.

The Canterbury Region includes a large central portion of the east coast of the South Island, centred around the city of Christchurch.

The Christchurch hinterland of highly productive farmlands extends from the silvery beaches of the east coast to the jagged peaks of the Southern Alps on the western horizon. It offers many opportunities for fresh and exciting activities and attractions.

Step back into Maori, whaling, French and British history in Akaroa - Canterbury's oldest village. You can take a cruise on Lyllelton Harbour and enjoy the dramatic volcanic landscape. In summer you might even get the chance to swim with the world's rarest dolphin, the Hector Dolphin.

Mountains to Sea

Two hours north of Christchurch is Kaikoura, where the mountains meet the sea - one of the few places where you can see the giant sperm whale. To the northwest lies Hanmer Springs, a scenic alpine and thermal village. You can enjoy nature or adventure activities, or laze in the pools. Nearby, in the Hurunui District, you can enjoy the wineries of Waipara.

Inland from Christchurch lie the magnificent Southern Alps - only an hour from the city. The village of Arthurs Pass makes an ideal base for all kinds of activities, and you can also experience the TranzAlpine rail trip - one of the world's most spectacular train journeys that takes you from Christchurch to Greymouth. South of Christchurch lies the Ashburton and Timaru districts. Ashburton District is home to all kinds of exciting activities like skiing, hot air ballooning and salmon fishing. Timaru district features many attractive towns, rolling green hills, lush pasture and braided rivers.

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