There's a treasure trove of history and artefacts to discover throughout the district to satisfy any interest. Intriguing glimpses into past life, including the old lime kilns at Staveley and Mt Somers, coal mines at Woolshed Creek, the old 1860's Hakatere stone homestead and Barrhill historic village.
The Plains Railway Museum, to the south west of Ashburton is home to several collections that includes a historic pioneer village.
The Ashburton Aviation museum is a remarkable achievement. Among an amazing collection is a Hawker Harrier jump jet.
There is a rich diversity of art and craft. Ashburton Art Gallery presents an exciting exhibition programme and the impressive Ashburton Event Centre hosts a number of shows and events during the year. Ashford Art and Craft Village is the home of the spinning wheel and a cluster of enticing craft shops.