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Experience .Winter, spring, summer or fall!
Rakaia Gorge

Tourism in Mid Canterbury 

Tourism in Mid Canterbury is fundamental to our community and one of the regions major economic drivers, alongside farming - kiwis have been holidaying here for years, drawn by the diverse natural beauty and laid-back lifestyle. Today, Mid Canterbury is enjoyed by a growing number of international visitors, predominantly from Australia, United Kingdom and Europe, China, USA, and South East Asia. 

While Mid Canterbury caters well for groups, our visitors are mostly independent travellers. We see a high proportion of second time visitors here, who tend to stay longer and have a higher spend. 

We are keen to explore and engage more with new and emerging markets, such as India, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia, who are keen on developing small and large group travel options for the clients. The region has a good range of commissionable activities, high quality accommodation and we are proud to have a number of Qualmark businesses in the district. 

Visitor Seasonality

Mid Canterbury has two peak seasons. November to mid January, when New Zealanders take their traditional summer holiday break and July to September, when both international and domestic visitors enjoy our winter months on the slopes of Mt Hutt and the surrounding ski areas.

Key Centres

Rakaia - 50kms South of Christchurch. After crossing the longest bridge in the southern hemisphere, you'll be welcomed to the district by a striking salmon landmark heralding some of the best salmon fishing in NZ and one of the worlds best examples of a braided river.

Ashburton - The bustling hub of the region, combining city facilities and vibrancy with rural town friendliness. You'll appreciate the high quality shopping precincts, eclectic cafes and restaurants and shops.

Methven - At the heart of nine Canterbury ski areas and over 1000km's of New Zealand's best heliski terrain. This alpine themed village buzzes in winter, while in the summer it is humming with markets and multi sport events.

Mt Somers High Country - enter the dramatic backcountry, an outdoor recreational paradise - tramping, hiking, horse treks, mountain biking, fishing, sparkling lakes and rivers, Mt Sunday (home to Edoras and Lord of the Rings)

TOP TEN MID CANTERBURY EXPERIENCES

  1. Take a scenic balloon flight over the Canterbury plains including a champagne breakfast on landing.
  2. Experience the awesome adrenalin rush of a tandem skydive.
  3. Your gateway to playing six of Mid Canterbury's finest golf courses. 
  4. Walk or Mountain Bike the numerous tracks - from one day, to four days.
  5. Don't miss a visit to the Ashburton Aviation museum, one of NZ's finest.
  6. Take to the slopes at the world renowned Mt Hutt Ski Area, with its great snow and one of the longest ski seasons in the Southern Hemisphere.
  7. Jet board the stunning Rakaia Gorge or Raft the white waters of the Rangitata River.
  8. Try Ice Skating or Curling surrounded by native beech forest on one of the few natural outdoor rinks left in the country.
  9. Venture in the high country - an outdoor recreational paradise and home to the Hakatere Conservation Park and genuine Kiwi farming experience.
  10. Enjoy a leisurely lunch at one of the many award-winning eateries.