Nowhere in New Zealand (NZ) is changing and developing as fast as post-quake Christchurch. The scaffolding is coming down, the hospitality scene is flourishing and the central city is once again drawing visitors to its pedestrian-friendly streets.
A short drive from the city, Banks Peninsula conceals idyllic hidden bays and beaches that provide the perfect backdrop for wildlife cruises, with a sunset return to the attractions of pretty Akaroa. To the north are the vineyards of the Waipara Valley and the relaxed ambience of Hanmer Springs, while westwards, the Canterbury Plains morph quickly into the dramatic wilderness of the Southern Alps.
Canterbury's attractions include tramping along alpine valleys and over passes around Arthur’s Pass, and mountain biking around the turquoise lakes of Mackenzie Country. During winter (June to September), attention switches to the ski fields. Throughout the seasons, Aoraki/Mt Cook, the country’s tallest peak, stands sentinel over this diverse region.