Welcome to South Canterbury

The Mackenzie Basin is a wild, tussock-strewn bowl at the foot of the Southern Alps, carved out by ancient glaciers. It takes its name from the legendary James ‘Jock’ McKenzie, who ran his stolen flocks in this then-uninhabited region in the 1840s.

Director Sir Peter Jackson made the most of this rugged and untamed landscape while filming the Lord of the Rings, choosing Mt Cook Village as the setting for Minas Tirith and a sheep station near Twizel as Gondor's Pelennor Fields.

Top experiences in South Canterbury

South Canterbury activities

$54.52 Food, Wine & Nightlife

Half-Day Self-Guided Ride and Wine Bike Tour from Arrowtown

Your tour begins when you arrive for the 9.30am briefing at Arrowtown Bike Hire After a comprehensive briefing on the mornings activities, the trail and your bike you set off on a self guided bike ride along the spectacular Arrow River Bridges Trail under a canopy of beautiful Willow trees. Following this fantastic cycle trail you will meander beside two rivers, cross purpose built suspension bridges, pass historic cottages, bike through scenic open farmland with stunning mountain views, and view breathtaking canyons before arriving at the historic Kawarau Bridge built in 1880. The Kawarau Bridge is home to the famous AJ Hackett Bungy. Take time to watch the bungy jumpers as they leap into thin air. From here you will ride another 2 kilometres to Gibbston Valley Winery where you will join a wine expert and have a tour of their wine cave while sampling some of their fantastic local wines.   Transport at 1.30pm will then be provided back to the Arrowtown Bike Hire base after completion your wine tour. Trip Break down : 1.5 hours actual riding time. 1.5 Hours Sightseeing time. 30 min wine tour. Don’t panic if you run out of puff during your ride, we will discuss pickup locations should you need our Riders Rescue Shuttle! Ride distance from 14 kilometers. Journey time to vineyard approximately 2 hours. Our bikes are designed so riders of all skill levels can enjoy an adventure in the great outdoors. Adult, youth and 24" bikes have light alloy frames to create the perfect platform for riders to enjoy a scenic ride. A range of sizes ensure  your ride to be a relaxed and comfortable day out.

$93.16 Cruises, Sailing & Water Tours

Havelock to Marlborough Sound Greenshell Mussel Tasting Cruise

Check in at MV Spirit, Havelock Marina - Pier C at 1.15pm. Havelock is a small seaport township on State Highway 6, the main road between Blenheim and Nelson, about a 30min drive from Blenheim. Havelock is the gateway to the Pelorus Sound and Kenepuru Sound, two of the main sounds that make up the Marlborough Sounds. Cruise aboard MV Spirit, a 14m catamaran, through the Pelorus and Kenepuru Sounds, visit a mussel farm, sample freshly steamed mussels paired with Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. Enjoy tour guide narration by the skipper. Possible sightings of penguins, dolphins and seals.As part of the Marlborough Sounds cruise we serve freshly-steamed Greenshell mussels with a glass of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. There is also a licensed bar facility on board which has a good range of Marlborough wines, along with beers, juice, bottled water. You can also purchase a range of light food items including chips and peanuts. EFTPOS, Visa and Mastercard can be used onboard. The launch has a range of indoor and outdoor areas for your comfort and for viewing the beautiful Marlborough Sounds scenery.

$68.32 Cultural & Theme Tours

Cowan's observatory tour

Allow one of our astronomy guides to introduce you to the southern night sky. Take a look through our telescopes at Cowan’s hill and discover a few hidden secrets throughout the Milky Way. This tour is perfect for your first stargazing experience, and will only operate if the sky is clear enough to see some of our southern night sky objects.The facilities we keep at Cowan's Observatory are similar to what you'd be using on Mt John, but the tour is a little shorter. It is a dark sky location just like Mount John. Cowan's observatory is closer to the township, offering a more sheltered environment. This makes it a great choice for families. Warm clothing is essential, all year round.

$41.40 Cultural & Theme Tours

Kaikoura Express return from Christchurch

ItineraryThis is a typical itinerary for this productStop At: Kaikoura ExpressTours departs Christchurch and travels to Kaikoura. An informative commentary is given by the driver thorough out the trip.Duration: 7 hoursStop At: Kaikoura Peninsula WalkwayThere is time in Kaikoura to do a whale or dolphin tour or take a walk.Duration: 7 hours

$34.50 Outdoor Activities

Gold Hunting Adventures

ItineraryThis is a typical itinerary for this productStop At: Farewell Spit Nature Experience, Collingwood, Golden Bay, Nelson-Tasman Region, South IslandSight seeingDuration: 4 hours

$134.56 Water Sports

Day Safari Sea Kayaking Trip from Te Anau

Departs Te Anau: Return transport from Te Anau + Sunriser Classic (10km. 3-3.5 hours paddling.) One of the most awesome and often overlooked features of Milford Sound is the journey to get here. The Milford road passes through some of New Zealand's most stunning and unspoiled mountain scenery. Start your day with a scenic minibus journey along the magnificent Milford Road with our guide showing you the best spots, while you sit back and relax. We'll even pick you up from your accommodation! Once in Milford, you join the Sunriser Classic. Our most popular adventure in summer and winter, this trip takes you on a big loop of Milford Sound, meaning you get to take in all the highlights! With opportunities to spot wildlife and photograph waterfalls, this is an adventure not to be missed.IS THIS TRIP FOR ME?The Day Safari will suit you if: • You'd like to sit back & enjoy the views while someone does the driving for you. • You're excited to paddle the fiord but don't want to miss anything on the way! Visit our website for more trip information: www.roscosmilfordkayaks.com/Our-Adventures/

South Canterbury in detail