Top Choice Gardens in Christchurch

Botanic Gardens

Strolling through these blissful 30 riverside hectares of arboreal and floral splendour is a consummate Christchurch experience. Gorgeous at any time of the year, the gardens are particularly impressive in spring wh…
Top Choice Gardens in Akaroa

Giant’s House

An ongoing labour of love by local artist Josie Martin, this playful and whimsical combination of sculpture and mosaics cascades down a hillside garden above Akaroa. Echoes of Gaudí and Miró can be found in the intr…
Top Choice Museum in Akaroa

Akaroa Museum

An arduous postquake revamp has rewarded Akaroa with one of the smartest regional museums in the land. Learn about the various phases of the peninsula's settlement and its fascinating natural and industrial history,…
Top Choice Gallery in Timaru

Aigantighe Art Gallery

One of the South Island’s largest public galleries, this 1908 mansion houses a notable collection of NZ and European art across various eras, alongside changing exhibitions staged by the gallery's ardent supporters.…
Top Choice Winery in Waipara Valley

Pegasus Bay

It's fitting that Waipara Valley's premier winery should have the loveliest setting and one of Canterbury's best restaurants (mains $36 to $44, serving noon to 4pm Thursday to Monday). Beautiful gardens set the scen…
Top Choice Museum in Aoraki (Mt Cook) National Park

Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park Visitor Centre

Arguably the best DOC visitor centre in NZ. It not only dispatches all necessary information and advice on tramping routes and weather conditions, it also houses excellent displays on the park's natural and human hi…
Top Choice Landmark in Arthur's Pass

Castle Hill/Kura Tawhiti

Scattered across lush paddocks around 33km from Springfield, these limestone formations are so odd they were named ‘treasure from a distant land’ by early Māori. A car park (with toilets) provides easy access on foo…
Top Choice Gallery in Christchurch

Christchurch Art Gallery

Damaged in the earthquakes, Christchurch's fantastic art gallery has reopened brighter and bolder, presenting a stimulating mix of primarily NZ exhibitions.
Museum in Christchurch

Canterbury Museum

Yes, there's a mummy and dinosaur bones, but the highlights of this museum are more local and more recent. The Māori galleries contain some beautiful pounamu (greenstone) pieces, while Christchurch Street is an atmo…
Church in Lake Tekapo

Church of the Good Shepherd

The prime disgorging point for tour buses, this interdenominational lakeside church was built of stone and oak in 1935. A picture window behind the altar gives churchgoers a distractingly divine view of lake and mou…