The Gateway to New Zealand's South Island
Christchurch Airport is the gateway to New Zealand's best visitor experiences starting in the Canterbury region. You can easily reach Christchurch from Perth on direct services with Air New Zealand operating twice weekly.
The South Island starts here with Christchurch being the gateway to the stunning South Island, home to the spectacular scenery that the majority of visitors to New Zealand were lured here by and want to see first-hand!
Stay and explore Christchurch city itself which is currently going through a recovery and rebuild phase to the tune of $40 billion after the earthquakes three years ago or jump in a rental car or motorhome and hit the road to discover the mountains, lakes, rivers, glaciers and of course the wonderful locals that you’ll find along the way.
Highlights of the South Island:
Approximately three hours south of Christchurch is the Aoraki Mount Cook /Mackenzie region. A region home to a number of glacier fed lakes that feature crystal clear, stunning blue waters. Visit the Church of the Good Shepherd that sits on the edge of Lake Tekapo, view the night sky with Earth and Sky, eat some fresh salmon on the way to Mt Cook, New Zealand’s tallest peak.
Boasting plenty of fantastic accommodation options, Christchurch is a fantastic base for exploring the rugged scenery, breathtaking views and colourful holiday towns which New Zealand's South Island has to offer.
Four hours further south is Queenstown, New Zealand’s adventure capital. Here you can choose to relax and take in the breath taking scenery, made famous in Lord of the Rings and now the Hobbit, or you can take the plunge with the world famous bungy off the Kawarau Bridge, you can take a thrilling jet boat ride through the canyon with Shotover Jet or take a ride up the gondola and have fun on the luge ride at the top.
Or head north from Christchurch to see Kaikoura, home to a variety of marine life and most famous for whale watching and you can swim with the dolphins. Further north from Kaikoura is wine country, and a visit to the region is a must for any Sauvignon Blanc fan in particular, wineries here are some of the best producers in the world.
Heading north from Kaikoura you’ll find world class wine country in the Marlborough region, explore the main town of Blenheim and its surrounding wineries. To the west of Blenheim is the Nelson Tasman region, home to Abel Tasman national park, one of the South Island’s most stunning areas. Here you can kayak, go hiking and explore the beautiful beaches and swim in crystal clear waters.