Staying in a semi rural town offers the best of everything, you can still enjoy the convenience of a large township with major shopping, restaurants, cafes, fast-food outlets and supermarkets, while enjoying a more relaxed and laid back atmosphere, where things move at a slower pace. It is also a great way to see some ‘real’ New Zealand and enjoy entertainment that is unique to rural life.

When it comes to evening entertainment, Ashburton is a great place to enjoy a relaxed drink in a friendly atmosphere. The most popular bar for great meals and quality service in the town is The Speights Ale House. The Speights Ale House and restaurant offers authentic “Southern Hospitality” and is highly recommended!

The Ashburton District is building a reputation for hosting great events that can sometimes leave accommodation pushed to the limit! There are plenty of free and low cost events guaranteed to entertain the entire family!

Popular Events In The Ashburton District Include…

  • Rakaia Salmon Fishing Competition – this is an annual event held in late February in the local township of Rakaia.
  • Concert in the Park – Another great summer event held in the Ashburton Domain.
  • Wheels Week – Each May, “Wheels Week” attracts hundreds of enthusiasts to Ashburton, events include street parade, stock car racing, truck show, classic and vintage car run, housetrucker fair and many more events.
  • Ashburton A & P Show – This is the largest two day annual agricultural event held in the Mid Canterbury District. Held on 17.4 hectares of land, the show is held on the weekend following Labour Weekend of every year. Over 190 sites compliment the Livestock Competitors together with Food, Music, Displays Entertainment and Competitions.
  • Methven & Mt Hutt Winter Events – During the winter season there are awesome events galore to be enjoyed in Methven and up the mountain at Mt Hutt, including the infamous Methven Big Air!
  • Harness Racing – Ashburton is home to what is regarded as the fastest harness racing track in New Zealand, which is why during the summer there are plenty of fun days to be had at ‘the trots’!

Of course, a rural holiday wouldn’t be complete without experiencing an original Farmers Market! Farmers markets are a great way to enjoy locally grown produce, meat and eggs, while plenty of locally baked goodies are available to tempt your taste buds. During summer both Ashburton and Methven hold regular Farmers Markets.

The modern Ashburton Trusts Event Centre is home to many top international and national touring shows, including ballets and musicals, while the Ashburton Art Gallery is nationally recognised for showcasing top artists.

From fishing in the summer to extreme snow sports in the winter, no matter what time of the year you choose to visit Ashburton, there is always plenty to see and do!