Located in South Canterbury, the town of Ashburton is the gateway to some of the most breath-taking scenery, attractions and activities to be found in this South Island district.

Ashburton is the perfect base for your outdoor holiday adventure due to its close proximity to Lake Hood, Methven, Mt Hutt, Mt Somers and Rakaia, while Christchurch city is just over an hour’s drive away!

Friendly and relaxed, Ashburton is becoming an increasingly popular place to visit, especially if you prefer your holiday to be off the beaten track and minus the hundreds of tourists! With all the benefits of a town combined with the relaxed and friendly atmosphere of a rural area, once you slip into Ashburton time you wont be in any hurry to leave!

From the fabulous Lake Hood with its plethora of water activities, to the thriving rural town of Methven which is home to Mt Hutt and other backcountry attractions, to the top eco-tourism location that is Mt Somers and the stunning braided river of the Rakaia and its popular trout fishing… whatever outdoor activity you desire, this is where you’ll find it!

The heart of Ashburton offers a friendly ambience with plenty of cafes, restaurants, bars and shops to keep you entertained, while the impressive array of restaurants offer visitors fine cuisine and award-winning local and New Zealand wines. However, if your taste is for relaxing in a beautiful environment then the tranquil surrounds of Lake Hood and Mt Somers are bound to appeal. A great range of festivals and concerts are also hosted throughout the year, including the famous “Wheels Week”.

Other popular attractions in the Asbhurton district include hot air ballooning, Lord of the Rings tours, trout fishing on the Raikia river, country golf, internationally recognised ski and snowboarding mountain, white-water rafting, fly fishing and the Plains Vintage Railway & Historical Museum. There is a multitude of adventure and sports activities, including summer lake or river activities and top class winter skiing or snowboarding at Mt Hutt – all within easy driving distance from the town of Ashburton.

The town centre of Ashburton is extremely visitor-friendly due to the compact layout of the area that allows visitors to enjoy tourist shopping and dining at a leisurely pace. From central motels and hotels it is easy to walk to most of Ashburton’s entertaining and dining venues.

A short drive can take you to so many exciting activities and attractions; the challenge in the Ashburton district is to decide what to do first. Between sightseeing jaunts, farm tours, hiking, water sports, skiing, LOTR tours and beauty treatments, there is always the sublime peace of rural South Canterbury to enjoy.

Visitors are sure to fall in love with this lovely South Canterbury location and the abundant supply of things to see and do – all year round!