Christchurch & Canterbury

The Canterbury landscape is impossible to ignore, from the silvery beaches of the coast to the jagged peaks of the Southern Alps.

Big scenery is the order of the day, huge panoramas of ocean or mountains, great sweeps of pastureland and massive amounts of sky. The highest point of the region is the highest point of New Zealand, the spectacular Aoraki Mount Cook stands at 3754 metres (Aoraki is Maori for Cloud Piercer). At the other end of the scale, the submarine trenches off the coast of Kaikoura are thousands of metres deep, providing an ideal environment for the whales, dolphins and seals that live there permanently. This is the place in New Zealand to Whale watch and swim with the Dolphins.

Between the mountains and the sea, the vast plains are patch worked with the patterns of rural life.

In the two cities of the region, Christchurch and Timaru, great care has been taken to preserve Canterbury's colonial heritage. Grand architecture, historic homesteads and immaculate parks intermingle with the technology and style of modern life.

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