26 days in Canterbury Region Itinerary

26 days in Canterbury Region Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Canterbury Region itinerary planner

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Route & dates

26 days in Canterbury Region Itinerary

Start: Christchurch
Drive:  1​h 45​min
1
Hanmer Springs
— 4 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
2
Akaroa
— 5 nights
Drive:  3​h
3
Timaru
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 30​min
4
Mt. Cook Village
— 4 nights
Drive:  4​h
5
Christchurch
— 9 nights
End: Christchurch

4
nights
Hanmer Springs

Action and relaxation are the reasons that most people head to Hanmer Springs, where natural thermal pools bubble among dramatic alpine surroundings.
Explore Hanmer Springs' surroundings by going to Kaikoura (Ohau Point Seal Colony, Dolphin & Whale Watching, & more). The adventure continues: relax and rejuvenate at Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa, stop by The Decadent Fudge Company, take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Conical Hill, and explore the galleries of Majuba Gallery.

To see more things to do, ratings, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our Hanmer Springs online travel route planner .

Christchurch to Hanmer Springs is an approximately 2-hour car ride. You can also take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 17th (Tue) so you can go by car to Akaroa.

Things to do in Hanmer Springs

Parks Outdoors Wildlife

Side Trip

Kaikoura
Find places to stay Dec 13 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa ©
Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway ©
Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway

5
nights
Akaroa

The French heritage and colonial architecture of Akaroa has broad appeal to anthropologists, historians, architects--and just about anyone with an eye for beautiful, historical buildings and a palate for fine dining.
Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Akaroa: Little River (Manderley Farm & Little River Gallery). The adventure continues: get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour, add some adventure to your tour with a kayaking and canoeing tour, take in nature's colorful creations at The Giants House, and don't miss a visit to Banks Peninsula War Memorial and Grounds.

For where to stay, photos, reviews, and more tourist information, read our Akaroa holiday planner .

You can drive from Hanmer Springs to Akaroa in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and car; or take a bus. In December, plan for daily highs up to 24°C, and evening lows to 12°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Sun) so you can travel to Timaru.

Things to do in Akaroa

Outdoors Tours Wildlife

Side Trip

Little River
Find places to stay Dec 17 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Swim with Dolphins
Kayaking & Canoeing

3
nights
Timaru

Timaru ©
Timaru is a port city in the southern Canterbury region of New Zealand, located 157 kilometres southwest of Christchurch and about 196 kilometres northeast of Dunedin on the eastern Pacific coast of the South Island. Explore Timaru's surroundings by going to Geraldine (Geraldine Observatory, Peel Forest Park Scenic Reserve, & more), Ashburton (Trotts Garden & The Plains Vintage Railway & Historical Museum) and Gem Alpaca Stud (in Fairlie). There's lots more to do: enjoy the sand and surf at Caroline Bay Beach, take in the exciting artwork at Aigantighe Art Gallery, make a trip to Silo Art, and relax in the rural setting at Famlan Farm Park.

To see traveler tips, photos, more things to do, and other tourist information, refer to the Timaru trip builder .

Traveling by car from Akaroa to Timaru takes 3 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Wed) early enough to drive to Mt. Cook Village.

Things to do in Timaru

Museums Parks Wildlife

Side Trips

Geraldine, Ashburton, Gem Alpaca Stud, Silo Art
Find places to stay Dec 22 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Geraldine Observatory ©
Geraldine Observatory
Caroline Bay Beach ©
Caroline Bay Beach

4
nights
Mt. Cook Village

Mt. Cook Village
Siting under towering peaks of New Zealand's highest mountain, Mt.
Explore Mt. Cook Village's surroundings by going to Lake Tekapo (The Church of the Good Shepherd & Lake Tekapo). Next up on the itinerary: hike along Hooker Valley Track, explore the activities along Lake Pukaki, see the sky in a new way at Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre, and head outdoors with Aoraki/Mt. Cook.

For where to stay, reviews, and tourist information, refer to the Mt. Cook Village vacation planner.

You can drive from Timaru to Mt. Cook Village in 2.5 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 29th (Sun) early enough to travel to Christchurch.

Things to do in Mt. Cook Village

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trips

Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu), Lake Tekapo, Lake Pukaki
Find places to stay Dec 25 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Lake Tekapo
Lake Tekapo
Hooker Valley Track ©
Hooker Valley Track
Aoraki/Mt. Cook ©
Aoraki/Mt. Cook

9
nights
Christchurch

Christchurch ©
Recovering from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 was no easy task, but Christchurch has faced the challenges with aplomb.
You've now added Maossie Tours to your itinerary. There's much more to do: catch a ride on TranzAlpine Train, take an in-depth tour of Canterbury Museum, take in nature's colorful creations at Christchurch Botanic Gardens, and admire nature's wide array of creatures at Willowbank Wildlife Reserve.

To see more things to do, photos, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read Christchurch online trip maker .

Traveling by car from Mt. Cook Village to Christchurch takes 4 hours. In December in Christchurch, expect temperatures between 24°C during the day and 12°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 7th (Tue) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Christchurch

Tours Parks Outdoors

Side Trip

Ohinetahi Garden
Find places to stay Dec 29 — Jan 7:
Highlights from your plan
Maossie Tours ©
Maossie Tours
TranzAlpine Train ©
TranzAlpine Train
Christchurch Botanic Gardens ©
Christchurch Botanic Gardens