26 days in Canterbury Region Itinerary

26 days in Canterbury Region Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Canterbury Region itinerary planner

Plan created by another user.Make it yours

Route & dates

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 the numerous day-trip ideas around Hanmer Springs: Kaikoura (Ohau Point Seal Colony, Dolphin & Whale Watching, &more). There's still lots to do: take in the natural beauty of Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa, experience rural life at Hanmer Springs Animal Park, take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Conical Hill, and stop by The Decadent Fudge Company.

To see where to stay, reviews, more things to do, and other tourist information, go to the Hanmer Springs driving holiday planning site.

Christchurch to Hanmer Springs is an approximately 2-hour car ride. You can also take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Tue) so you can drive 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 ©
Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa
Hanmer Springs Adventure Centre ©
Hanmer Springs Adventure Centre

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.
Venture out of the city with trips to Little River (Manderley Farm & Little River Gallery). Next up on the itinerary: get up close to creatures of the deep with a dolphin and whale watching tour, get close to the beloved marine mammals with a swim-with-the-dolphins experience, admire the natural beauty at The Garden at French Farm, and get engrossed in the history at Akaroa Museum.

To find more things to do, maps, other places to visit, and more tourist information, use the Akaroa trip planner.

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 in Akaroa, expect temperatures between 24°C during the day and 12°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 22nd (Sun) early enough to 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. Get out of town with these interesting Timaru side-trips: Ashburton (Trotts Garden & The Plains Vintage Railway & Historical Museum), Geraldine (Geraldine Observatory, Peel Forest Park Scenic Reserve, &more) and Gem Alpaca Stud (in Fairlie). There's much more to do: relax in the rural setting at Famlan Farm Park, enjoy the sand and surf at Caroline Bay Beach, make a trip to Silo Art, and view the masterpieces at Aigantighe Art Gallery.

For reviews, photos, and more tourist information, use the Timaru trip site.

Getting from Akaroa to Timaru by car takes about 3 hours. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 25th (Wed) so you can go by car to Mt. Cook Village.

Things to do in Timaru

Museums Parks Wildlife

Side Trips

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

4
nights
Mt. Cook Village

Mt. Cook Village
Siting under towering peaks of New Zealand's highest mountain, Mt.
You'll find plenty of places to visit near Mt. Cook Village: Lake Tekapo (The Church of the Good Shepherd & Lake Tekapo) and Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) (Glencoe Walk, Hooker Valley Track, &more). There's much more to do: get outside with Aoraki/Mt. Cook, trek along Blue Lakes and Tasman Glacier walks, look and learn at Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre, and hit the slopes at Ski The Tasman.

To see maps, more things to do, other places to visit, and more tourist information, you can read our Mt. Cook Village day trip planning site.

Traveling by car from Timaru to Mt. Cook Village takes 2.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Sun) to allow time 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
Aoraki/Mt. Cook ©
Aoraki/Mt. Cook
Hooker Valley Track ©
Hooker Valley Track

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 lots more to do: catch a ride on TranzAlpine Train, go from sight to sight with Christchurch Gondola, have fun at Margaret Mahy Family Playground, and see the interesting displays at International Antarctic Centre.

To find reviews and tourist information, read our Christchurch trip planner.

You can drive from Mt. Cook Village to Christchurch in 4 hours. In December, plan for daily highs up to 24°C, and evening lows to 12°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Tue) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Christchurch

Parks Tours 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