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Things To Do In Canterbury

Canterbury is a large region on the East Coast of the South Island. Many top tourist towns and cities are in this area, just waiting to be explored! Christchurch is South Islands largest city and is known for its beautiful gardens, buildings, punting down the Avon River and many more activities! Kaikoura is one of New Zealand's top marine wildli... Show More

Tourist Information About Canterbury

Top Attractions

Golf

Golf

A championship quality course and excellent practice facilities close to Christc ......

Get involved Discovery Tour

Get involved Discover...

Step back in time and discover what New Zealand use to look like with short walk ......

Seal Kayak Tour

Seal Kayak Tour

Seal Kayak Kaikoura is the first kayak tour of its kind in New Zealand that allo ......

Albatross Encounter

Albatross Encounter

Kaikoura is renowned worldwide as a seabird hot spot and is one of the best plac ......

Extended Whale Watch Flight - 40 Minutes

Activity LocationKaikoura, Canterbury

Take to the skies for a unique view on a whale-watching flight over Kaikoura. With a guaranteed window seat, all passeng ...

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NZ $165 Book Now

Scenic Mail Run Tour

Activity LocationAkaroa, Canterbury

Join us and discover the magnificent natural beauty and isolation of the Eastern Bays, valleys and coastlines on this on ...

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NZ $95.00 Book Now

Walking tour- Packhorse Hut from Chrsitchurch

Activity LocationChristchurch, Canterbury

A guided scenic drive & day walk to Packhorse Hut - Visiting 4 historic stone "rest houses" that were once ...

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NZ $349.00 Book Now

Kaikōura Ziplining & Native forest trail

Activity LocationKaikoura, Canterbury

Set amongst native bush on a working farm just 15 minutes south of Kaikōura township, EcoZip Adventures is an award-win ...

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NZ $159.00 Book Now

Full Day Guided Walk and Picnic on Banks Peninsula

Activity LocationChristchurch, Canterbury

Our top-notch guided 1-day walk on Banks Peninsula, a spectacular extinct volcano within 30 minutes of Christchurch.

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NZ $235.00 Book Now

Evening Penguin Safari

Activity LocationAkaroa, Canterbury

Observe penguins in the wild on this evening adventure. A wonderful option for people who wish to take part in our monit ...

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NZ $95.00 Book Now

Castle Hill

Activity LocationChristchurch, Canterbury

Explore Castle Hill/Kura Tawhiti and inland Canterbury from Christchurch. Food, local guide and transport included.

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NZ $399.00 Book Now

Shared Tour (English)

Activity LocationLake Tekapo, Canterbury

This is our classic experience. During this tour, you will share a 90 min astronomy experience with other night sky enth ...

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NZ $99.00 Book Now

Methven- Mt Hutt Scenic Hot Air Balloon Flights

Activity LocationChristchurch, Canterbury

Adventure Balloons NZ is a renowned hot air ballooning company offering exhilarating and picturesque balloon flights ove ...

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NZ $380 Book Now

Guided Wildlife Kayaking

Activity LocationKaikoura, Canterbury

Experience the excitement of watching seals ducking, weaving and diving around your kayak. Have chance encounters with d ...

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NZ $120 Book Now

Queenstown to Mt Cook One Way Tour

Activity LocationQueenstown

Queenstown to Mt Cook Tour 1 way, this small group, fully-guided transfer allows you to travel to Mt Cook in style and s ...

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NZ $175.00 Book Now

Aoraki/ Mt Cook Scenic Flights

Activity LocationMt Cook, Canterbury

Based at Aoraki/Mt Cook airport Southern Lakes Helicopters offer spectacular scenic flights throughout the Aoraki/Mt Coo ...

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NZ $335.00 Book Now

24/48 Hour Pohatu Package at a Penguin Colony!

Activity LocationAkaroa, Canterbury

Have it all included in of our overnight stay in our historic and cosy private rooms in the middle of the penguin colony ...

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NZ $175.00 Book Now

Mt Cook Bus Tour & Heli Hike Combo from Queenstown

Activity LocationQueenstown

Our small group, fully-guided day trip combines all of the key highlights with a guided bus tour to Mt Cook, and an incr ...

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NZ $975.00 Book Now

Affinity Cruises

Activity LocationPicton, Marlborough

We take you further and get you closer than the larger vessels. Our smaller size means we can navigate through narrow wa ...

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NZ $1049.00 Book Now

Meet our friendly alpacas at Shamarra Alpacas in beautiful Akaroa

Activity LocationAkaroa, Canterbury

Full of attitude, seriously cute and very, very photogenic – come and meet our friendly award winning alpacas. Just ...

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NZ $55.00 Book Now

Akaroa Ebike Guided Tours & Rentals

Activity LocationAkaroa, Canterbury

Akaroa's premium guided electric mountain bike tours & rentals give visitors the opportunity to explore Akaroa in th ...

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NZ $155.00 Book Now

Lake Tekapo High Country Farm Tour

Activity LocationLake Tekapo, Canterbury

Our High Country Farm Tour is an incredible way to see and learn about farming in the Mackenzie High Country. Take in ma ...

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NZ $99.00 Book Now

Guided sea kayak safari in Akaroa

Activity LocationAkaroa, Canterbury

Akaroa Guided Kayak Safari’s sea kayaking tours are sure to bring out your adventurous spirit! We are Akaroa’s premi ...

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NZ $208.00 Book Now

Aoraki Mt Cook Tour from Queenstown

Activity LocationMt Cook, Canterbury

Mt Cook Tour, this small group, fully-guided day trip combines all of the key highlights in the area with the time and o ...

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NZ $250.00 Book Now

Godley Head walking tour- Start/finish Chrsitchurch

Activity LocationChristchurch, Canterbury

Guided walking tour of Godley Head- Rich in history and scattered with remnants of New Zealand’s WW2 defences, this is ...

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NZ $349.00 Book Now

Kaikōura Helicopters - Classic Whale Watch

Activity LocationKaikoura, Canterbury

Lift off from our beachfront helipad and within minutes you will be in the spectacular environment that plays host to on ...

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NZ $330.00 Book Now

Silver River Stargazing Tour

Activity LocationLake Tekapo, Canterbury

Silver River™ Stargazing is Lake Tekapo’s leading small group stargazing tour. Large telescopes, small groups & ...

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NZ $99.00 Book Now

Dolphin Encounter - Swim with or watch Kaikoura's Dusky Dolphins

Activity LocationKaikoura, Canterbury

Kaikoura is one of the best places in the world to both view and swim with wild dusky dolphins. With a very high succes ...

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NZ $115 Book Now

4WD Sea-Kayaking Safari Tour at Pohatu Marine Reserve

Activity LocationAkaroa, Canterbury

Explore the towering volcanic cliffs, reefs and sea caves of Pohatu marine reserve en encounter its unique wildlife.

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NZ $105.00 Book Now

Hike and Kayak Combo Adventure Akaroa

Activity LocationAkaroa, Canterbury

Looking for an active day? Join us for a full day of adventure combining a morning hike through endemic ancient forest d ...

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NZ $125.00 Book Now

2 Hour Nature Safari in Akaroa Wildside Conservation Area

Activity LocationAkaroa, Canterbury

Join a 4WD safari to the spectacular, award winning Wildside Conservation area

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NZ $75.00 Book Now

Tawanui Farm Energy Jet

Activity LocationKaikoura, Canterbury

We are a small family owned business that run jet boating, farms tours and accommodation off our 320ha sheep and beef fa ...

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NZ $120.00 Book Now

Queenstown to Christchurch One Way Tour, via Mt Cook

Activity LocationQueenstown

Queenstown to Christchurch via Mt Cook, this one way, small group, fully-guided day tour combines two of the most stunni ...

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NZ $375.00 Book Now

Discover Christchurch Tour

Activity LocationChristchurch, Canterbury

This is the perfect way to explore Christchurch City in a day. We collect and drop off from your accommodation in Chri ...

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NZ $369 Book Now

Christchurch to Queenstown One Way Tour, Via Mt Cook & Lake Tekapo

Activity LocationChristchurch, Canterbury

Christchurch To Queenstown via Mt Cook & Lake Tekapo. This one-way, small group, fully guided day trip combines all ...

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NZ $370.00 Book Now

Jetboat Ride Hanmer Springs

Activity LocationHanmer Springs, Canterbury

Join us for an exciting, thrilling and adrenaline pumping Jetboat ride on the Waiau River. This is our most popular trip ...

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NZ $130 Book Now

Queenstown to Tekapo One Way Tour, Via Mt Cook

Activity LocationQueenstown

Queenstown to Tekapo via Mt Cook, this small group, fully-guided tour combines two of the most stunning locations in the ...

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NZ $375.00 Book Now

Cave Stream- Lets go caving

Activity LocationChristchurch, Canterbury

Discover two of Canterbury’s natural wonders- Go caving and explore Castle Hill /Kura Tawhiti. Your local guide will e ...

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NZ $449.00 Book Now

Rock Climbing Tour- Christchurch

Activity LocationChristchurch, Canterbury

Spend a day at one of Christchurch's most spectacular rock climbing areas - If you’re entirely new to climbing and wan ...

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NZ $349.00 Book Now

Christchurch City Scenic Helicopter Flight

Activity LocationChristchurch, Canterbury

A 20 minute flight over Christchurch City the picturesque harbour of Lyttelton and stunning bays is the ultimate scenic ...

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NZ $315.00 Book Now

Daves Diving Kaikoura

Activity LocationKaikoura, Canterbury

Join us to experience kelp forests, octopus, stingray, native fish species, spectacular biodiversity and so much more. W ...

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NZ $229.00 Book Now

Sea Kayaking, Lyttelton Harbour & Quail Island- Start/finish in Christchurch

Activity LocationChristchurch, Canterbury

Sea Kayaking tour of Lyttelton Harbour- Explore secret bays, sunken ships and sea caves around Lyttelton Harbour and Qua ...

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NZ $399.00 Book Now

Related Areas

Tourist Information About Canterbury

Canterbury is a large region on the East Coast of the South Island. Many top tourist towns and cities are in this area, just waiting to be explored! Christchurch is South Islands largest city and is known for its beautiful gardens, buildings, punting down the Avon River and many more activities! Kaikoura is one of New Zealand's top marine wildlife areas known for its dolphin, whale, seal and albatross encounters. Hanmer Springs is an attractive resort town, a perfect year-round holiday destination for action packed activities and relaxing in the popular natural hot water springs. Akaroa is New Zealands only French settlement, a beautiful quaint village and harbour. Canterbury is also home to Mt Cook, New Zealands highest mountain in the Southern Alps and the Tasman Glacier with fantastic scenic flights, heli-skiing and tramping areas. Stunning Lake Tekapo with many activities including ice-skating and its Observatory Stargazing Tours. There are many more top attractions and activities including great ski fields, hiking, biking and plenty more things to see and do in Canterbury.


Best Attractions and free things to do in Canterbury



Golf

1. Golf

There's always a calming moment at a golf course. This canterbury golf course has never-ending picturesque views and beautifully cut grass for miles.

The Woodlands Course at Harewood, remodeled in 2012 by renowned golf architect Turner McPherson, is one of Canterbury's finest golf venues. You won't find a finer facility to enhance your golf game than this one, which features a championship course, large short-game practice and putting areas, and a 23-bay covered driving range.

 
Seal Kayak Tour

2. Seal Kayak Tour

This once in a lifetime experience is just what you and your family need this summer. Seal Kayak Kaikoura is the first kayak trip in New Zealand that allows you to choose between pedaling and paddling. With the Hobie Mirage Drive Pedal, kayaking in and around the gorgeous Kaikoura Peninsula will be a breeze. Viewing the New Zealand Fur Seal has a 100 percent success rate for us. Other marine life to see includes the blue penguin, albatross, and a variety of others. Come capture the fun and friendly fur seals that will be playing around and under your hands-free pedal kayak.

 
Skydiving Kiwis Otautahi

3. Skydiving Kiwis Otautahi

Skydiving Kiwis Ōtautahi is our latest initiative in conjunction with GCH Aviation - Garden City Helicopters, and it's a one-of-a-kind adventure for thrill enthusiasts. This renowned helidive combines a breathtaking helicopter trip over the skyline of tautahi Christchurch with a skydive from a helicopter over the Sumner Beach coastline. The one and only heli dive in New Zealand is Skydiving Kiwis tautahi. Only seven other destinations in the world offer a heli dive, including Switzerland, Hawaii, Mt. Everest, Australia, and Dubai.

 
Dolphin Encounter

4. Dolphin Encounter

Kaikoura has earned the distinction of being New Zealand's most sought-after spot for outstanding wildlife viewing in a stunning seaside setting. The Dolphin Encounter excursion gives you the option of swimming with dusky dolphins or staying on board and watching them from the comfort of the boat. The boats are all designed specifically for watching marine mammals, with walk around decks and access to the bow for the best views of the dusky dolphins.

 
Hot Air Balloon

5. Hot Air Balloon

Your flight will take off in Mt. Hutt's foothills, where the mountains give great protection from the North Westerly winds. Enjoy breathtaking views of the Southern Alps, including Mt. Cook and Mt. Aspiring! Enjoy the Eastern views as well as the patchwork beauty of the plains to the Pacific Coast along the journey. After taking off, you'll soar to an altitude that provides amazing panoramic views of the mountains, then descend to a lower height for the second half of the flight to enjoy a different perspective by flying closer to the ground. Enjoy a celebration drink and snack in the landing paddock before boarding the chase car and returning to Methven.

Take your friends and family and create lifelong memories atop the world!

 
Mt Cook scenic flights

6. Mt Cook scenic flights

Heliworks Mt Cook, based at Aoraki/Mt Cook Airport, offers breathtaking scenic flights throughout the Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park. Heliworks has access to a number of landing sites on the Tasman Glacier and throughout the National Park. A landing on the Tasman Glacier is included in every scenic flight. Join in on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure!

 

7. Meet Alpacas

Come meet these friendly award-winning alpacas, who are full of attitude, seriously cute, and very, very photogenic. Shamarra Alpaca Farm is located on the picturesque Banks Peninsula, across the harbor from Akaroa, and is only one hour from Christchurch. With over 170 grazing alpacas, you're sure to meet some new friends while taking in the breathtaking vistas. Visit our farm and shop, which sells only our luxury Shamarra alpaca knitwear manufactured in New Zealand.

 
Albatross Encounter

8. Albatross Encounter

The Albatross Encounter tour provides an up close and personal look at Kaikoura's diverse assortment of seabirds, including the majestic albatross. The sights that are regularly seen on our tour will not disappoint. It is known as the "albatross capital of the world" because of the diversity of albatross species that can be seen in one compact location so close to shore. In just 2.5 hours, you will encounter a diverse range of species, providing excellent photographic chances to capture special moments from your tour. The experienced birding specialists' informative and factual commentary is also a pleasure.

 
Discovery Tour

9. Discovery Tour

Plant your own unique tree to aid with the regeneration of our native ecosystem and leave your stamp on the history of our newly founded "Mable Hope reserve."

You will acquire an understanding of the value of New Zealand native forest and explore some of the crucial connections created with our native fauna on a stunning scenic drive over an ancient volcano accompanied by our experience guide.

In Pohatu Bay, you'll find a wonderful blend of thriving sheep farms, penguin colonies, and native woods.

This farming family's conservation efforts have helped the penguins grow throughout the years, but they've also designed their agricultural operations to balance economy and ecological in order to conserve the biodiversity in their backyard.

 
Guided Wildlife Kayaking

10. Guided Wildlife Kayaking

On the Wildlife Kayaking experiences with Kaikoura Kayaks, experience the thrill of watching Fur Seals dodge, weave, and dive around your kayak. They paddle gracefully down the coast as they swim around the Kaikoura Peninsula in search of Octopus, their favorite food. Marvel as hundreds of Pelagic (ocean-going) birds swoop in to clean up the appetizing leftovers. This journey takes you around the magnificent coastal seas, where you'll see breathtaking vistas of sheer cliff faces, rugged rocks, and mountain ranges while looking for Dusky Dolphins and Blue Penguins.

 


Top attractions in Canterbury



Scenic Hot Air Balloon Flight: Take a hot air balloon ride over the beautiful landscape of Canterbury and enjoy the stunning views of the region from above. You'll get to see the beautiful mountains, lakes, and valleys of the region and see the beautiful colors of the sunrise or sunset.

Aoraki/ Mt Cook scenic flights: This is a spectacular way to see the Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park, home to New Zealand's highest mountain. You'll fly over rugged mountains, glaciers, and alpine meadows and get an unforgettable view of Aoraki/Mt Cook.

Guided Wildlife Kayaking: This is a unique way to explore the stunning coastal region of Canterbury by kayak. You'll have the opportunity to see the local wildlife and explore the beautiful coastal scenery of the region.

Skydiving Kiwis Ōtautahi: Experience the thrill of skydiving over the beautiful landscapes of Canterbury. You'll get an incredible view of the region as you freefall and then enjoy a peaceful parachute ride back to the ground.

Evening Penguin Safari: This is a unique opportunity to see the little penguins coming ashore to their nesting colonies. You will go on a guided tour, watch them waddle up the beach and into their burrows and learn about the conservation efforts to protect them. It's a great way to learn about these adorable birds and see them in their natural habitat.



Top fun activities in Canterbury



Dolphin Encounter: Swim with or watch Kaikoura's Dusky Dolphins: Kaikoura is known for its population of dusky dolphins, a unique opportunity to swim or watch them up close in the wild. You'll have the opportunity to see these playful and curious creatures in their natural habitat and learn about their behavior and conservation.

Seal Kayak Tour: This is a unique way to explore the Kaikoura coast, by kayak. You'll paddle through the crystal-clear waters of the Kaikoura Peninsula, taking in the stunning scenery and wildlife of the region, including seals and other marine mammals.

Daves Diving Kaikoura: For those who love diving, Kaikoura offers an unforgettable experience with its clear waters and rich marine life. You can dive in the kelp forest, swim with seals and dolphins, and see the colorful fish and invertebrates of the region

Skydiving Kiwis Ōtautahi: Experience the thrill of skydiving over the beautiful landscapes of Canterbury. You'll get an incredible view of the region as you freefall and then enjoy a peaceful parachute ride back to the ground.

Jetboat Ride Hanmer Springs: Enjoy a thrilling jetboat ride through the Hanmer Springs. You'll see the beautiful scenery of the region and experience the exhilaration of high-speed jetboating. The ride will take you through the narrow canyons and rapids of the river, making it a thrilling and exciting experience for the whole family.



The best things to do with kids and children’s activities in Canterbury



Evening Penguin Safari: This is a fun and educational experience for kids where they can see the little penguins coming ashore to their nesting colonies. They'll learn about the conservation efforts to protect these adorable birds and get to see them in their natural habitat.

Dolphin Encounter: Swim with or watch Kaikoura's Dusky Dolphins: This is a unique opportunity for kids to see and learn about the playful and curious dusky dolphins in their natural habitat. It's a great way to introduce them to marine conservation and the importance of protecting these amazing creatures.

Shamarra Alpacas: This is a fun and interactive experience for kids where they can meet and learn about alpacas. They can feed and pet the alpacas and learn about their care and behavior.

Kaikōura Helicopters: Classic Whale Watch: This is a great way for kids to see the giant Sperm Whales and other marine life up close. They'll have the opportunity to see these amazing creatures in their natural habitat and learn about their behavior and conservation.

Discover Christchurch Tour: This is a fun and interactive tour of Christchurch, where kids can learn about the history and culture of the city. They'll get to see the city's most famous landmarks. This tour is great way to explore the city and learn about the special qualities of Christchurch.



Best day trips from Canterbury



24/48 Hour Pohatu Package at a penguin colony: This is a unique experience where you can spend 24 to 48 hours at a penguin colony, watching the penguins come ashore to nest and care for their chicks. The package includes a guided tour of the colony, accommodation and meals. It's a great way to see the penguins in their natural habitat and learn about their behavior and conservation.

Get involved Discovery Tour: This is a fun and educational experience that includes short walks through prehistoric native habitats, 400-year-old beech trees, and immense tree ferns. It's a great way to learn about the unique ecology of New Zealand and what the country looked like before human settlement.

Golf: Canterbury offers many beautiful golf courses where you can enjoy a round of golf while enjoying the beautiful views of the region.

Dolphin Encounter: This is a unique opportunity to see and learn about the playful and curious dusky dolphins in their natural habitat. It's a great way to introduce kids to marine conservation and the importance of protecting these amazing creatures.

Guided Wildlife Kayaking: This is a fun and unique way to explore the stunning coastal region of Canterbury by kayak. Kids will have the opportunity to see the local wildlife and explore the beautiful coastal scenery of the region. This is a great way to introduce them to the beauty of nature and the importance of conservation.



The best things to do near Canterbury



Abel Tasman Experience: One of the most popular helicopter tours - and for very good reasons! From the convenient base at Nelson Airport, board one of our modern helicopters and be whisked away to a subtropical paradise, consistently rated as one of New Zealand's best beaches. You'll have time for a walk, a swim, or lunch at the lodge. The only problem is you won't want to leave!

Heli-Picnic: Enjoy a delicious gourmet picnic at a hidden alpine lake. Fly north from our base at Nelson Airport, over the Abel Tasman National Park. Admire the pristine waters and golden sand beaches. You will then head into the Kahurangi National Park, New Zealand's second largest national park, and land at a hidden alpine lake. Take a short walk to the nearby waterfall and relax in the total serenity.

Southern Blend Kayak and walk: This half-day guided kayak and afternoon unguided walk tour in Abel Tasman involves paddling between Marahau and Observation Beach. It then takes you through the safe, sheltered and scenic southern reaches of the Abel Tasman. Home to more than a dozen beautiful golden beaches, two islands, several sea caves, reefs and tidal lagoons, this area of Abel Tasman is a delight to sea kayak. After your kayak take an easy unguided walk through native fern gullies and bush clad headlands back to Marahau.

1 Day Freedom Kayak Rental: Freedom kayaking gives you the independence to see the wonders of the coastline at your own pace. Kahu Kayaks will equip you with everything you need to have an enjoyable and safe sea kayaking experience.

Paragliding from the Higher take off at Coronet Peak: Take in the breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys as you paraglide from the higher take off at Coronet Peak. With the Higher take off point, you can reach higher altitude and enjoy the stunning view for longer.

Frequently Asked Questions about Canterbury Area

1. What are the top attractions in Canterbury?

2. What are the top fun activities in Canterbury?

3. What are the best things to do in Canterbury with kids?

4. What to do in Canterbury on a rainy day?

5. What are the best day trips from Canterbury?

6. What are the best things to do near Canterbury?