Christchurch Gondola – 20 minutes
Gondola Ride, Dining and Scenery
The Christchurch Gondola gently lifts you nearly a kilometre to the top of the Port Hills, almost 500m above sea level. As it climbs its way up the hill, you can experience stunning 360-degree views, over the city of Christchurch, and across the Canterbury Plains to the high peaks of the Southern Alps.
Castle Hill – 1 hour
Explore the Scenery
Castle Hill lies just over 70km west of Christchurch – an easy one hour journey from the city. True Lord of the Rings country, the stunning landscape is home to the ancient limestone rock battlements of Kura Tawhiti. The Castle Hill area is an ideal base for outdoor activities like tramping, climbing and mountain biking.
Waipara Valley Wineries – 1 hour
One hour north of Christchurch you’ll find fields of lavender, olive groves and more than 60 vineyards, with dozens of cellar doors open for wine tasting in the Waipara Valley. We suggest renting a bike or hopping on to one of the many winery tours to explore this region’s bounty.
Akaroa – 1 hour 20 minutes
Dining, Scenery and Wildlife
Just 1.5 hours’ drive from Christchurch, Akaroa is filled with French colonial charm. Take in its historic cottages and sample fine French cuisine before heading out with Black Cat Cruises to get up close to the region’s abundant marine life, including the smallest dolphins in the world – the Hector’s dolphin.
Mt Hutt – 1 hour 40 minutes
At more than 2000m high, Mt Hutt rises 80km west of Christchurch, above the braided upper reaches of the Rakaia River. The mountain is one of New Zealand’s largest ski areas with some of the best natural snow in the country, making it the perfect destination for a day trip from Christchurch.
Hanmer Springs – 1 hr 50 minutes
Hot Pools and Hiking
Hanmer Springs offers South Island visitors the chance to kick back alpine style. A maze of forest walks snake up the hillside above the town, the perfect way to tire your muscles before you visit the award-winning Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa for a soak in the mineral-rich waters.