South Canterbury Region Guide
From the silvery beaches of the coast to the jagged peaks of the Southern Alps, the Canterbury landscape is impossible to ignore. 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 Mount Cook is the highest point in all 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.
Between the mountains and the sea, the vast plains are patchworked with the patterns of rural life. Hundreds of years ago, Maori moa hunters worked these plains leaving a rock art record of their successes.
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.