From the picturesque harbor of Akaroa to the Tolkienesque mountainscapes of the Southern Alps, New Zealand’s Canterbury region spoils visitors with sweeping scenery, farm-fresh food, easy adventure, and genuine bonhomie.
Places of note: Canterbury is at its most thrilling amid the alpine wilderness of Aoraki Mount Cook National Park, where you can land on the Tasman Glacier with Mount Cook Ski Planes or explore the glacier’s terminal lake with Glacier Explorers. That said, few things could be more pleasant than a morning on the water with Akaroa Dolphins, or a night of stargazing in Lake Tekapo with Earth and Sky. For your stay, Peppers Clearwater is a golf resort with waterside villas and suites overlooking a duck-filled lake on the outskirts of Christchurch, while the Classic Villa is an upscale B&B within an easy stroll of the botanic gardens and the Canterbury Museum and occupies a historic house with 15 rooms decorated in period style. In Aoraki Mount Cook National Park, The Hermitage is your best bet, with views of glacial valleys and the snow-capped peaks of the Southern Alps.
How to get there: Singapore Airlines flies daily to Christchurch from Singapore; from Hong Kong, there’s a daily connection to the city via Sydney on Qantas.
When to go: The region is ideal for a trip all year round, depending on what you’re after. The warmest time of the year typically falls on December through February, while winter is from June through August.