Short Breaks: Christchurch & North Canterbury

While it would take more than a long weekend to do justice to visiting Canterbury - New Zealand’s largest region – there’s a hidden gem just an hour from Christchurch airport that’s ripe for a short stay getaway.

Black Estate, North Canterbury
Greystone's Pure Pod Accommodation
Weka Pass Train Station

Touch down at Christchurch airport, head north and within less than an hour you’re in the stunning Waipara Valley – fast becoming one of New Zealand’s leading wine and food regions. The area once formed part of an ancient seabed and the unique landscape and agreeable microclimate, along with a clever bunch of creative locals, have earned its growing reputation for award-winning wines and a flourishing organic food movement.

Cycling is one of the most popular activities here and the recently developed Waipara Valley Vineyard Trail, connects several cellar doors.  There are more than 90 wineries here – some with vineyard accommodation. Or stay in the all glass, fabulous Greystone Pure Pod for unbelievable day and night-time views of the vineyards and surrounding countryside.  

 

Don’t’ miss:

  • Food Farm Tours (Oct to May) – wild food foraging, optional truffle hunting, lunch at a winery restaurant and cellar door experience
  • Explore Waipara Wine Tours – full day including gourmet lunch
  • Kings Truffles – go hunting for the luxury fruits of funghi
  • Waipara Valley Farmers’ Market - every Saturday morning from 9am to noon - sample and buy fresh produce and delicious country fare, all made locally
  • Waipara Valley Vineyard Trail – developed by the Hurunui Trails Trust to encourage cycling and walking in Waipara Valley – stunning scenery as you pass through world-class vineyards and historic farms
  • Weka Pass Railway – a 12.8km special steam train ride through the Weka Pass (check operation dates and times)

 

Getting there:

Flight time from Auckland is 1 hour 25 minutes, and 1 hour from Wellington. The best way to experience the region is by road.

 

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