Canterbury recreation

From beaches to alps, there's lots to do in Canterbury. Within two hours from the international airport, you can ski, play golf, bungy jump, go whitewater rafting, mountain biking, wind surfing, whale watching, and visit world-class vineyards and gardens.
Looking for general recreation information?

Canterbury | Tourism New Zealand

Canterbury events | Be there

Mid-Canterbury events

South Canterbury events

Sport and recreation

District councils around the region provide a range of recreation facilities including sportsgrounds, parks and gardens. Your local community center may also run many different activities and groups for the community to join. Check with your local council for more details.

Recreation facilities | Christchurch City Council

Recreation | Timaru District Council

Canterbury community centres | Citizen's Advice Bureau

Sports clubs and social groups

New Zealanders enjoy a huge range of sporting activities - the Sport New Zealand website lists everything from Aikido to Zen Do Kai! Check the site to see what’s available in your area and how you can get involved. 

Joining a club or team is a great way to meet people. Have a look at the CINCH online community directory of clubs, community organisations and continuing education course providers in the greater Christchurch area.

Find a sport | Sport New Zealand

Find a sports club near you | Sport Canterbury

Clubs in Canterbury | Citizen's Advice Bureau

Community directory | CINCH


Tracks and walks

There are many opportunities to stretch your legs, clear your lungs and get close to nature on the walkways and tracks you’ll find wherever you go in New Zealand. Check the Department of Conservation (DOC) site to find the great walks available in the Canterbury region. You'll also find information about the parks and open spaces available near you on your local council website.

Walks in Canterbury | DOC

Regional parks | Environment Canterbury

Parks and walkways | Christchurch City Council

Parks | Ashburton District Council

Parks | Timaru District Council


Parks with large children's play structures and playgrounds are can be found on your local council website.

Find a playground| Christchurch City Council

Playgrounds | Timaru District Council

Hunting and fishing rules

Both fishing and hunting are a big part of life for many in the Canterbury region. Check the Department of Conservation (DOC) and Fish and Game NZ websites for full information about licences and restrictions on hunting and fishing in freshwater.

The Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) has information about the rules of fishing in the sea. There are two areas that cover the Canterbury region for fishing rules, depending on where you decide to fish from.

It is very important to be aware of restrictions as there can be serious penalties for breaching them. 

North Canterbury | Fish and Game NZ

Central South Island | Fish and Game NZ

Hunting in Canterbury | Department of Conservation

Canterbury and South East area fishing rules | Ministry of Primary Industries

Kaikoura area fishing rules | Ministry of Primary Industries

Dog regulations

New Zealand has various laws about looking after and controlling dogs and other animals. Each council has their own bylaws so check out your local council website for details. 

Pets and animals | Christchurch City Council

Dogs and animals | Ashburton District Council

Dogs | Timaru District Council


Canterbury features a large number of tracks through beautiful scenery.  Find out more about the tracks available through the links below.

Canterbury | Cycling Clubs

Christchurch City Council | Biking

Mid-Canterbury | Bike trails

South Canterbury | Timaru, Waimate, Waitaki

Art and culture

Museums and galleries

There are a number of museums and art galleries to visit in the Canterbury region. You'll find details of each on the NZ Museums website. You'll also find information about cultural experiences available in the region on the local council websites.

Canterbury | NZ Museums

Christchurch Art Gallery

Arts and Museums | Christchurch City Council

Arts, Culture and Heritage | Ashburton District Council

South Canterbury Museum


There’s good everyday shopping in all of the larger centres in Canterbury.

Shopping in Christchurch | Christchurch NZ

South Canterbury shopping


You'll find the best Canterbury wine, food and produce is showcased in farmers' markets through the region. Visit the websites below to find a farmers' market near you.

Farmers' markets | Christchurch NZ

Mid-Canterbury Farmers' Market

Timaru Farmers' Market

Riccarton Market

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