Ashburton and surrounding areas boast a breathtaking variety of activities and attractions to be enjoyed throughout the year, from simple low cost activities such as hiking a nature trail to more extravagant adventures such as sky diving and hot air ballooning! No matter what your holiday budget, interests or time frame, there is something for everyone to see and do in Asbhurton.
For South Island visitors looking for unique attractions and activities, Ashburton wont disappoint! Aoraki Balloon Safaris operates on beautiful fine mornings so visitors can enjoy fabulous views of Mt Cook, National Park Mountains and breath-taking 300km panorama birds eye view of the impressive Canterbury Plains and Rakaia River.
However if local history and heritage is more to your tastes then you will need to plan ample time to enjoy the Ashburton offerings, including the Plains Vintage Railway & Historical Museum located in the Domain. The collection includes classic Steam Locomotives, Vulcan Railcar, Diesel Shunters, Vintage Tractors and plenty more! Ashburton is home to museums, including the Ashburton Museum, Aviation Museum, Harness Racing Museum and the Ashburton Vintage Car Museum.
When it comes to the ‘great outdoors’, Ashburton has some of the best and we can guarantee that all you outdoor activity enthusiasts will never want to leave the Ashburton region, no matter what time of the year you are visiting!
During winter the district is a popular place to rest and play while enjoying the local slopes and seasonal attractions. Mt Hutt Ski Area is located at the foot of the Southern Alps 2086m above sea level and offers 472 hectares of diverse terrain suitable for all levels. The Staveley Ice Skating & Curling Rink is one of only a few natural outdoor rinks left in New Zealand, making it a unique winter ‘must do’.
If summer water sports are more your holiday style then plan a visit to Lake Hood! Only minutes from Ashburton, Lake Hood forms the Ashburton Aquatic Park and caters for almost every sport imaginable, including an 8 lane international specification rowing course, international water ski course, jet skiing area plus plenty of space for the family to enjoy a refreshing swim, leisure boat cruise, windsurfing and kayaking. For a bit more adrenalin on the water check out Discovery Jet for a heart pumping blast along the ever-changing Rakaia River, while those that prefer the relaxation of fresh water fishing, Four Seasons Safaris New Zealand can help you catch that elusive Brown Trout.
Other popular outdoor adventures include mountaineering, helisking, horse trekking, guided hikes, hunting, kayaking, skydiving, whitewater rafting and much, much more!
Of course if you prefer a more relaxed approach to your Ashburton holiday, don’t despair! Why not enjoy a scenic helicopter flight over the vast Canterbury Plains, or a game of golf on a nationally ranked championship course, garden tour, leisurely forest walk, farm tour or beauty treatment.
The Ashburton district offers terrific year round visitor activities and attractions for all ages and interests.