Kaikōura is known for its rugged coastline and vast diversity of ocean life. But did you know that Kaikōura is also the perfect place for mountain biking? You’ll find Middle Hill MTB only half an hour from Kaikōura, with a range of gnarly tracks for intermediate riders and up, Middle Hill is the perfect place for any thrill-seeking-2-wheel-enthusiasts. From the mountain to the sea, there’s a massive range of fun things to do here. How about ticking something off your bucket list and having an up-close and personal encounter with Dusky Dolphins? Swimming with dolphins is a life-changing experience, and Kaikōura is one of the best places to do it! Staying at Kaikōura TOP 10 Holiday Park is an ideal base for all your adventurous activities, when you visit be sure to check out their NEOS game. It’s an interactive electronic playground that encourages exciting play and fun exercise! With a fantastic range of local eateries, boutique shopping and activities for the whole whānau/family - Kaikōura is an ideal start to your Canterbury holiday and staying at Kaikōura TOP 10 Holiday Park will make it even better!
Heading inland you’ll find the magical town of Hanmer Springs. With the feeling of an alpine-ski village, Hamner Springs feels like a world away when it’s only a 90-minute drive from Christchurch! Have you ever watched someone do a bungy jump and think to yourself "maybe one day, but not today"? Well, get the adrenaline pumping at Hanmer Springs Attractions and show your bravery on a 35m freefall at Canterbury's only bungy site! They also offer jetboating, rafting, quad-bike riding and many more things to do to appeal to adventurers! Or maybe you want to hand-feed some farm animals? Providing a great family day out, or a way for adults to feel like kids again, stopping at Hanmer Animal Park is a nice change of scene from rushing rapids and freefalls! Hanmer Springs TOP 10 Holiday Park is the perfect place to rest your head for a night (or a few!). The Premium park has a range of accommodation from quiet sites, to brand-new apartments to fit the whole whānau / family. Even though they're only a 5-minute walk to the township, everything you might need is on-site! With a pizza oven (and un-cooked pizzas for sale in reception!), as well as relaxing wood-fired hot tubs plus plenty of fun things to keep the kids entertained, you won't want to leave Hanmer Springs TOP 10 Holiday Park!
After Hanmer Springs, head south to Christchurch and stay at Christchurch Spencer Beach TOP 10 Holiday Park. Only a 20-minute drive from the airport, Christchurch Spencer Beach TOP 10 Holiday Park is the city park without the city feel. If it’s a relaxing trip you’re after, a trip to the He Puna Taimoana Hot Pools will surely do you some good. The 5 saltwater pools sit on the beach front making it the perfect place to watch the waves crash and the sunrise, or sunset. We recommend starting the day early and then heading over to the Lyttleton Markets on a Saturday morning for a bite to eat and some great local produce. To balance out the relaxation, Adrenalin Forest is a short walk from the park and is a high-ropes course where all ages and abilities can find their limit, and then push it. If you’d rather be on the ground, Spencer Beach is located in Bottle Lake Forest, is known for its many walking and biking tracks. Enjoy all Christchurch City has to offer whilst hiding away from civilisation in the comfort of the secluded Christchurch Spencer Beach TOP 10 Holiday Park.
The next stop is one you need to add onto your Canterbury trip, and it’s the perfect weekend away for people from Christchurch and further afield. Akaroa is a small town in the Banks Peninsula with a huge French influence. It may be small, but Akaroa has it all. From amazing sealife to boutique shopping, walks with fantastic views, local eateries (including local cheese and gin!) and an ideal harbour to enjoy almost any type of water activity, Akaroa needs to be on your list. Akaroa TOP 10 Holiday Park offers incredible views of the harbour and town - which the park is only a few minutes walk away from! With a range of amenities, including a swimming pool, you'll be well entertained. Head out on the water to look for sealife like the Hectors Dolphin, or little blue penguins! Jump on a boat tour, bring your own boat or hire a kayak or paddleboard! Staying at Akaroa TOP 10 Holiday Park is the perfect base to explore everything the quaint and quirky town has to offer.
Heading further South again, you’ll find Geraldine. Located at the foot of the Southern Alps, Geraldine is an ideal base for exploring everything on offer in Southern Canterbury. With an award-winning Gin distillery - Humdinger Gin is located only a short walk away from Geraldine TOP 10 Holiday Park, your visit is going to start off on the right foot! No matter what piques your interest, there is something for everyone here in Geraldine. But there are definite perks to being a fan of motors and pieces of machinery because there are not 1, not 2, but 3 motor and machinery museums in Geraldine! With a large selection of bike tracks nearby as well as local forest walks, staying at Geraldine TOP 10 Holiday Park is a big win if you want to experience the Canterbury wildlife! At dusk, you might even get the chance to view the endangered pekapeka-tou-rou / long-tailed bat as they emerge from the giant Totara and Mātai Trees in the Talbot Forest.
On your last stop south, you’ll meet Timaru! The busy coastal port is a quirky town with Victorian and Edwardian-inspired architecture that is sure to keep the whole whānau entertained! Timaru TOP 10 Holiday Park is the perfect place to base yourself for all your Timaru adventures. With easy access to Caroline Bay - a much-loved swimming spot, your summer days are already taken care of. You may even see a penguin or two! How about an artistic adventure to get the creative juices flowing? Visit Aigantighe Art Gallery, and make sure you check out the Monarch Butterfly Tree in the Sculpture Garden! Or visit Te Ana Māori Rock Art Centre. Te Ana act as guardians of the Māori Rock art on behalf of Ngāi Tahu the local iwi. Learn more about the rich history of Ngāi Tahu and the local region.
So, what are you waiting for?!
Canterbury is rich with nature and wildlife, art & history, adrenaline-pumping and thrill-seeking activities as well as serenity, quirkiness and a whole lot of fun. On top of that, Canterbury is quintessentially Kiwi - with some of the best Mince & Cheese pies, one of the best rugby teams and it's fair share of "Big Things" such as a giant donut and a giant salmon - Canterbury is not to be missed. Whether you’re a Canterbury local looking for some inspiration, or if you are planning your next getaway, consider heading to a TOP 10 in Canterbury for a holiday that is anything but plain!