New Zealand - Westland and Canterbury
Below is a list of all the pages on this website which are concerned with places in the Westland and Canterbury regions of New Zealand - or in other words, the middle part of the south island. See map at bottom of page for locations.
For comfortable budget accommodation in New Zealand, the BBH hostel chain is an option for those wanting basic comfort and privacy without a hotel price tag. Here I share one of my three favourites - Dorset House in Christchurch.
Queenstown has become New Zealand's adventure capital and this is where most tourists head for the kiwi experience of a jet boat ride. The famous Shotover Jet at Queenstown is justifiably very popular, but there are plenty of other options for those wanting an exhilaratingly rapid ride on a ravishing river. Here I look at a few of them.
New Zealand's south island has some beautiful large lakes. Vistas of pristine waters and snowclad mountain backdrops are associated with names like Tekapo, Pukaki and Wakatipu. Just as beautiful but less well known is Lake Ohau - almost undeveloped, and just far enough from the main roads to miss being seen by passing traffic.
An observatory may not be on everyone's travel itinerary, but if you pass through Lake Tekapo in New Zealand's south island then a visit to the Mt John Observatory can be worth doing. You don't need to be an astronomy buff to become lost in wonder at what you may see.
Backpacker hostels have really taken off in New Zealand. But what if you're a solo budget traveller who is of an age where sharing a dormitory no longer appeals? Fortunately, New Zealand has options for solo travellers wanting the comfort of a private room, but without the expense of hotels or motels.
I love experiencing snow, especially in places which don't normally get any. One place I never expected to see the white stuff was on the west coast of New Zealand's South Island. Even during big freezes when Canterbury and Southland are blanketed, the west coast - near sea level - normally stays mild and snow-free. Except when I decided to drive there..
Even the most cheapskate budget traveller will occasionally want to splash out on something luxurious. If you're visiting New Zealand and into skiing, then one luxury to indulge in is skiing the Tasman Glacier, the longest river of ice in New Zealand's southern alps. I did it once, and have never regretted what was a truly out of this world experience.
Boat trips to see whales at Kaikoura are well publicised as must-do activities, and draw large numbers of tourists. I usually focus on less crowded attractions, but fancied the idea of seeing whales along such a beautiful bit of New Zealand's coast - so I did the boat trip to see if the hype was deserved.
Location map - Westland-Canterbury, NZ
The symbols on this map mark the locations of places I've written about.
- Clicking on a symbol makes a label pop up
- Each label contains a link to my web page about that place