One Hour From: Christchurch - New Zealand

How to see the world's smallest penguin: bungee jump

Discover a world of fine wines, rare dolphins, thermal spas and New Zealand's highest bungee.

Discover a world of fine wines, rare dolphins, thermal spas and New Zealand's highest bungee.

Akaroa

Sleepy Akaroa boasts a quaint blend of historic French and British architecture along with a peaceful harbour side location. This was once strictly Maori territory and home of the supreme Kai Tahu chief. Popular with New Zealand holiday-makers, much of the housing consists of baches, the Kiwi name for holiday homes. Street with French names are filled with art galleries, cafés and restaurants with Kiwi home cooking. Pick up a leaflet and follow the Historic Village Walk to take in the major historical sights.

By car: take State Highway 75 south east; journey time approx 1 hour.

Banks Peninsula

Discover the majestic scenery and stunning wildlife of the Bank Peninsula on a Canterbury Cat cruise from Akaroa Harbour. Look out for the rare, native dolphins and look out for the White Flippered Little Blue Penguin, the world's smallest penguin, and other sea birds. Visit the Cathedral Cave and early Maori, French and British settlements. Cruises depart daily at 1.30pm.

By car: take State Highway 75 south east; journey time approx 1 hour.

Waipara Wine Valley

Wine lovers enjoy a taste bud sensation at Waipara Wine Valley, New Zealand's newest and most rapidly expanding wine areas. With high sunshine hours, gentle north facing slopes and a wide range of soils, the Waipara Valley has 14 well-established wineries. Have a spot of lunch and a glass or two of the finest sauvignon blanc at Weepier Springs. Pick up a Winemakers of Waipara map from the Waipara Visitor Centre and plan your route.

By car: take State Highway 1 and follow signs; journey time approx 45 mins.

Ashburton District

Kea Rock Bungee at the end of the Mt Hutt ski area carpark is New Zealand's highest bungee. Thrill-seekers jump off a 40m high platform, then ski away. For an adventure, try a rafting trip down New Zealand's most challenging river, the Rangitata, with fervent Grade Five rapids.For the complete tracking experience, Mt Somers Walkway offers either a two-hour stroll or two-day track.

By car: take State Highway 73 west and follow signs; journey time approx 1 hour.

Hanmer Springs Alpine Village

Refresh body and soul in the thermal pool or dip into golf, jet-boating, skiing, river and sea fishing, 4-wheel motorbike safaris and rafting. You can bungee jump here too, dropping 35m from the Waiau Ferry Bridge, a spectacular feat of engineering designed by John Blackett in 1887.

By car: take State Highway 1 and follow signs; journey time 1 hour plus.

Maori Rock Drawings at the Waimakariri Basin

Stop off en-route to Arthur's Pass to view Maori drawings carved into limestone rock formations as you drive towards the Southern Alps. Left by Maori moa hunters around 500 years ago, the faded charcoal and red ochre drawings depict humans, birds and myths. Inspiring views within the Basin include rugged peaks and native tussock grasslands. If you fancy a thrill here, stop off at Springfield, and take a spin in one of the high-speed jet boats, which speed down the Waimakariri Gorge.

By car: take State Highway 73 and follow signs; journey time 1 hour plus.

A stay at the Orari Hotel costs £25 per person per night through Quest Travel (0870 442 3513). Pacific class flights to Christchurch from Heathrow with Air New Zealand (0800 028 4149; www.airnewzealand.co.uk) cost from £689. Car hire is from £16 a day. Tourism New Zealand: ( www.purenz.com; 09069 101010, £1 per minute).

Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap
videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
Arts and Entertainment
Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity takes him behind the bars again
tvBy Reason of Insanity, TV review
News
Lois Pryce... Life Without a Postcode. Lois lives on a boat with her husband.. Registering to vote in the election has prooved to be very difficult without a fixed residential post code. (David Sandison)
newsHow living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    SFL Group: Video Project Manager

    £24,000 pa, plus benefits: SFL Group: Looking for a hard-working and self-moti...

    Recruitment Genius: Hotel Reservations Assistant - French Speaking

    £16000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This rapidly expanding travel c...

    Recruitment Genius: Duty Manager - World-Famous London Museum

    £24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Do you have a strong record of ...

    Recruitment Genius: Personal Assistant

    £24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will have demonstrable unde...

    Day In a Page

    Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

    Promises, promises

    But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
    The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

    The death of a Gaza fisherman

    He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
    Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
    Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

    The only direction Zayn could go

    We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
    Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

    Spells like teen spirit

    A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
    Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
    Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

    Licence to offend in the land of the free

    Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
    From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

    From farm to fork in Cornwall

    One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
    Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

    Robert Parker interview

    The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
    How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

    How to make your own Easter egg

    Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

    Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

    Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
    Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

    Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

    The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

    Cricket World Cup 2015

    Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
    The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing