Ashburton Lakes and Arthur's PassSouth Island
Within the great Canterbury region, we invite you to discover two distinct areas. We have combined them to be consistent as they have similar ambiances: Ashburton Lakes, including Methven and Peel Forest; and Arthur’s Pass.
Peel Forest is a protected natural site where you will find yourself surrounded by endemic vegetation, it is an excellent option for an easy and relaxing hike, and to meet the locals.
Further north is the Ashburton Lakes area, not to be confused with the town of the same name. You are in the perfect kiwi summer vacation atmosphere. The road from Mt Somers takes you to a camping area, a holiday spot for Christchurch residents. Camp Lake is dedicated to water skiing, as for Clearwater Lake, it has nothing to be jealous of Lake Matheson on the west coast. If you don't have a 4WD car, you can walk to the bench at the end of the lake, to admire the mountains reflecting on the water. With a 4WD, a track leads to this spot, and you can then go to Mt Sunday, made famous by the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
The Lake Coleridge is an uncrowded place that will leave you speechless. We recommend that you reach the Peak Hill summit – via a steep 1.5-hour walk – to admire the lake, reflecting the surrounding mountains, it is awe-inspiring.
You can now make your way to Arthur’s Pass, located in the heart of the Southern Alps. This place will also appeal to hikers but also to forest lovers. The village can be reached by the famous Tranzalpine, a train journey that connects the centre-east to the centre-west of the South Island. You have the choice to get there by train, from Christchurch or from Greymouth, and spend half a day or even several days there. We can also recommend getting there by car, as this gives you more flexibility and you can discover the whole region.
The village has one grocery store and one restaurant. The choice is limited, but this is what makes this place special. Many hikes will take you through alpine landscapes, and to gorgeous waterfalls, while always surrounded by mountains. For those who like to combine hiking and photography, you will be delighted by the many bird species that can be observed from the trails.
Arthur’s Pass is a region that showcases exceptional landscapes and is home to a rich biodiversity. Tourists in this area are fairly rare, either because they are not aware of this place, or because they prefer to visit more famous places, which are reassuring. Our team is at your entire disposal to explore what suits you best.
OUAT organised a great trip on the Hollyford Track. The lodges were wonderful with the most decisions food. The guides really knowledgeable and friendly....
Susie and Alice Hoddell, UK
Carolyn, I thought we should tell you how much we enjoyed the trip. NZ was great - the people, the food, the scenery. We liked all the places you booked for...
Glynis Williams, USA
In Feb to March this year, we had a wonderful month touring in NZ and all with the help of Romain at OUAT. It did all feel a bit like a leap of faith, but...
Jane Chaplin, UK