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It may be the coldest season in the year, but don't let that stop you from travelling in the South Island.
Stretching from Kaikoura in the north to Waimate in the south, the Canterbury region truly offers something for everyone. There is much to be discovered amidst spectacular scenery with a mountain backdrop on one side and the rugged coastline on the other.
This winter, brace the icy air for a bit of excitement and finish off your action-packed day with some rest and relaxation. For lovers of the great outdoors there are adventures aplenty on the numerous bike trails and walking tracks or various ski slopes. For those wanting to combat the cold, thawing out in one of the regions various hot pools are a must-do.
You're not short of places to stay either - be spoilt for choice with 13 great campgrounds who we've partnered with for CampSaver Winter. They're spread out and span down across the Canterbury area so you'll always have a nearby camp to call in at, just don't forget to call ahead.
Check out three great experiences and find out which CampSaver camp will be next on your list:
All in One Experience: Christchurch Adventure Park
225 Worsleys Road, Christchurch, Canterbury
Your base for epic mountain bike, zipline & sightseeing adventures as well as chilled out down-time in Christchurch’s Port Hills. Race through the valley on the dual zipline tour. Take in the stunning views from the chairlift or walking track. Be totally stoked out by the stunning machine and hand-built mountain bike trails or just chill out on the large deck of our Adventure Park Café nestled in the Pine forest. The Adventure Park experience is yours for the making!
New Hidden Gem: He Puna Taimoana: New Brighton Hot Pools
195 Marine Parade, New Brighton, Christchurch, Canterbury
These hot pools are right on the seaside and only 15 minutes from Christchurch city, so you can enjoy stunning ocean views while soaking in their 5 luxurious hot pools.
Relax and recover in the plunge pool, steam room and experience beachside views from the sauna. They're brand new to the hot pool scene - only opened in 2020 - so make the most of this hidden gem before it becomes a tourist hotspot!
Iconic Retreat: Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa
42 Amuri Ave Hanmer Springs, North Canterbury
Soak in the famous, mineral-rich waters surrounded by native gardens with mountain vistas. The best place to indulge, with a range of pools, including relaxing rock pools, soothing sulphur pools, an array of water jets and bubbles. Check out our award-winning day spa for a full range of relaxing, reinvigorating spa treatments.
Or, if you have some energy to burn, hit the family leisure area. It’s complete with hydroslides, New Zealand’s largest aquatic thrill ride, a range of freshwater pools for the kids, a lazy river, garden picnic areas and the Tea Kiosk Café & Grill.
258 Schoolhouse Rd, Kaikoura Flat, Kaikoura
Donegal House sits on six acres of tranquil gardens with the backdrop of Kaikoura's most prominent landmark, Mt Fyffe. With a licensed restaurant and homely Irish bar, it’s a unique setting for functions and events, where you’ll receive the traditional warm Irish hospitality. It’s also a great base to experience Kaikoura, famous for whale watching and swimming with dolphins & seals. See a diverse array of seabirds and explore Kaikoura’s many natural wonders.
9 Highfield St, Waiau
Whether you are looking for a quiet getaway, or a base for regional adventures, Waiau Motor Camp & Cabins is the perfect location for you to enjoy. Nestled on the banks of North Canterbury's Waiau River on the Inland Scenic Route SH70, you will have great access to various regional attractions and great short walks and cycling routes to explore our rural surroundings. You can also order an evening meal from The Treasure Chest onsite food cart (Wednesday to Sunday).
1224 Karaka Rd, Hurunui
There is always something about vineyards that evoke both comfort and a sense of indulgence. Get both with wine-tastings and a good meal at the hotel café. Just 38 minutes south of Hanmer Springs and especially convenient when you’ve come from the NZMCA Park at Hanmer and looking for more than a glass of supermarket wine and a meal you didn’t cook.
"Brilliant. First two nights free then $10 a night. Pub/restaurant. Great sites. Well worth it." - Noye
337 Lehmans Rd, Rangiora
Located on the outskirts of Rangiora, opposite the racecourse, the holiday park offers spacious grounds, tranquil landscape and trees, play equipment, a trampoline and even a covered pool. It’s on the bypass route going north and south of Rangiora and is the perfect base to explore the North Canterbury and Christchurch areas, with nearby walking & cycling tracks, rivers, beaches, wineries, and ski fields.
45 Doubledays Rd, Kaiapoi
Only 15 mins north of Christchurch in the rural part of North Canterbury sits Riverlands. Located on the outskirts of Kaiapoi by the Waimakariri River, pop out for a spot of fishing or a round of golf at the course next door. Offering a place to relax and unwind while still being close to the modern world, it’s a 20 minute walk to Kaiapoi for all your last minute needs.
12 Domain Rd, Springfield
Sixty-five kilometres west of Christchurch, the town of Springfield sits at the foot of the Southern Alps. Run by the local community who take great pride in this place, all the money campers pay goes straight back into the campsite maintenance. The big grassy camp is exceptionally tidy and has great facilities, including tennis courts and a kids playground. (Image by Mike Locke)
Homebush Rd, Glentunnel
Situated in the tranquil township of Glentunnel, the well-grassed & terraced Holiday Park is only 10 mins away from the bars & cafes of Darfield. Set amongst a variety of trees, adjacent to the Selwyn River, see next door a golf-course, and on the other side a large reserve and sports ground. Within 40 mins drive are a number ski-fields and various walking tracks only a short drive away.
85 Rakaia Tce, Rakaia
Rakaia River Holiday Park: 40 minutes south of Christchurch. Located on State Highway at the northern end of Rakaia, next to the famous Rakaia River Bridge. #Pet friendly, #fenced dog run, #cycle ways, #walking trails, #outdoor pizza oven & BBQs, #summer swimming pool and #river access. Come and visit us and explore all that Mid Canterbury has to offer!!!!
62 Maronan Rd, Ashburton
Situated just 4.5kms from Ashburton Town next to the Tinwald Domain is this picturesque and pet friendly (by arrangement) Park. Theres a large number of Powered & Non-powered sites, Family Cabins, Ensuite Studio units and a large Lodge building - something for everyone. Close to mountains and sea, explore many walks, bike tracks and museums. With space galore it's perfect for sports, interest groups, and families.
Cnr Keen Rd, Geraldine
Enjoy a relaxing escape, fun family holiday or romantic weekend. This neat, tranquil, flat 2ha park is set in heartland NZ farming country. Enjoy top hospitality at Grumpy's and explore Geraldine with its English country village atmosphere, boasting craft shops, gourmet food and a selection of NZ clothing and art. There's an abundance of parks, reserves, and walkways you can bike & horse trek, or go rafting on the Rangitata River.
14 Allandale Rd, Fairlie
Fairlie makes good its promise of being the gateway to scenic Mackenzie District, and this well-reviewed site offers a fair bit of everything. Great, well-equipped kitchen, clean ablutions and proximity to the town centre and supermarket, not to mention being 30 minutes away from Lake Tekapo.
"Good gravel parking areas, and local pie shop makes for an easy meal." - Johnson
122 McKenzie Dr, Twizel
Located in the heart of Twizel Township, it’s the closest park to Mount Cook and only 500m from the supermarket, swimming pool, tennis courts, cafes and bars. In close proximity to a Golf Course, the Lord of the Rings Twizel tour, and the Alps to Ocean Cycleway past the park gates. Visit the salmon farm for canal fishing or go boating and fishing on one of the nearby lakes.
76 Bledisloe St, Kurow
Theo and Diane Curtis invite you to enjoy their peaceful park-like surroundings with landscaped terraces graduating down to the Waitaki River. It’s a short distance to the hydro lakes for boating and water sports and the area is renowned for its excellent trout and salmon fishing. Enjoy the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail, River-T Winery, Museum, and boutique vineyards. It’s an affordable family-orientated park, offering a safe swimming area and canoeing for children.
Three great years of giving members savings and camping-grounds additional business when they need it the most, is definitely worth celebrating.
And in celebration of that, we're giving away amazing prizes that would certainly come in handy for your winter journeys ahead....and all you need to do is stay at a participating campground.
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