New Zealand in Focus



North Canterbury: Your home away from home

Surfers enjoying the early morning waves at Leithfield Beach

For some travellers the key feature of their journey is the town or city they are visiting, while for others, like myself, the holiday park itself is my destination and I don’t really plan on moving far from home base once I have found my relaxing spot. The thing I love the most about holiday parks is that they are their own little village. You can park up, unpack, and relax knowing that everything you need for a great holiday experience is right at your fingertips. In fact, after a short stay in a holiday park I often leave realising I know my camp neighbour better than my neighbours a home due to the time I have spent in one place!
This month we are featuring North Canterbury and a few of the wonderful reasons you will want to plan a visit to Leithfield Beach Holiday Park or Alpine Adventure Holiday Park in Hanmer Springs on your travels. These holiday parks aren’t just somewhere to rest your weary head, they are micro-destinations in their own right, with a range of onsite activities and facilities that will ensure you don’t have to venture too far; unless of course you want to!


North Canterbury boasts a number of must do’s including the Weka Pass Railway, Hanmer Spring Thermal Resort, and of course no visit to the area would be complete without a wine tasting or two in the ‘coolest little wine region’ in New Zealand!


The Weka Pass Railway is a journey sure to delight passengers of all ages. On the 1st and 3rd Sunday of every month, every Sunday in January and most public holidays, you can board a diesel-electric or vintage steam locomotive for a scenic 12.8km  journey through the North Canterbury landscape.


Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa are the perfect place to soak and unwind on your travels. The complex offers outdoor thermal mineral, sulphur and freshwater pools, private indoor thermal pools, steam and sauna rooms. Let the kids burn some energy in the children’s activity area while you sit back and relax in the pools, onsite licenced café or the day spa. Single and multi-day entry passes are available.


The journey from Christchurch through to Hanmer Springs is around 1.5 hours, however if you are interested in sampling the offerings on the North Canterbury Food & Wine Trail it could take a day or two! You can download the guide or use the interactive map to plan your own tour of the best vineyards, wineries, restaurants, cafes, markets and artisan producers in North Canterbury.


Your (almost) half way stop between Christchurch and Hanmer Springs is Leithfeild Beach Holiday Park. Kev & Gail are your hosts at this sheltered beachside camping and caravanning spot, situated just 1.5km from the main highway (SH1). The recreational activities on offer at Leithfield Beach Holiday Park are vast, and include an onsite toddlers swimming pool, tennis court, children’s playground, and of course the beach is right at your door step!


After a day of action or relaxation the family can join for dinner in the sheltered BBQ area or if you don’t feel like cooking, Hector’s, the onsite takeaway caravan operates every Friday & Saturday night with additional nights added throughout holiday periods.


Your next North Canterbury stop is Hanmer Springs where Alan from Alpine Adventure Holiday Park will be waiting to share his local knowledge to make sure you have a wonderful stay. The kids will love the adventure playground, swimming pool, games room and bike riding opportunities at this bush-clad holiday park and if you are travelling with a group, the Bell Bird Lodge can be booked exclusively so you can relax with your own sleeping, kitchen, dining and lounge areas – perfect for sports groups or family reunions.


Whether your visit to North Canterbury is a mini break or part of a South Island tour, it is sure to tantalise your taste buds, rejuvenate your body, relax your mind and leave you wondering why you didn’t book just one more night!



For more information on the Taranaki region visit Christchurch and Canterbury NZ


Photo credits: Leithfield Beach Holiday Park, Alpine Adventure Holiday Park, Weka Pass Railway, Hanmer Springs Thermal Resort and Kate Blundell


See Member Rewards in the North Canterbury