Ashburton – gateway to some of the South Island's best activities and attractions, including hot air ballooning over the Canterbury Plains, fly fishing in the Rakaia River, and skiing at Mt Hutt! A short drive from Christchurch, Ashburton is the gateway to some of Canterbury and the South Island's best attractions and activities - from fly fishing in the Rakaia River, to hot air ballooning over the Canterbury Plains and skiing at Mt Hutt. Ashburton’s magnificent parking facilities adjacent to State Highway One, make it easy to stop and appreciate the high quality shopping facilities, cafes & restaurants, craft shops, nationally recognised art gallery, museum and visitor information centre. Top class sporting facilities including an international-standard hockey pitch, superb tennis courts and challenging golf courses and accommodation including a hotel, motels and homestays support the visitors, sporting groups, and conferences regularly arriving in town. Lake Hood is situated five minutes from Ashburton and boasts seven kilometres of shoreline, a water ski tournament park, international class rowing course and a residential subdivision, the perfect recreational area for all water lovers. The annual Wheels Week event in May is a must and involves many heritage attractions that can be explored all year round, including the Ashburton Vintage Car Museum, the Plains Railway and Historical Village, Lynn Historical Woodworking Trust, and the Ashburton Aviation Museum, with a huge collection of planes from yesteryear and displays of the years it spent as an air force training base during World War II.
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