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What’s so great about Hororata

  • 3 minutes


Hororata there are plenty of things to do. Selwyn District, Hororata is a visitor hub for Mt Hutt ski field and mid Canterbury outdoor attractions from hot air ballooning to walks and fishing. For lovers of the highland games a must go destination. Hororata is one of the few places to have its own designed tartan.



Keep the energy levels up for ballooning, mid Canterbury flights are made at sunrise. You will float across the beautiful Canterbury Plains with stunning views from the Pacific Ocean to the majestic Southern Alps. Your pilot will get you to assist with inflating the balloon and guide you through what to expect on your one hour breathtaking flight. A light snack and drink finishes the amazing start to the day.


Hororata walking trail passes duck ponds and a picnic area. The large sports fields are primarily used for the Hororata Highland Games and the Hororata Night Glow. A horse riding track, a tennis court, a Scouts building, are also located in the domain. A walking track links the domain to St John’s Church. Ice skating used to occur on the Edwardian lake at the Hororata Domain.

Hororata Night Glow @Selwyn Hororata Night Glow @Selwyn
Hororata Highland Games @Stuff Hororata Highland Games @Stuff


Terrace Station, a category I historic status (mid 1850’s) homestead built with pre-cut Australian timber. Successive rooms were added between 1863 and 1897. The large woolshed, built in 1868, has a category 2 registration from the New Zealand Historic Places Trust. Other farm buildings of note include the managers house and the blacksmiths.

St John’s church (anglican) associated with former premier of the colony, Sir John Hall. The family donated land for the current reserve.

Coton’s Cottage, a renovated sod cottage, similar to the many built by early settlers who were unable to source timber in the sub-alpine tussock country of mid Canterbury.

Terrace Station, New Zealand @TerraceStationNZ
Terrace Station @TerraceStationNZ
St John’s church, New Zealand @NZ Herald St John’s church @NZ Herald
Coton's Cottage, New Zealand @Hororata Historic Society Coton's Cottage @Hororata Historic Society
Hororata Pie @TheHororataPie
Hororata Pie @TheHororataPie



  • Fortunately for Canterbury, Mrs Hutton’s legendary Hororata Pie recipe was acquired by locals and in an act of true philanthropy, they have since given this to the Hororata Community Trust as custodian of the taonga to benefit the community. “ The Hororata Pie has been feeding local legends for years, whether it is after skiing, on the farm, in a tractor or at one of Hororata’s famous events. It’s not just the memories the Pie invokes, it’s the taste and quality ingredients that ensures the legend’s status remains.

The legend lives on with the Hororata Pie available locally at GAS Hororata, Glentunnel Store and now, the Hororata Community Trust is excited to announce that for the first time the Hororata Pie is available outside Hororata.”


  • Hororata has its own tartan which was created to celebrate the inaugural Hororata Highland Games. The Scottish Tartans Authority donated the design and the first 30 metres of cloth to Hororata. The tartan includes six colours all of which have local meanings: The red represents the colour of the rata flower. The white is the snow and the blue the local rivers of the area. The green is for the grass and Pounamu. Finally the three local schools colours were included: black and yellow (Hororata School), black and blue (Glentunnel School) and white and green (Windwhistle School) wikipedia
Hororata tartan @Tartan Details
Hororata tartan @Tartan Details
Hororata welcome sculpture, Canterbury, New Zealand
Hororata welcome sculpture


  • Hororata Highland Games, Scottish events including; heavy events, highland dancing, solo piping and drumming, Tug O’ War and pipe band competitions. All surrounded by a festival offering a rich tapestry of culture and tastings.
  • Hororata night glow event, The hot air balloon Night Glow is a spectacle of giant balloons glowing in unison to music (autumn festival). Organised by The Hororata Community Trust


Hororata – Another great event in the Hororata Domain


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  • The Maori meaning is “drooping rata”, after the large number of rata growing in the district.


  • Hororata is located on the direct route to Mt Hutt skifield creating a popular spot for Christchurch bound ski traffic. Hororata is increasingly becoming a dormitory town for commuters working in Christchurch. The innovative Hororata Community Trust attracted over 25,000 visitors in 2019 to the two major events, the Highland Games and Night Glow


  • Definitely eat a pie and stop a while

Every town adds to the richness of things to do and see. For more details about the region check Christchurch & Canterbury Region nearby attractions and events.


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