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Canterbury inland scenic route: Christchurch to Lake Tekapo


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Darfield main street in spring Darfield main street in spring

The lively rural town offers visitors cafes and shops to stretch your legs. Darfield with the backdrop of the Southern Alps has walking trails over hills and past waterfalls. There is the challenging Torlesse Tussock Reserve to the fantastical natural limestone landscape of Castle Hill to explore. Darfield, sitting on the fertile Canterbury plains, between the between the Rakaia and Waimakariri rivers offers visitors water sports, off road adventures and a chance to relax and revive.


  • Walking trails from fairy trails in McHugh Park to scenic Washpen waterfalls
  • Darfield Farmers Market (weekly)
  • Pop into nearby Springfield for a SELFIE against the largest doughnut in New Zealand
  • Spend the day exploring Ashley Rakahuri River / gorge – The Gorgeously Gorgy Loop Track kiwi guardians (Department of Conservation)
  • Check out nearby Methven and Rakaia Gorge, either jet boating or walking over the historic bridge
  • The great outdoors at night West Melton Observatory. Canterbury with its lack of night sky pollution is an ideal location for Canterbury Astronomical Society

Got the kids in the backseat, Darfield solves the boredom problem with fairy doors to find in McHugh Forest Park or Ashley Rakahuri River / gorge – The Gorgeously Gorgy Loop kiwi guardians (Department of Conservation) programme to get kids engaged with nature and outdoors.


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