New Zealand’s largest region by area, Canterbury boasts natural lakes, thermal pools and leafy plains. It’s home to the vibrant, ever-changing city of Christchurch which, despite numerous recent earthquakes, is constantly regenerating in new creative ways. Alongside this, you can find the mountains of the Southern Alps – prime for skiing in the winter – and explore the volcanic Banks Peninsula and natural Hanmer Springs. Whether you’re in search of tree-hidden villas, lakeside penthouses or downtown pads, find your ideal base from our list of the region’s best holiday apartments.
As the name suggests, these apartments are a sliced drive away from Kaikoura Golf Club. Located straight off the Alpine Pacific Touring Route and behind the trees opposite Gooch Bay, room views vary between Pacific Ocean and first tee. The compact studio is ideal for those passing through, but those staying longer should consider the one or two-bedroom suites, both with spa baths, breakfast bar and sun terrace.
A five-minute stroll down Jacks Pass Road from here sees you to the soothing Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools. During summer, you can swap sulphuric waters for the on-site heated outdoor pool, while next door lies an 18-hole golf course. If the 19th hole is more your thing, American diner Boulder Burgers dish up meaty burgers and dogs, while the Salt N Pepper Cafe has beers on tap. Both are found just behind the apartments.
Soak in the endless ocean views from these two-bedroom apartments, with the Pacific continuing eastwards, unencumbered by land for another 6,000 miles. The balcony vistas are a hit and indoors, the facilities are plentiful. The kitchen has everything you’d need to rustle up a home-cooked meal, but if the sound of the sea inspires you, walk 10 minutes up the coast for the fish of the day from Coopers Catch.
Hosts Amy and Shane like to make an extra effort for guests at their four apartments, just one mile south of central Hanmer. They’ll not only arrange in-house massages and provide free towels for those heading to the thermal pools, but will also put on a complimentary shuttle into town for evening restaurant bookings. In the garden, kids will jump at the chance to try the trampoline and swing set.
The port city of Timaru is named after the Maori phrase meaning “place of shelter’’. These 10 recently-built apartments live up to that and more. Each unit comes with a balcony, granting city and mountain views, while a heat pump provides warmth or air con depending on the season. A continental breakfast pack can be provided, and the Timaru Botanic Gardens are a three-minute walk away.
On the banks of the now mostly-dry Tekapo River, you’ll find these apartments offered as holiday lets and long-term stays by owners Maria and Philip. The four units vary in size – from one to four bedrooms – but all offer radiator central heating, washing machines, kitchen facilities, wifi and Netflix as standard. The recently renovated studio apartment is optimised for guests with reduced mobility.
Snuggled into the Akaroa shore on the Banks Peninsula, these two-storey apartments provide a useful separation of living quarters and bedrooms. Downstairs, you’ll find an open-plan kitchen, dining area and lounge. Two well-lit bedrooms, one queen bed and the other twin, are located upstairs. Nearby, the cafes and bakeries that line French Bay make for a pleasant morning stroll.
Superbly located opposite the wharf, Akaroa’s must-see spots are all easily reached within walking distance. The in-house tour desk staff are on hand for guests looking to book fishing trips, dolphin swims and cruises. The BBQ and large garden are a tempting proposition, as is the handy arrangement with local restaurants that allow guests to chargeback their bills to their hotel tab.
Hidden away among the greenery along Glenn Bay you’ll find these treehouse-style wood and glass-panelled apartments, a breezy stroll from Akaroa harbour and village. The penthouse suite is the pick of the bunch. Its miniature stove, wicker lounge chairs and balcony decking make it an ideal romantic getaway. The vibrant décor, walk-in wardrobe and fish bowl toilet seat adds fun and character.
Autumnal burnt oranges and browns are the dominant interior hues at these 13 apartments on the tree-lined Bealey Avenue, just five blocks north of Christchurch’s Avon River. The whirlpool bath makes for a relaxing soak, especially with the complimentary soaps provided as part of a bumper welcome pack. Continental breakfasts can be provided on request, or alternatively Affogato Cafe over the road does a mean BLT bagel.