The sun is shining on the South Island, in our view the best place in the world to live, visit and do business.

We are fiercely proud of Our Place in the World, the place the world wants to experience and which we are fortunate to call home.

Millions of visitors are expected here over the summer season, however there is nowhere in the world you can't get by flying internationally from this airport. Make the most of the extra summer services and fly out of here, through one of our hubs, to any place in the world you can name.



We've launched a South Island Travel Store on Fliggy, a leading Chinese travel service platform and part of the Alibaba digital ecosystem. Fliggy reaches more than 600million users and will promote southern regional tourism. Chinese travellers can book their travel before they leave home or while they're traveling through the South Island, get information and promotions in Chinese about South Island visitor experiences.


We were very proud to be acknowledged at the recent awards for the work we do to champion the South Island. Judges recognised us as the major enabler of tourism and trade for Christchurch and the South Island, through building air connectivity to international markets, working with the regions' tourism businesses and providing a world class customer experience at the airport.


Our work as an enabler of tourism across the South Island's regions was also acknowledged by our winning a category of the Tourism Industry Aotearoa Awards. This award focused on the 'South' initiative, which sees all 13 regional tourism organisations work collegially with us to promote the whole South Island as a destination.


We have become supporters of Boma NZ to enable Canterbury-based secondary school educators to explore how to bring exponential thinking, technology and innovative leadership into their schools. The Boma NZ Education Fellows will travel to the USA and create hands-on projects in their secondary schools and for the wider education community.


It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas at the airport! Giant Christmas trees, a Kiwiana Santa, free face painting, Christmas 'Taste of the South' Markets happening every Friday from 11am - 3pm and a Christmas concert extravaganza on Friday 21 December from 12pm - 3pm. Check out our Facebook page for all the details.



Perth is one flight from Christchurch and the Western Australian city people only ever describe in superlatives.

They say "always sunny", "relaxing", "sapphire blue water and white sandy beaches", "loads to see and do", "great food and wine!"

Travel broker Elaine Casey says that's all true, but there's much more to Perth.

"It's one of the most unspoilt coastlines in the world, everything in Perth is very close and on the city's doorstep," she says.

Perth is set along the Swan River and the Indian Ocean and gets more sunshine than any other Australian city. Elaine recommends a walking tour or a Segway tour to experience the city and hear its stories, explore Kings Park (one of the largest city parks in the world), Swan River, and wind up in the city's hotspot cafes, bars and restaurants.

"Fremantle is Perth's scenic port city and has modern facilities in historic settings, including Fremantle Prison from Australia's days as a British penal colony. The stories are amazing, the architecture is interesting, and of course there are lovely wineries nearby."

Elaine highly recommends the short ferry trip to Rottnest Island.

"It's a great day trip to what feels like a resort island," she says. "You can swim and snorkel in the crystal clear water, walk, relax, or choose from accommodation to suit every budget. Getting up close to a Quokka (a friendly marsupial only found in this region) is a must-do, and when you eventually drag yourself back to the city, you'll feel like you've had an island holiday."

Elaine says the combination of sunny weather, relaxed outdoor fun and lots to do makes Perth an ideal one-flight break from Christchurch, with laneways, weekend markets, great coffee, ocean sunsets, wineries and bushlands all good reasons for you to cross the Tasman.

Air New Zealand flies non-stop between Christchurch and Perth from December to March, with connections available from right across Air New Zealand's South Island network.


Two shows which have sold out all over the world while winning loads of awards will strut their stuff in Christchurch this summer as part of Bread & Circus - World Buskers Festival.

LIMBO promises "gut-churning contortion, breath-taking acrobatics and jaw dropping stunts". LEO tests gravity to leave audiences literally wondering which way is up.

 Scott Maidment is the Bread & Circus Festival director and creator of LIMBO. He says the show is intoxicating and exotic and has given more than 800 performances all over the world - Amsterdam, Bogota, Brussels, Edinburgh, London and Munich, to name a few.

 "There's cabaret, circus, acrobatics, illusion and music, with world-class performers bending body and mind in a show Madonna saw twice," he says. "In fact, the very same cast Madonna saw will be performing in Christchurch.

 "People have posted online it's the best show they've ever seen and critics have used the words 'extraordinary', 'contagious', 'liberating', so we know we're bringing something special to Christchurch."

 The show will be presented in the magnificent 1920s style Spiegeltent as part of the festival which will spread over a month, alongside buskers and new food events.

LEO tests what would happen if the laws of gravity suddenly changed.

 "The show is surprising and funny and tests perceptions of reality," Scott says."It has won festival awards in several international cities and had great reviews from critics, so it's Christchurch's turn."

 Scott spends most of the year travelling, seeing shows and meeting performers.

 "I'm super excited to bring amazing performers across the globe to Christchurch. Many have never visited New Zealand before nor even performed in the Southern Hemisphere, so I've promised them a great Kiwi welcome - and I'm promising Kiwis fabulous world class entertainment. There's something for everyone - locals, tourists, families with kids, and date night. Everybody get ready!"

The full Bread & Circus - World Buskers Festival programme is now available online at

January 10 - February 3


Spreading joy and laughter is the raison d'être of Clown Doctors, a group which takes humour very seriously.

Programme director Rita Noetzel says Clown Doctors are professional performers who go into hospitals to create a positive atmosphere and relieve stress.

"We say 'Seven days without laughter makes one weak'," she says. "Laughter makes you feel good and we don't want children to miss out on that feeling, especially when they're dealing with illness. We can distract them during difficult procedures, make the hospital less scary and create moments which can make a big difference."

Clown Doctors wear a white medical coat and a red nose, which Rita says encourages eye-to-eye contact, is a mark of shared vulnerability and has a heart full of kindness behind it.

Feedback from grateful parents includes "A ray of sunshine: a true inspirational act that brings fun moments of freedom away from the deep stress of what our families are going through, always leaving an uplifted atmosphere that have swelled the hearts of the sad." "Thank you Clown Doctors! Your visit lifted spirits and brought out the first smile of the day." "I had a miserable unwell child who after seeing the Clown Doctors was instantly a lot happier and brighter."

Clown Doctors is a social enterprise reliant on funding. The children's programme is on hold at the moment, while more funds and Clown Doctors are found (contact to audition).

The programme recently received a grant from the Christchurch Airport Community Fund, where small change dropped into collection boxes in the terminal does big things. The airport adds a sizable donation to the coins, then distributes grants to applicants.

"That grant means we can work towards reactivating the children's programme at Christchurch Hospital in the future. We look forward to putting smiles on those faces again soon."
Charities and community groups can apply for funds at


A young freezing worker who became a jetboat driver liked his job at Goldfields Jet so much he took an unexpected opportunity to buy the company.

Cam Jones has spent the past six months making a noticeable difference to a Cromwell tourism business that's been around for many years. After driving jetboats for three years, he became Operations Manager in 2014, and its owner last June.

 "We spent the winter refurbishing our four boats, updating livery, overhauling the website and beginning new forms of marketing," says Cam. "I have driven boats for enough summers to know what to expect and customer feedback on the fun they have with us is very positive."

 Cam will continue some driving to get visitors' feedback on the water. He says thousands of visitors choose Goldfields Jet for the combination of thrills and history.

 "We're the only operators on the southern end of the Kawarau River, so our rides combine shallow braided waters and deep water rapids. Tourists, especially from China, love that combination, as well as the fact that we are based on the site of an historic Chinese goldmine.

 "We work with two local businesses to offer a very popular half-day trip, becoming a kind of jetboat taxi from the Goldfields Mining Centre to the Carrick Winery in Bannockburn."

 Cam is ambitious for his company.

 "We currently get about 10-thousand customers a year and want to increase that by two thousand a year. We have a new look, are marketing differently to make our offer clear to visitors and are the first jetboat base they see. They drive past us to get to others, we have a distinct historic location and a thrilling ride, so I believe our offer will attract customers to us before they hit Queenstown."


If you or your child yearn to take the controls of a big digger, good news! Your dream can come true in Invercargill.

It won't be black and white, but will be cricket vs rugby, when New Zealand's biggest sporting stars play T20 cricket in the Hot Spring Spas T20 Christchurch Black Clash in association with Swisse at beautiful Hagley Oval on 25 January 2019.

Team Cricket has former Black Caps captain Stephen Fleming leading the charge against former All Blacks coach Sir Graham Henry's Team Rugby. Both are stacking their teams with big names for big hits, big scores and big reputations on the line.

Brendon McCullum, Grant Elliott, Luke Ronchi, Nathan Astle, Kieran Read, Richie McCaw and Israel Dagg are among the sporting stars who will use bat, ball and banter to win the bragging rights for the winning team.

It's a unique Twenty-20 cricket match for kids and their families to be entertained and get up close to their sporting heroes, no matter which team they're on.
January 25


When a journey is ranked among the top ten drives of the world, it must be great - and no surprise it's in the South Island!

The spectacular journey between Queenstown and Dunedin, through Western Southland and the Catlins, is both those things.

The Southern Scenic Route is just over 600km of spectacular natural and cultural attractions and exciting activities. Take your pick from wildlife viewing, short walks, mountain biking, surfing, fishing, boating, and tramping. Add in picturesque coastlines, remote beaches, lush native rainforests, pristine lakes and stunning mountain vistas and there's plenty of highlights along this epic route.

Lyndon McKenzie, co-owner of Mohua Park in the Catlins, says most of his guests are European, stay an average of two or three nights, and are all glad of one particular thing - silence.

"Our international visitors cannot believe the quietness of the Catlins area," he says. "They love it. Our self-contained cottages sit on 14 hectares of land, most of it within the Queen's covenant bush. That is protected for ever and not open to the public, but our guests can walk tracks we have made.

"The valley overlooks the Catlins River and guests really appreciate not being next door to other people. We don't have televisions in the cottages, so our guests joke they like watching 'sheep TV'."

Lyndon and his wife Gillian cater for guests who want the service and offer "good Kiwi tucker."

"New Zealand beef and pan-fried blue cod are the two favourites, and the favourite dessert is definitely rhubarb crumble," he says.

There's lots of tasty and tempting favourites on the Southern Scenic Route, with scenery and silence apparently the perfect combination.


 One of the most spectacular exhibits of the SCAPE Public Art Season 2018 was 

a 5.5 metre bronze sculpture called 'Mixed Feelings'.

The sculpture is one of many exalted works by British sculptor Sir Tony Cragg, its intertwined bronze towers spiralling towards the sky and from certain angles bringing human profiles into and out of focus.

Sir Tony says his sculptures are the result of exciting journeys he takes when he considers materials.

"I find it amazing to take a material, get ideas and spend a year or more to produce a sculpture," he says. "Sculpture is a very rare use of materials. Human beings are responsible for dumbing down materials, but sculpture is a way to transform materials. It's not about making something beautiful, but about material becoming beautiful."

The sculptor was knighted for services to visual arts and UK-German relations and says different people see different things in his works.

"People bring their own backgrounds to art, so a hundred people will see a hundred things. I want people to have a rapport or dialogue with my work. I like people to take time with my work, to like it or not like it. Considering art helps us find things out about ourselves."

Told he was recently described in New Zealand as a 'modern day Picasso', he wasn't sure how to respond.

"Perhaps that description comes from what others see in my works. I gather it is intended as a compliment and will simply say I appreciate how people in New Zealand have received me and my work."

Sir Tony is currently working with wood, preparing for an exhibition of 15 works in Italy. Recent exhibitions have included Seventh Avenue in New York and Valencia in Spain, so having this prestigious piece in Christchurch until January 20, at Christ's College, has been a coup and a time for very positive feelings.


For many small southern communities, summer promises family days at the races.

This year will be no exception, with Interislander Summer Festival race meetings focused on community, family and fun.

Hugh Devereux-Mack of The Races Ltd Partnership says 68,000 people attended almost 30 race events last summer - and this year, 29 race meets are planned from Ruakaka to Wingatui.

 "The series has the everyday New Zealander in mind," he says. "Adults pay no more than $20 and everyone under 18 gets in free. As well as the races, youngsters can join in events including boys vs girls tug-of-war (the girls often win!), bouncy castles, sack races, and fashion competitions.

 "There's a big prize on offer too thanks to The Races, a family holiday for four to the Gold Coast, including flights, accommodation and attraction passes."

 For the past ten years, Interislander and KiwiRail have supported the series by transporting gear between the islands. That's six 17-tonne trucks of marquees and six trucks of theming decorations.

"Our team puts in some very long days, setting up marquees and summer theming, delivering a great day's fun, then packing up and, in some cases, doing it all again somewhere else the next day."

This year is especially important for some community racecourses around the country.

"Some race tracks hosting festival events are facing possible closure under a Government proposal. For many volunteer-run racing clubs, the chance to welcome their communities each year is something they take pride in and work hard to share," says Hugh.

 "We hope communities will show even more support for the tracks and the events than usual. They're perfect family outings, with picnic blankets and baskets or food carts on the day, lots of laughter, lots to see and do with people from your community."


Chinese dumplings are one of the many aspects of Chinese life South Islanders have embraced.

Steamed, fried or boiled, you can not only order dumplings when eating out, but can make them at home, thanks to Chinese supermarkets which sell the ingredients.

Fang Zhou is typical of her generation, having learned to make dumplings by watching her grandmother make them. She now teaches her own grandchildren how to make them and says they all have fun cooking together.

"I remember making my first dumplings when I was about ten years old," she says. "I was very curious about cooking and was excited I could finally help my mother do something in the kitchen.

"Dumplings are a regular part of the Chinese diet and I often make them when my grandchildren come to visit. The children like to help make them, mostly so they can eat them!"

Fang says the secret ingredient for dumplings is water.

"When I make the fillings, I add water gradually and mix it with the minced meat until the meat is fluffy. This makes the dumplings become juicy and will make the filling tender and melt in your mouth when you eat them."

Fang's favourite dumpling filling is minced pork, prawns and garlic chives. The dumplings are served with Chinese vinegar, perhaps with chilli added.

Though many Chinese families make their own dumpling wrappers, Fang says it's not necessary, because Chinese supermarkets make packs of wrappers for a small cost.

Chinese dumplings will be one of the most popular foods at the South Island Lantern Festival in the Avon River Precinct, Christchurch, February 22 - 24. The festival promises music, dance, food and lanterns in and around the Avon River, Worcester Boulevard and Cathedral Square.
February 22 - 24

400g pork mince
2 eggs (fried and minced)
8 prawns (chopped)
Small bunch of garlic chives (finely chopped)
1 spring onion (finely chopped)
1 tbsp grated ginger
1/2 tbsp salt
1 tbsp chicken stock
1 tbsp cooking wine
1 ½ tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp cooking oil
1 tbsp sesame oil
1/2 cup water
1 pack of dumpling pastry wrappers (50 pieces)

1. Mix pork mince with salt, grated ginger, chopped spring onion, soy sauce, and cooking wine.

2. Slowly add water and mix it with the meat, until the meat is fluffy.

3. Add chopped garlic chives, minced eggs, chicken stock, cooking oil, and sesame oil into the meat mixture. Stir it until all the ingredients are well combined. The filling is now ready to make your dumplings.

4. Get one piece of dumpling pastry, and put some marble sized filling in the centre of the pastry. Fold the pastry to seal the dumpling.

Tip:Dip your finger in some water and put the water on the edge of the pastry before sealing. This will help the dumpling seal perfectly.

5. Put dumplings in a pot of boiling water and cook for 10 minutes, or until they float to the surface.



Banks Peninsula
January 5

The music starts at midday, runs to 9pm and offers a line-up of acts, including those described as the best blues band on the peninsula, hypnotic blues and haunting melodies, a troubadour in every sense of the world and serious fun from Wellington. Food offered by food trucks along with wine and beer by local wineries.


January 26-28

A three-day mountain biking festival to celebrate the life of legendary freeride mountain biker Kelly McGarry, fondly remembered for his legendary huge backflip over a 70-foot chasm in 2013. The festival in his memory uses trails including the Ben Lomond Forest, Wynyard Jumps and Gorge Road Jump parks.


January 31-February 9

The country's biggest little festival, with some of the world's best classical musicians coming to Nelson for 10 days of performances. With resident musicians the New Zealand String Quartet, the festival is welcoming the international acclaimed Jerusalem Quartet, violinists Anthony Marwood and Nikki Chooi, pianist Dénes Várjon, and accordionist James Crabb, along with many others. Breathtaking music in one of New Zealand's most acoustically pristine venues.

January 31-February 3

Three locations dedicated to fun. The top of Trafalgar Street offers a constant supply of family-friendly acts. Take your family (and gold coins for the entertainers) to two evening variety shows on the Church Steps. For adults-only cabaret shows, go to The Boatshow on Thursday or Friday evening.

Central Otago
February 2

The McArthur Ridge Vineyard 'Run the Ridge' event is about opportunity and challenge. Choose a 5km, 10km (walk/run), 21km run or the 20km team relay to run or walk through spectacular Central Otago scenery and among the vines at McArthur Ridge Vineyard. The wine and craft beer tasting at the end might make it all worthwhile too!
West Coast
February 26-28

An event not for the faint-hearted. Three things to note - the course length (85km), the elevation (almost 15km of the trail is higher than 1000m elevation) and the wilderness setting (through the middle of nowhere). Limited to 300 hardy and experience competitors, this event also has a waitlist of people keen to test themselves as they head north to south from Seddonville to Lyell.