Winter is an energising time to visit the South Island - to rug up, breathe in the fresh clean air, walk and hike, ski and skate, and remind ourselves what beauty surrounds us in our place in the world.

But if the northern hemisphere beckons, this airport is your gateway to friends and family anywhere.

Our airline partners offer you access to every destination you can name, starting by making your first international flight from your home airport. Nice and easy, with all our hubs connecting your onward travel to the big cities or small corners of the world where your special people and experiences await.




Airports are working hard to improve aviation's reputation around environmental efficiency and carbon reduction - and this airport was recently acknowledged internationally for managing and reducing CO2 emissions. We accept the role greenhouse gases play in climate change and are committed to eliminating, reducing and managing our emissions.


Mustang Park, the South Island's largest vehicle rental hub, is filling fast, with  a number of developments recently completed or underway. There's strong demand for premises in the precinct, so work is underway on earthworks, roading and services infrastructure for Stage Two, to provide another ten hectares of land for development. 


Good news for electric vehicle (EV) drivers! Next time you drive here, you can plug in and charge up at our EV charging stations in the Orchard Road car park. That's where you park free for the first 30 minutes, or up to four hours for $10.


Six more South Island tourism organisations are getting help to do business with Chinese visitors, through Christchurch Airport's New Horizons programme. They receive a grant for new marketing collateral, and mentoring from, and travel to China with, airport staff. The recipients are Mt Hutt Ski Area, Snow Farm, Cardrona Ski Area, Alpine Pacific Touring Route, Experience Mid-Canterbury and Destination Marlborough.


Cathay Pacific has confirmed a third summer season between Christchurch and Hong Kong, with an extra fourth flight during December-January-February. The 2019 season will start earlier to offer 19 more flights and 49 per cent more seats than previous seasons. It's a win for passengers, as well as South Island producers accessing key markets.



First-time visitors to Vietnam soon learn there's a lot to love and it deserves its place on travel bucket lists.

Nick Tilly, Director of helloworld Richmond (Nelson), says Vietnam is relatively inexpensive to visit and one of the safest destinations in Southeast Asia.

"It's a great place to visit because the people are friendly, the food is delicious, there's lots to see, and public transport is easy to navigate. It has fascinating history and culture, but also has beautiful beaches, rice terraces, mountains and breathtaking landscapes," he says.

Nick says his first visit was brief, so he's returning to see more by cruising from Hanoi to Da Nang.

"Vietnam has hundreds of miles of beautiful coastline, so this visit promises beaches, limestone islands, caves, and morning laughing yoga!"

From Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City, visitors can eat their way through markets and cooking schools, buy fruit from wicker baskets on a vendor's shoulders, cruise World Heritage listed Ha Long Bay, and take in many iconic sights.

Beach loving visitors often head to the coastal city of Tuy Hòa to snorkel. History buffs lap up Saigon's French colonial past, the 'Hanoi Hilton' (the prison built by the French in the 1880s to house political prisoners and later American POWs during the Vietnam War), and Hue's Imperial Citadel and Buddhist Monastery.

Nick says coffee fanatics will be happy too. "Vietnam is the world's second largest coffee exporter, so the coffee is really good, harking back to Vietnam being a French colony, but now with its own coffee blends."    

He says Ho Chi Minh City is frenetic and fantastic.

"The busy mix of people and motorcycles can appear intimidating, but somehow when you step off the kerb, the traffic parts and flows around pedestrians.

"It's fair to say Vietnam gets under your skin very quickly and one visit will not be enough."

Fly from Christchurch to Vietnam in one stop via either Singapore with Singapore Airlines or Guangzhou with China Southern Airlines. Both airlines fly to a multitude of cities across Vietnam.


The company tagline "High Adventure. Great Memories" sums up the thrilled response from international visitors when they return from an experience on New Zealand's largest glacier.

Mt Cook Glacier Guiding formed in November 2016 through a joint venture between Fox Glacier Guiding and Inflite's Mt Cook Ski Planes and Helicopters.

Jo Wisniewski, Sales and Marketing Manager, says the company offers heli-hiking, snowshoeing, ice climbing on the Haupapa/Tasman Glacier, this country's largest.

"All year round we offer three experiences on the glacier so people can choose how much time they have, how high above sea level they want to go and the fitness level they have," Jo says.

"The Heli-Hike is the most popular. It's a three-hour experience - a wonderful combination of a seven minute helicopter flight each way, up to 2.5 hours on the glacier and environmental conditions allowing, a chance to experience blue caves, drink glacier water, photograph the white expanses and clear blue sky."

The company has noticed a marked increase in visitors from China.

"We market in the right places with reputable agents, so are being noticed. We had a marvellous hand-up through working with Christchurch Airport's New Horizons programme. We travelled with airport staff to Kia Ora South in China and having the airport team guide and support us through trade presentations and media interviews, as well as being personally introduced to very good agents, made it all easy."

Jo says visitors are well aware glaciers are retreating around the world and some speak of wanting to experience the glacier while it's still available.

"There is understanding of the need to care for the environment, so our work in a World Heritage Area, which is recognised globally, adds even more significance to their visit."


Get ready to celebrate a Kiwi legend! July will mark 100 years since Sir Edmund Hillary's birth and events to honour him will occur across the country.

Professor Clive Gilson heads the Hillary Centenary Steering Committee and says activities will fete the man who became a worldwide hero after ascending Mt Everest in 1953.

"Sir Edmund Hillary's centenary provides a unique defining moment for New Zealand to reflect on the powerful legacy of its most favoured son," he says. "It will help us consider what it means to be a Kiwi, a leader and philanthropist."

A parliamentary celebration in Parliament's Banqueting Hall on July 23 will be hosted by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. It will focus on the centenary as a unique opportunity to capture Sir Ed's life and legacy as an inspiration for future generations.

In June, a concert by Christchurch City Choir and Southern Cross Brass, titled "Antarctic Spirit", will commemorate Sir Edmund Hillary's birth and the diamond jubilee of the signing of the Antarctic Treaty.

A specially commissioned symphony called "Roar of a Thousand Tigers" and composed by Gareth Farr will be performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra in the Christchurch Town Hall.

Hillary Centenary stamps will be released, a gala dinner will raise funds for the Himalayan Trust which Sir Ed founded, and New Zealand Poet Laureate Selina Tusitala Marsh will release a book of poetry.  

"One poem is called 'Hillary Step', referencing the nearly vertical rock face which is the last real challenge before the top of Everest," she says. "It calls everyone to acknowledge and conquer their own 'Everest', whatever it may be."

Clive Gilson says we'll be hearing and seeing much more of Sir Edmund Hillary, including at Christchurch Airport. 


A small parakeet is gaining a big profile, thanks to a new mural at Christchurch Airport.

With only 80 left, the Orange-fronted parakeet is New Zealand's most endangered bird.

Christchurch Helicopters has long been involved with the parakeet's recovery programme, transporting eggs, birds, personnel and equipment for DoC from Christchurch, but owner/pilot Terry Murdoch says the staff wanted to do more.

"All our staff attended a workshop to establish what our company stands for, who we are, and what our values are," he says. "We realised one of our values is 'responsibility for the environment'.

"We already had a relationship with DoC and the ability to add value with our helicopters, so decided to sponsor the Orange-fronted parakeet recovery programme. We believe conservation is the responsibility of all New Zealanders and we want to play a part in leaving a legacy for future generations, with regards to our native birds and forests."

Christchurch Helicopters' sponsorship programme has since encouraged other companies to join the recovery programme, too.

Terry and business partner Richie McCaw approached the airport to find a way to publicise the plight of the little parakeet, which is the size of a pet budgie. Enter street artist Flox, with spray cans and a plan to make the bird larger than life for airport visitors.

Flox chose to use spray paint to create the colourful mural with a level of detail artists can't achieve with a brush.

"This is a vibrant celebration of New Zealand's native flora and fauna, with the Orange-fronted parakeet taking prime position," she says. "The native flowers have been repeated on the two latest bench seat murals we painted too, so I like the way this work ties together to promote this little endangered bird."


Impressive Christchurch teenager E Wen Wong is on a mission.

E Wen's interest in the environment piqued at age 10 and led her to launch P.S.Our Beaches, to inspire, educate, connect and challenge young people concerned about sustainability.

"I had to do something," she says. "I am astounded by the amount of plastic in our communities and want to help people learn about plastic, because people can make a difference."

Her group grew from local friends to include members in Portugal, Thailand, America and Canada, and a recent two-day conference brought together more than a hundred 12 to 24-year olds.

"Lots of speakers discuss topics youth think about, but usually only older people get to hear them. We will inherit the problems, so need information too.

"The conference took nine months to plan and I thought it would be a one-off, but it can't be. People want a repeat in other places, so we'll see what happens," she says.

One thing that will happen is more tree-planting, following one such conference session. No surprises there - E Wen is a member of a school group which has planted a forest and is considering starting another one.

Next year will be her last at school. She plans to study environmental law and public policy, before working in environmental law while operating an environmental social enterprise. "A combination of profit and purpose," she says.

She laughs that her father warns people his daughter is "into" the environment, but with her view firmly on solving future problems, E Wen won't be stopping any time soon.

"P.S.Our Beaches is driven by a passion for ocean advocacy and leaving a positive environmental footprint. We can all reduce pollution and its impacts on our beaches. Look up 'ocean soup' and you'll understand," she urges.


The Christchurch Arts Festival is about to bring light and warmth to the city this year, starting with lighting up the city like never before.

Artistic Director, Dr George Parker has big plans under wraps.

 "What I can say is the lighting will be unusual and spectacular, bold and dynamic, definitely an experience to remember," he says.

As an actor, academic and theatre manager, George has observed the way Christchurch people hunker down in winter and is daring them to do things differently this year.

 "I want the arts to be accessible to everyone, rather than behind closed doors, so we want to draw people outside and into the festival. We'll warm people up literally and figuratively, so this new-look festival will light up the heart of the city and the people in it.

 "We have turned it into a light, sound and movement theatrical event to connect to the hearts and minds of our city," he says.

 A spectacular public event will kick off the festival, with different takes on warmth and light.

 "Fire, food and fun will complement the warm clothes and smiling faces," he predicts.

July 26 - August 4


Comfort food takes on a whole new meaning in Dunedin this winter, when Dine Dunedin offers its finest.

Over 16 days from June 21 to July 7, Dunedin chefs, producers and restaurants will celebrate their culinary culture with a series of special dinners, tastings and dining deals.

Dine Dunedin organiser Nicola McConnell says this is the first year of what hopefully will become an annual event.

"Well known local restaurants and breweries are creating special events, as will students from the Otago Polytechnic School of Culinary Arts," she says.

One chef looking forward to working some magic during the event is Hannes Bareiter, from Glenfalloch Restaurant. Hannes says Dunedin local food inspires him.

"It's fresh amazing seafood, world class stonefruit, organic vegetables and small scale producers who put their heart and soul into what they grow," he says. "I like surprising combinations that make people go 'Wow, I never thought…'"
June 21 - July 7


The future is here, thanks to proactive thinking in Christchurch.

Christchurch Airport Manager of Digital Solutions and Data Technology, Art Martinson, says his team is investigating opportunities digital and emerging technologies offer.

"This includes how automation might enhance engagement and interaction with our millions of visitors. Key to this is collaborating with others, as we did with University of Canterbury in the Future of Digital Travel Challenge.

"We're about to welcome New Zealand's first automated vehicle to the trial running on campus and in time it may become a transport option for our visitors."

Innovation at the airport includes recently introducing Virtual Reality (VR) training for its firefighters, who now prepare for emergency situations using custom designed VR technology and programmes they helped shape.

Manager of the Airport Fire Service, Chief Fire Officer Peter Moore, says VR replicates scenarios on a scale not possible in the current training area.

"VR offers our firefighters an extra way to prepare for an aircraft emergency, so when the time comes they'll be in an environment they're familiar with and confident in. It's another way to build muscle memory."

Another project will focus on the pressure a growing population is putting on the environment, to meet increasing demand for food production. ChristchurchNZ and global aeronautics and space company Airbus are hosting a nationwide competition to highlight and help solve the issue.

The New Zealand Aerospace Challenge 2019 wants participants to create and prototype technology to detect, monitor or measure water or soil pollution, using satellite and unmanned aircraft technology.

ChristchurchNZ Programme Lead, Gill Dal Din, says New Zealand can be an agritech leader.

"We're expecting to see world-leading technology developed through the Aerospace Challenge. The winner will receive $30,000, mentorship from Airbus and support to commercialise their idea."


People are going nuts over a new Nelson attraction. Pic's Peanut Butter World is the latest development by Pic Picot, the man behind Pic's Really Good Peanut Butter.

Visitors enjoy tours including a viewing gallery overlooking the production line, where they can see, as the label says, "peanuts being freshly roasted and lovingly squished into jars."

Global Marketing Manager Nikki Neate says the story began more than a decade ago, when Pic began roasting peanuts in a concrete mixer heated by a Bunsen burner.

"In those days, he made 200 jars of peanut butter. Last year our 42 employees made five million jars of it," she says. "Pic has always said people should understand where food comes from, so he has opened the door to show there's no secret to what we make."

No secret, apart from top-quality nuts, freshly roasted and ground carefully. Sales continue to grow and new lines have been added to what is described as "life changing peanut butter."

"A visit to the factory is fun and a chance to check out our Slugs," Nikki says. "They're tubes of peanut butter, or, as we call them, 'a hearty shot of the world's finest smooth peanut butter'.

"Pic's fans like to share recipes with us and with each other, so we know peanut butter is no longer only spread on toast. It comes out across the day, as a source of protein, in curries, smoothies and ice creams for example."

Nikki says the 40 minute tours are free, must be booked and include the world's biggest jar of peanut butter.

"From there, you literally follow the smell of the roasted nuts, see the machinery we use, meet the team, try free samples and kids can make their own peanut butter.

"Who knows, you might find yourself eating Pic's Peanut Butter from a teaspoon, or slurping a Slug!"



June 22

Illuminating the night with a little magic, this mid-winter carnival will celebrate the season and the solstice with a stunning lantern parade around the inner city. There will be themed characters, entertainers, stilt walkers and other dazzling displays to warm the evening and your heart, ahead of a grand finale of fireworks.

June 25-July 7

Matariki is the Māori name for the cluster of stars which rises mid-winter and heralds the start of a new year. The stars represent seasonal change, reflection of the past year, preparation of ground for new growth and a time for the community to celebrate. In Christchurch, it will also mean workshops, mākete (market), speakers, performance and an emphasis on family activities.


July 5-7

Want an excuse to curl up with a book over winter? You'll find good reason and new inspiration to do so at this annual weekend of wonderful writers, curious audiences and wine country locations. Organised by book lovers and volunteers under a charity trust, it's strongly supported by the district, so be warned - tickets sell out!

July 28

Entertaining and natural obstacles alongside others that are not so natural or entertaining will offer contestants the chance to slip and slide through West Coast bushland. It's one or two laps of a 2km muddy obstacle course for children and adults, competing individually or as a team dressed up and finishing together. Organisers predict the biggest challenge will be to finish with both shoes on!

August 23-24

An annual August ultra-running event with plenty of options. Ask your legs whether they can run 50, 60, 80, 100, 160 or 200km distances! If the running isn't attraction enough, there's the gold mining history of the scenic Maniototo plains, plus New Zealand's only Ice Luge and only dedicated indoor Curling venue.

August 30-September 8

A festival in a small town with a bold heart to celebrate love, community, diversity, visibility and inclusion. The festival encourages locals and visitors to come together to celebrate their difference, with more than 50 events over 10 days. It's one of the largest Winter Pride festivals in the world, jam-packed with amazing events, dance parties, skiing, boarding and mountain walks.