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Living in Ashburton

What's On

With so many events, festivals and markets, you're never short of something to do around Mid Canterbury!

Located 80 kilometres south of Christchurch, Ashburton District, or 'Mid Canterbury' is in the central South Island (Te Waipounamu).

The district covers around 6,175 square kilometres and is bordered by the Pacific Ocean in the east, Southern Alps in the west and the Rakaia and Rangitata Rivers to the north and south, respectively.

Mid Canterbury's main urban centre is the town of Ashburton, located on State Highway 1 approximately 80 kilometres from Christchurch.

Traditionally a sheep and grain growing district, this has changed in recent years. Irrigation is changing the way we use our land, with a shift to dairy farming and specialised crops, such as seeds.

Land-use change, combined with continued growth in primary product processing and rural support sectors has seen the district's population grow strongly over the past two decades.

Mid Canterbury is home to an abundance of outdoor adventures for everyone to enjoy. With its braided rivers, snow-capped mountains and glacial-fed lakes, there are exciting sights and activities to satisfy your adventurous side all year round, including:

  • High country and river lure fishing
  • Skiing and snowboarding
  • Four-wheel driving
  • Jetboating
  • Skydiving
  • Hiking
  • Mountain biking
  • Hot air ballooning
  • White-water rafting
  • Camping - learn more about local camping spots

Start your Mid Canterbury adventure here.

There are 19 primary schools located throughout Ashburton District, ranging from large to small town or rural.

Ashburton College is a modern co-educational secondary school for years 9 to 13. Mount Hutt College is a
co-educational secondary school which is located in Methven.

Aoraki Polytechnic has a campus in Ashburton offering a wide range of subjects with National Certificates
and Diplomas.

Health services in Ashburton District includes both private practices and top quality public facilities.

Ashburton Hospital provides emergency, general surgical and maternity services with a range of in patient, day patient, outpatient and community health services.

Ashburton has an attended base for St John paramedics with Methven providing a volunteer St Johns service. The district has a range of other emergency services, as well as a wide range of health professional, elderly care and child care services.

Ashburton District offers an abundance of high quality community and sports facilities, with the number of
facilities increasing.

Among the facilities on offer are:

  • EA Networks Centre – indoor aquatic and sports facility recently built in Ashburton
  • Ashburton Art Gallery and Heritage Centre
  • Ashburton Tennis Centre
  • Mid Canterbury Hockey turf
  • Ashburton Trust Event Centre
  • Ashburton Raceway – trotting and gallops
  • Five golf courses
  • Over 200 sports clubs
  • Lake Hood – rowing course, boating, water skiing

Out and About

Ashburton is large enough that it has many of the major New Zealand chain-stores but small enough that it has boutique shops, speciality stores plus unique local cafes, restaurants and bars.

To learn more, visit Experience Mid Canterbury


Ashburton District experiences long hot summers and clear, crisp winters. The seasons are well defined, providing the district with predictable growing seasons that farmers rely on.

Sunshine hours:1900 pa
Rain average:738mm pa
Average day temperatures summer:mid-teens to over 30°C
Average day temperatures winter:low teens