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Things to do

Follow the Ashburton District Council Facebook page to find out about community events organised by council.

There are also a number of community Facebook groups you can follow to find out about other events organised in the community.

The Library is a free facility to join and use.  It is located at 2 Baring Square Ashburton.

Anyone living in Ashburton can join, just need to present two forms of photo ID and proof o address.

They offer services like:

  • Free Wi-Fi access.
  • Free computer use.
  • Free Children's activities, Lego station and holiday programmes.
  • 3D printing
  • Learning lab, with high-end computers to learn new skills like Microsoft Office, 3D modelling, graphic design, and coding.
  • Recording Studio
  • Maker Space with vinyl printer and cutter, laser and craft cutter, and sewing machines.  (There's no fee to use the equipment, but charges will apply for the materials you use.)
  • Digital drop-in sessions for help using electronic devices and smartphones.
  • CV Help to get a 1 on 1 advice to create your CV, cover letter, printing and online job applications.
  • Free adult social activities including Book Club, Knitting Group, Craft & Chatter and The Listening Post.
  • Access E-books, E-Audiobooks, Movies, TV Series, Music, newspapers and magazines free through the many digital resources available to library card holders.
  • Books on Wheels -free fortnightly home delivery of books to members who are housebound or cannot easily get to the library.
  • Tools to gain skills and improve your confidence in English.
  • Children's e-books in other languages.
  • Meeting rooms and display space for community use.  Find out more

It is a free facility that with an interactive, creative and diverse programme of exhibitions with local and national artist.  They run activities to suit groups of all ages and run activities during school holidays.

Some of their regular programmes are:

Art Addicts: Weekly art space for children and families after school using various mediums.

Kōwhai Mums: Fortnightly art group for ethnic, migrant and newcomer mums/carers. Sessions provide an environment for mums/carers to relax and socialise, whilst children explore through sensory play and art activities.

Drop-in activities for children, families & whānau: Located in the museum foyer. Stations are set up for a curated task with all materials provided.

Artzheimers: A guided tour of the gallery followed by morning tea, specifically developed for people living with dementia. The goal is to create an experience that re-enlightens memories, as well as to form new ones.

In-Colour: Calm art activities directed by the interest of the group as a whole. Supporting mental health and mindfulness through social connection and art.

In the Ashburton Museum area, you will have the opportunity to discover the past and engage with educational experiences to uncover the cultural and social heritage of Mid Canterbury and Aotearoa.

For more information visit their website

They help people to Connect, Contribute & Belong through exchanges & social events.

A timebank allows members to earn a time credit for every hour helping others. This time credit can then be used to get help.

People earn and spend credits helping with all sorts of things, e.g. baking, gardening, decluttering, mending, proofreading, pet sitting etc.

Social events organised by the TimeBank are open to the wider community and include things like camps, potluck dinners, games nights, cafe catch ups and mid-winter Christmas parties. Follow the TimeBank Facebook page for details.

They run a programme of about 40 adult & community education events a year and the purpose is that through the programme and website, all residents in the district can easily find opportunities to 'Keep Learning'.

You can find cooking classes, parenting courses, craft workshops, other workshops, exhibitions and much more.  You can also set up notifications to be the first one to find out about events you are interested in.

For more information visit https://keeplearningmc.nz/

Ashburton District has numerous parks, reserves, playgrounds and walkways for everyone to enjoy.

You can visit the Ashburton Domain, Tinwald Domain, Argyle Park, the Ashburton Hakatere River Trail, Awa Awa Rata Reserve, lots of neighbourhood parks, Ashburton Business Estate and Harris Scientific Reserve.

To find out more information about these parks, you can click here

The Ashburton Trust Events centre is the district’s premier venue for live music, theatre & performance.

It’s a purpose built conference and entertainment centre with a 500-seat auditorium, a function room, and green room. Visit their website to find out the current live events being performed.

Experience Mid Canterbury is our tourism agency which showcases Ashburton District.

Mid Canterbury is one of the great secrets of New Zealand, with an inspiring range of both energetic and relaxing activities. With its stunning snow-capped mountains as its backdrop and bordered by impressive, braided rivers and crystal-clear lakes, the scenery is so magnificent it will take your breath away.

On the Experience Mid Canterbury website you can find places to stay, eat and activities like nearby walks, hot pools, bike tracks, ski fields and so much more.

Sports and recreation facility

EA Networks Centre is an indoor sport, stadium, aquatic and recreational facility. The centre has
four indoor pools, as well as a relaxing spa and steam room, four indoor courts, and two outdoor courts.  A broad range of aquatic and fitness facilities, including Les Mills and spinning group fitness classes, AshSwim Swim School, Aquacise classes, and a fully equipped fitness centre featuring the latest gym and fitness testing equipment.

They also have an 18-hole disc golf course on the Smallbone Drive Reserve.  The course is free, and discs are available for hire from the EA Networks Centre, or to buy. Maps of the course and rules are also available.