Living in Ashburton District


​​​​​Located 80 kilometres south of Christchurch, Ashburton District is in the central South Island (Te Waipounamu). The district is bounded by the Pacific Ocean in the east, Southern Alps in the west and the Rakaia and Rangitata Rivers to the north and south respectively.

The district covers around 6,175 square kilometres with a population of approximately 32,000. Our population is forecast to grow by some 6,500 residents over the next 25 years.

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 ten years.

If you are thinking of visiting us and would like to know more about things to see and do Experience Mid Canterbury is a great place to start your adventure.


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

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.

Community and Sports Facilities

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


Maps of NZ Councils' Smokefree Outdoor Policies and Spaces. 

These maps ​are designed to provide a snapshot of the newer smokefree outdoor areas councils are moving towards. There are three versions for easy use and they will be a valuable tool when working with councils.


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
Page reviewed: 26 Aug 2020 1:53pm