1. Hit up Cafe Primo for breakfast
You don’t have to look far in Canterbury to find one of New Zealand’s best and quirkiest cafes. Smack in the middle of downtown Methven is Cafe Primo e Secundo, an unconventional wonder filled with neat secondhand curiosities and a great menu. Head here early for a delicious brunch amongst all the quaint goods and enjoy the delicious coffee. It’s also a great place to while away a rainy afternoon, and it’s one of those spots that you’ll find yourself coming back to over and over.
2. The view on the drive up to Mt. Hutt
While most of the ski field roads in New Zealand promise stunning views, one of my favorites is the drive up to Mt. Hutt, the main hill in Mid-Canterbury. A longer drive than some, it’s definitely not for the faint of heart with steep cliffs and can have a lot of ice and snow, the views up the hill are just stunning. Even if you don’t ski, it’s worth heading up just for the views.
3. Weekend bach at Lake Clearwater
Lake Clearwater is one of those classic kiwi holiday spots I almost don’t even want to tell you about. A beautiful little settlement on a lake with great winds, it’s quite well known amongst windsurfers but is still a big secret to everyone else unless you grew up nearby. With plenty of lake options, a handful of baches, walking tracks and activities in a quiet local spot, it’s the perfect holiday escape in mid-Canterbury.
New Zealand sometimes gets creative with naming things, other times, not so much. Both pubs are iconic in Methven, and surprise surprise, one is blue while the other is brown. Both are comfortable and cozy with true kiwi hospitality. Historic sites in and of themselves, and only an hour from Christchurch, if you find yourself in Methven, more likely than not you’ll end up at one or the other, or probably both.
5. Climb Mt. Somers
If you’re after a challenging but rewarding hike, put your boots on and head up Mt. Somers in summer. With amazing 360 degree views of the surrounding landscape, it’s a great place to take in all the beauty of mid-Canterbury. There are plenty of other walks and tramps and huts in the area you can also explore while in the Canterbury high country.