Discover South Canterbury
The Mackenzie District of South Canterbury is a vast 7,339 sq kms of diverse rugged landscape and one of New Zealand’s most visited tourism destinations, in contrast to its small population base of around 5,000 people. Extreme forces of nature have created a natural boundary of the Southern Alps with New Zealand’s highest mountain Aoraki/Mount Cook (3,754m), glacier fed lakes, clear clean rivers across a landscape of rich natural flora and habitat, this is indeed a land of contrast and great beauty.
Agriculture and farming still dominates, in the footsteps of generations of families who live and work the high-country sheep stations since the 1850’s, an integral part of the district’s history and ongoing success, many of whom welcome visitors to experience a glimpse of this unique kiwi lifestyle.
Renowned for the clarity of its sky and freedom from light pollution, the Mackenzie area became a gold-level International Dark Sky Reserve (IDSR) in 2012. Stargazing and stories of Maori legend of the Ngai Tahu and Takata Whenua (people of the land) heritage can be enjoyed by all.
Doing Business in Mackenzie District
The Mackenzie District enjoys strong economic growth built on high quality agriculture production and tourism, supported by innovative businesses across all sectors.
It’s not surprising new residents and business investment is strong. There is opportunity for prosperity here. If you’re considering starting, growing or diversifying a business, contact The South Canterbury Chamber of Commerce who feels privileged to hold the ‘Business and Economic Services’ agreement with Mackenzie District Council, the local government authority with its main office in Fairlie and support centre in Twizel. Find out more about Doing Business.
Mackenzie District Towns
Under clear pollution free skies, the towns of the Mackenzie District are welcoming and will astound you with choices of local produce café and dining experiences, adventure and leisure activities, and accommodation for every level of comfort.
Discover Mackenzie District
Immerse yourself in this alpine wonderland. Truly a district of four seasons with clear, crisp snowy winters and long hot summers, while autumn is a festival of colour and spring amazes when a sea of wild flowers and lupins cover the landscape. Be adventurous in your own way amongst this natural beauty.
Aoraki Mt Cook National Park
Aoraki Mount Cook National Park is a rugged land of ice and rock, with 19 peaks over 3,000 metres including New Zealand’s highest mountain, Aoraki Mount Cook. Nature and conservation are paramount. Enjoy your time here – things to know before you go.
Church of the Good Shepherd
On the shores of Lake Tekapo, amongst natural beauty of the lake and mountain backdrop, The Church of the Good Shepherd is one of New Zealand’s most visited landmarks.
Eight of the twelve largest glaciers in New Zealand lie within Aoraki Mount Cook National Park. Tasman Glacier is the longest, a 27 km long terminal ice structure with a depth of over 600m.
Bike & Walk
Tracks for novice to experienced cyclists and walkers throughout the Mackenzie District including renowned Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail and many others with varying degrees of difficulty and distance.
South Canterbury Chamber of Commerce
Established in 1905, the South Canterbury Chamber of Commerce is the recognised and respected business organisation assisting South Canterbury businesses achieve success.
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