Travel Information (approximate times)
Aoraki Mt Cook: 1h 50m
Twizel: 1h 10m
Queenstown: 3h 40m
Discover South Canterbury
Fairlie is the eastern gateway to the Mackenzie District with a population of around 800 people, located just 45 minutes drive inland from Timaru at the junction of SH 8 and SH79 Inland Scenic Route (between Christchurch, Aoraki/Mt Cook and Queenstown).
The area is anchored in strong farming and agricultural roots. Today tourism and hospitality contribute to this diverse community. Lake Opuha is minutes from the town centre for boating and fishing, along with many walk and bike tracks. Mt Dobson, Fox Peak and Roundhill ski fields are all within easy driving distance.
A statue of James Mackenzie (19th century sheep rustler, after whom the District is named) stands proudly in Fairlie’s main street amongst contemporary art galleries & design stores, boutique retail and produce shops lining the main street and Bobby’s Square. Home to the Mackenzie Agricultural & Pastoral Show held each Easter Monday since 1899, attracting around 8,000 visitors to this small rural town.
Fairlie is alive with boutique retail, home & design stores and eateries, attracting visitors from near and far. Explore the Heritage museum and Joseph Binney the blacksmith’s cottage. Cafes and local produce including the mouth-wateringly pies and delicacies at The Fairlie Bakehouse, and retail therapy around Bobby Square.
A 700 hectare man-made lake all day family fun, picnic areas, fishing, swimming, bike and walk trails within 10 minutes of Fairlie township.
Ski & Snow
Get to the snow – play, ski or snowboard at nearby Mt Dobson and Fox Peak ski areas, a short drive from Fairlie. Uncrowded, natural dry powder snow, trails for all abilities.
Mackenzie Highland Show
Established in 1899, one of the oldest and largest agricultural & pastural shows in New Zealand, held every Easter Monday at Mackenzie A&P showgrounds, Fairlie. Family fun day out.
Fairlie Heritage Museum & Café
Open 7 days, this fascinating museum has three memorabilia elements – rural heritage, motor heritage, and the Mackenzie District archive. It’s fourth element is a GREAT french influenced café!
Mackenzie District Council
Local government of Mackenzie District. Main office in Fairlie, service office in Twizel. Open Mon-Fri 8.30am-5pm ph: +64 3 685-8533
Local government, manufacturing, engineering, farming and rural support businesses stand alongside the many tourism, hospitality and retail businesses that make up Fairlie and the surrounding area.
So much to see and do here. Find out What’s On or add your own South Canterbury event.