In late June I was in Ashburton for a couple of nights – by putting my business card in a draw at a travel expo, I won 2 nights at the Bella Vista motel and a flight on Lady Jane – the historic DC3. While I went flying with their patron Richie McCaw almost immediately, travel and a shift to New Zealand’s capital city, Wellington, meant I didn’t have a free weekend to get to Ashburton.
Nevertheless, the wait was worth it and my hosts, the hospitable Evan and Heather Glass, made my trip and stay enjoyable. (And, thanks for sending my PJs back to me!)
Travelling in my usual NZ Rent A Car I drove from Christchurch to Ashburton and back to Christchurch via highway 77 during a crisp winter weekend.
As well as talking with the editor of Latitude Magazine about future contributions, (topics embargoed!) two things I saw in the area sort of link together in age!
Both are about ten years old but while one is housed in a hundred year old cottage, the other is newish and is surrounded by new homes with more being planned!
See some of my photos from the area:
Annie’s Country Quilt Store is on State Highway One at 167 Archibald Street just south of the Ashburton River Bridge. For those who love stitch-craft this little cottage is the place for you: it’s full of quilting, patterns and kits, patchwork fabrics and gifts. So even if you don’t have needle skills (like me) you can buy something for friends and family who are talented in this practice.
Turning off Archibald St into Graham Street and heading east, a few kilometres drive will take you to Lake Hood, an artificial lake that was formed 10 years ago as a water sports destination and housing estate (Huntingdon Park). So if you are into rowing, wind surfing, sailing or jet skiing this is for you: I think you need all your own gear so check their webpage for more info.
Of course if you want some exercise a 7 km cycle and walkway (Braided River)leads to the lake from Ashburton (on the south side of the Ashburton river) while the north bank has a the Hakatere Trail – a 19 km-cycle-way to the Pacific Ocean.
Ashburton also has a mountain bike trail too. See the local visitor I-site for more.