Christchurch, the largest city of the South Island, is situated a third of the way down the east coast. In winter, it is common for the temperature to fall below freezing at night, and snow falls on average once or twice a year. To the west lies the Canterbury Plains, a renowned agricultural area. In recent years, the region’s produce has diversified, with a thriving wine industry springing up at Waipara and the beginnings of new enterprises such as olive production and deer farming. The high-quality local wine has increased the appeal of Christchurch to visitors, as has the closeness of ski slopes in the Southern Alps. In 2011, the city was badly damaged by an earthquake, but regeneration is well underway.
For those who would like to spend part of a New Zealand trip sequestered in a private world, Annandale provides the perfect venue. Located 80 minutes southeast of Christchurch, the property comprises four distinctive “villas,” set on a 4,000-acre sheep and cattle farm that has an extensive stretch of Pacific coastline.