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Lake Hood

Unique aquatic playground: Lake Hood

A stunning man-made lake, recreational facility and residential community the size of North Hagley Park is the largest man made recreational lake in New Zealand. Imagine your own waterfront property with a private jetty at the bottom of your garden.


Lake Hood


Lake Hood is in excess of 90 hectares in area and continuously expanding. The recreational and residential development provides an incredible range of amenities established around the unique aquatic playground – combining affordable lakeside living with unbeatable lifestyle. There are currently 180 homes owned by a genuine cross section of the community, from young families to retirees and thanks to the current extensions there are new premium waterfront sections for sale. The latest extensions will double the size of the lake to rival the entire size of Hagley Park, introducing a further 350 living options and increasing the residential waterfront to more than 7km.

Residents of the stunning homes with lakeside living panorama and manicured canals enjoy the majestic snow-capped Southern Alps, creating a breath-taking backdrop to the lake waters fed by natural spring water bubbling up from the earth and waters flowing from the surrounding alpine environment Lake Hood is situated 6km south east of Ashburton and free for all to enjoy. The lake comprises an eight lane international rowing course, a separate water skiing area, as well as a separate jet skiing area, plus sailing and kayaking, which can be enjoyed on or around the lake simultaneously.

There are now over 200,000 recreational visitors per year. With 155,000 visitors for the six months ended 31 March, 2018, current projections for 2019 exceed 300,000. There are more than 1,800 motorised boats from throughout Canterbury registered to use the lake and boat owners enjoy a number of annual classic boat events and regular multisport events. However, you don’t need to own a boat to enjoy this wonderful playground. There is a huge amount of regular family use of both the park and the lake. Picnic tables are dotted around the park and swimmers enjoy the safe environment for a splash or canoe ride.

Rowing teams of International Excellence use the amazing facility and a world class coach is available. The lake also boasts outstanding international water-skiing achievements plus a wide range of sailing accolades. Ashburton College has an exceptional rowing team and, with the international standard rowing course right on their back door step, students enjoy the great conditions without too much travel.

There is a lakeside restaurant providing an elegant dining facility which is the perfect stop for a quiet wine or coffee, or a meal on our large deck sitting over the lake or inside our cosy warm dining room on cooler days. In the summer you can pull up to our boardwalk and get some refreshments like some takeaway fish n chips or an ice cream, or just drop in for coffee. It has also become a popular destination for functions and weddings. A cycle ride from Lake Hood to Ashburton provides pleasant off-road experience.

Ashburton Events

All things entertaining: All things entertaining in Ashburton.

In rural mid-Canterbury’s largest town – with the biggest heart – it’s not only the spring lambs that are in a playful mood. The social calendar for all things entertaining is hotting up in Ashburton.


Ashburton Events

Celtic Illusion – Saturday 15 September

A fantastical fusion of mesmerising Irish dance, conjures with magic, illusion and music. This dance spectacular has astounded Australasian audiences since 2011.
World-class dancers, including those from Riverdance and Lord of the Dance, synchronise furiously fast, feet-thumping rhythms to a sensational soundtrack. The show is led by Australian Anthony Street, who performed leading roles in Lord of the Dance, including the role Michael Flatley himself originally performed. Curtains open at 8:30pm at the Ashburton Trust Event Centre. For tickets, phone 0800 224244


What a Beginning! – Women’s Suffrage Church Service – Sunday 16 September

A church service at 2-3:30pm commemorates the 125th anniversary of women’s suffrage, at Plain’s Railway Church in Tinwald. A Kate Sheppard Camelia will be planted afterwards and the Plains Village vintage trains will be running.


Antique and Collectables Fair – Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 September

Presented by The Antique Fair Charitable Trust, beguiling antique treasures and vintage finds – from furniture to jewellery – are on sale at the Tinwald War Memorial Hall. Door sales are $4 per person.


Adam McGrath’s Roaring Days – Saturday 22 September

Outstanding folk singer Adam McGrath from legendary country band, The Eastern, will perform solo on his rock ‘n’ roll revival tour. A national icon, his intensity, humour and rugged passion will grip the hearts of the audience.

This is a no-charge, but instead an ‘open-hat’ donation, event at the Ashburton Trust Event Centre, starting 7:30pm. Visit Arts on Tour NZ Trust website for details.


Boulevard Day – Monday 24 September

For the 40th year, Boulevard Day offers over 100 stall holders, manned by businesses both local and nationwide. Entertainment and music will add ambience to East Street on South Canterbury’s anniversary day – 9am to 3:30pm.


The Extravaganza Fair – Saturday 29 September and Sunday 30 September

From 9am to 5pm, this fantastic family fair at Ashburton Domain will have amazing market stalls, arts, crafts, food, massage, a hipster barber shop and oodles more, including retro family fun such as sack races and tug o’ war. On the solar-powered stage will be the Aston Family circus, Dylan Daisy’s Magic Show and talented live musicians like the comedic Karl Austin. This sustainability focused, free-entry event also showcases the unique NZ Tiny Homes. Visit Facebook for details.

The Cat in the Hat – Wednesday 10 October

Not for just the young – that crazy endearing cat, with the very tall stripy hat, will entertain in madcap mischievousness in a zany play adapted from Dr Suess’s most beloved book, for the stage, by the National Theatre of Britain. Two matinee shows kick off 10am then 12:30pm at the Ashburton Trust Event Centre. Phone
0802 24224 for tickets.



Events & escapades

Events & escapades

There’s some exciting events and escapades coming to Ashburton in coming months, things that will tempt, tantalise and tickle some funny bones. Looking for things to do and places to go? We’ve got a bunch.

Events & escapades

Ashton Family Circus & Dylan Daisy’s Magic Show

29 September to 30 September
Ashburton Domain
A wannabe strong man, a pole-dancer extraordinaire, princess aerialists and 5-year old twin tigers, complemented by a combination of illusion, dance and humour with an unexpected twist.


Dr Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat

10 October 10:30am and 1pm
Ashburton Trust Event Centre
Two bored kids. One rainy day. And one crazy cat wearing a red-striped hat. Along with Thing One and Thing Two, the cat will fill the theatre with mischievous humour and madcap style.


Seven Deadly Stunts

1 November 7:30pm
Ashburton Trust Event Centre

Seven Deadly Stunts is a nail-biting experience, inspired by the life and times of Harry Houdini. Escapology, chainsaw juggling, walking on broken glass and other famous feats are performed.


Psychic Surgery With Jeanette Wilson

3 November 7:30pm to 10pm
Hotel Ashburton, 11/35 Racecourse Rd, Winchmore
Jeanette works with a team of spirit world doctors and surgeons to remove pain and restriction often within just minutes in this mind-opening evening.

Body ‘n’ Beauty Worx

All your beauty needs: Body ‘n’ Beauty Worx

Set in a serene, welcoming atmosphere, the exceptional team at day spa and skincare clinic Body ‘n’ Beauty Worx can fulfil all your beauty needs.

Body ‘n’ Beauty Worx


Based in Ashburton, owner Di Thomas started the business 18 years ago, recently moving into a villa on Tancred Street to merge with her other beauty business, Mirror Image – providing her clients with a full day spa experience. Featuring four treatment rooms, a relaxation lounge, a make-up room and homely furnishings, the result is a private, tranquil escape from the usual hustle and bustle.

“The feeling you get when you walk in is of pure relaxation and revitalisation,” Di says. “We aim to provide the best service possible. It’s all about the client – we want them to feel special, pampered and cared for.”
The friendly, qualified and experienced team of beauty therapists consists of Laura, who has worked alongside Di for 10 years, Emma E, Anna and Emma A. Together, they provide an impressive range of services – from waxing, facials, massages and manicures, to makeup, acrylic nails, IPL hair removal and skin rejuvenation, as well as needling, lash lifts and lash extensions.

“We use Dermalogica skincare and specialise in problematic skin. Once a month, Pea Blackwood is in our clinic to provide non-surgical appearance medicine procedures, such as fillers and Botox. We also have a couples’ room for massages or facials and full wedding packages can be provided, including a hair stylist.”

Located on 278 Tancred Street, phone 03-308 2266 or visit for more information and to shop online.



Ashburton Activities: Ashburton, the jewel in the Cantabrian crown

If you’re looking for somewhere to go, with a rural heart yet all the fun of the big city, Ashburton is the jewel in the Cantabrian crown. Just an hour south of the city, it is a small town with a big heart.


If you’re a bit of a history buff, the Plains Vintage Railway & Historical Museum is home to a range of exhibits, including vintage steam locomotives, tractors, implements, stationary engines along with a quaint museum village to take a glimpse of Mid Canterbury’s pioneering past.
If adventure is more up your recreational alley, Skydiving Kiwis can provide you with some of the most mind blowing, heart pumping and adrenalin inducing adventure you will never forget!
If you prefer your adventure with a bit more comfort, Air Rangitata offers scenic flights and charters from this Mid Canterbury base. Its high wing Cessna 206 aircraft has seating for five passengers and provides fantastic views.
Meanwhile, why not hire a motorcycle from CircleNZ and head out on some of the best motorcycle roads the South Island has to offer.
There are plenty of beautiful shops and cafés to catch your eye, or grab a picnic and head to the Ashburton Domain, which features various sports fields, gardens and walks, with a beautiful river running through it.

Samantha Rose Flowers

Blooming beautiful: budding Ashburton florist Samantha Rose Flowers celebrates her first year with a hundred roses

Samantha Rose Flowers celebrated its first successful year as Ashburton’s budding new business.

Samantha Rose Flowers

On 28 May, Samantha Rose Trott gave out 100 roses around town for the occasion. The now 30-year-old excelled in both her floristry course at Christchurch Academy and her decade’s experience here and in Australia. However, the creative entrepreneur’s destiny was to return home to fill the mid-Canterbury gap in the market for beautiful blooms.

Her design flair incorporates her sense of colour and theme and looks unique against the shop’s modern-industrial style – designed by her architect partner. With help from Sophie and Toni, she arranges the freshest flowers for all sorts of occasions, including birthdays, anniversaries and sympathy, and can also set up on site. From Rakaia to Rangitata, with a twice-daily delivery to Christchurch on weekdays, same day delivery requests are welcomed.
Samantha offers a private room for discretely planning wedding flowers. Meghan and Harry’s wedding bouquets included delicate forget-me-nots, lily of the valley, sweet pea and jasmine, whereas Samantha was busy last season with popular blush-toned blooms.
Winter offers long-lasting Cymbidium orchids in lime-yellows, pinks and whites – with spring flowers blossoming very soon. She encourages men to give flowers as a romantic gesture. “It would be so nice to see it happen more! It doesn’t have to be extravagant – even a bunch of lilies.”
Samantha Rose Flowers also sells the luxury-scented Living Light candles and atomisers, handmade in Golden Bay, along with baby giftware, plants and cards.
Open at 179 Burnett Street Ashburton Monday to Friday 9am-5pm and Saturdays 10am-1pm. Phone 03-307 4020 or visit, Facebook and Instagram.

Style Footwear

Ashburton’s heart & ‘sole’: Style Footwear

Established in 2013, Style Footwear is a destination not only for Ashburton locals but also for a growing number of North Canterbury and Christchurch shoe lovers in the heart of Ashburton’s CBD at 177 Burnett Street.

Style Footwear

With top labels such as Ziera, Cabello, Sugar ‘n’ Spice, Joyca, Saimon, CC Resorts, U’Neek, Taos, Bearpaw and more, there is something to tempt almost everyone instore.
Owners Melissa and Brian Shimmin are Ashburton locals and, with more than 20 years of retail experience, Melissa prides the store on its relaxed atmosphere, personalised fitting service and amazing customer service from the highly trained staff members. “I like my customers to feel like they’ve popped in for a visit and a chat,” Melissa says.
“It’s not about selling the first pair of shoes to them. It’s about building friendships/relationships, then we will sort their footwear. I would rather someone left with nothing than sell them incorrect footwear.”
The team will endeavour to find you the correct footwear for your lifestyle, with work, casual and travel footwear all covered in the extensive range, with most of the range wide fitting and orthotic friendly.
An extensive range of shoe care products are available with tips and tricks about caring for your footwear and added to the shop recently is a range of handbags, wallets and scarves.
Ashburton’s only dedicated shoe store supplying Ruralco customers, Style Footwear offers layby payments and free shipping on orders of more than $100.
Keep up to date with all the new arrivals, competitions and trends by following Style Footwear on Facebook or visit

Mamma Mia

Mamma Mia’s Ashburton debut: get carried away to the music of ABBA at The Ashburton Events Centre

More than 54 million people around the world have fallen in love with the characters, the story and the music that make Mamma Mia! And, in May 2018, it will be performed for a limited season at the Ashburton Trust Event Centre, with a stellar cast, live band, amazing custom-made touring set and costumes.

Mamma Mia

The Ashburton Trust Event Centre was born out of the necessity to replace the aged Regent Theatre that had occupied the site for many years and was in very bad repair. “It would not have survived the Christchurch earthquakes had it still been standing,” Ashburton Events Centre Manager Roger Farr says.
“The brickwork was crumbling, the dressing rooms leaked like a sieve and there were broken trusses in the roof.”
Now ten years on, the Ashburton Trust Event Centre is gearing up to celebrate its first milestone by staging the box office extravaganza Mamma Mia. Leading the production team will be Director Roger Farr, Musical Director Richard Marrett and Choreographer Madison Tew Keyworth from Australia.
“I couldn’t think of a better show to pick for a celebration than Mamma Mia,” Madison says.
“It’s such a fun show; one of those shows that you just cannot help but smile when watching! It’s a clever storyline woven throughout Abba’s greatest hits.”
Mamma Mia runs from Friday 18 May to Saturday 26 May. For more information and to purchase tickets, drop in and see the team at the Event Centre, or visit online at