This little rural town is a beating heart, functioning as a major service centre for the surrounding farming district. But if you’re not into agriculture and prefer to explore this loveable location in other ways, we’ve got you covered. We have pulled together some of the main reasons you should make the drive to awesome Ashburton.
(Sky) Dive right in: What better way is there to see the town than a complete aerial view. Take in the amazing sights of the Southern Alps, South Pacific Ocean and Canterbury Plains. The enthusiastic team at Skydiving Kiwis will look after you in an unforgettable Ashburton experience. And like they say who said Kiwis can’t fly?
Night at the museum: If you love museums, you’ll love Ashburton because you have the option to visit six of them. Choose from the Ashburton Museum, Vintage Car Museum, Lynn Museum, Aviation Museum, The Plains Railway and Museum and finally the Art Gallery. We’re thinking that we may have to explore these little history hotspots further in an upcoming article – stay tuned.
Plains by plane: You don’t have to throw yourself out of the plane to take in the scenic views of the South Island. In fact, with Air Rangitata you (and four of your friends if you wish) can sit comfortably in their Cessna 206 aircraft and take in all the eye can see. Choose a set route or take advantage of their charter service.
We catch up with what’s happening in our favourite little southern spot
Marty Down Under – NZ Harvest Farmers Bash (South Island)
Date: 7 March
Location: 160 Main Street, Methven, Ashburton District (Mount Hutt Memorial Hall)
Marty Mone has many titles; singer-songwriter, performer, agricultural contractor and trucker. Uniquely in a category of his own, this singer from Castleblaney is heading to little ol Ashburton as a part of his Marty Down Under tour.
Evening with Lance Burdett
Date: 9 March
Location: Hotel Ashburton
If you’re a TED talk fanatic and wished there were more events like it in New Zealand, then we have a solution for you. Lance Burdett is a leader in his field and a safety, wellness and resilience expert. He’s worked with the police, the military, emergency services, prisons and even the FBI. Get a better understanding on how the human brain deals with pressure and handles situations. Leave feeling enriched with knowledge.
International Comedy Magician: Brendan Dooley
Date: 13 March
Location: Ashburton Trust Event Centre
Who doesn’t love to laugh? Combine that with a bit of magic and you’ve got a family-friendly event that has become an audience favourite worldwide. With ‘NZ’s Top Comedy Magician Award’ in his back pocket, it’s hard to deny this is an act that you must see.
When it comes to things to do, Ashburton is an all-rounder, with something for everyone. We’ve pulled together some of our favourite upcoming events.
HOLI FESTIVAL OF COLOURS
Date: Saturday 15 February
Location: Ashburton Domain
If you want to go to an event that is both family-friendly and guilt-free (zero waste, alcohol free and smoke free) – this is the one for you.
Celebrate the diverse culture that is ever-growing in Ashburton.
Henna tattoos, local musicians and bands, market stalls, spot prizes and the unique experience of partaking in a Holi Festival… what’s not to be excited about?
TUTUS ON TOUR 2020
Date: Saturday 14 March
Location: Ashburton Trust Event Centre
The Royal New Zealand Ballet presents Tutus on Tour 2020 – an event that is suitable for all ages.
The performance features tailor-made dancing created by local talent as well as world-class superstars.
With affordable tickets and only hour-long performances, this event is perfect to pass some Saturday spare time.
TINA – SIMPLY THE BEST
Date: Sunday 22 March
Location: Ashburton Trust Event Centre
How could you turn down a Tina Turner tribute – she’s simply the best!
The stage production will feature live vocals from Caroline Borole accompanied by a band, brass section, backing vocalists and dancers.
Don’t miss out on a night of Tina classic hits from the 60s, 70s, 80s & 90s.
There are some exciting events and escapades coming to Ashburton in coming weeks, things that will tempt, tantalise and treat attendees. Looking for things to do and places to go? We’ve got a bunch.
KPMG and the YMCA are joining fabulous forces for a fun-filled day of golf at the Tinwald Golf Course to raise funds for YMCA’s youth development and education programmes in Mid Canterbury. Enjoy free sausages and refreshments as you play your way through the beautiful Tinwald course, and a Build-Your-Own Gourmet Burger meal in the clubhouse before prize-giving. There will be great prizes, raffles and an auction – all for a great cause!
Looking for some garden inspo? Then get ready for the Homegrown Garden Tour and Fête. Check out four stunning established gardens in the Mayfield and Mount Somers Districts, inland from Ashburton, with a fete that has a beautiful array of goodies on offer. Tickets available from RuralCo, Joosh, Terra Viva and Lushingtons for $25 or $30 on the day ($10 for fete only).
Getting rid of waste
Prepare to be inspired, become motivated, and take control of your household’s impact on our future, with this Waste Free Living Workshop by Kate Meads. Discover exciting and inspirational ways to minimise waste at home, suitable for all households, flats, ages, and stages. Need convincing? You get a free pack with each ticket, bursting with waste minimisation products!
Take your tastebuds on a trip to Asia with Formosa, Ashburton’s favourite Asian-fusion restaurant offering delicious dishes, an events venue, catering services – and soon, a new fine-dining afternoon tea menu.
The experience starts from the moment you walk in the door; a vibrant red brick wall emblazoned with flowers and ‘FORMOSA’ is sure to catch your eye, along with the cluster of red parasols floating above. With beautiful, polished décor in a spacious setting, Formosa is the perfect place for an intimate dinner date, a birthday celebration, or a company event in the VIP room. The hospitable team can cater to functions and events of up to 120 people, providing a customised menu that works with your budget and any dietary requirements.
Beautifully presented, authentically Asian dishes – mainly of the Taiwanese variety – and delightful wines and cocktails come together for a dinner or event like no other. With a fabulous variety of dishes available for dine in or takeaway, including vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options, all diners will find something to suit their taste. Manager Amber Huang’s personal recommendation is Braised Pork Belly hot out of the wok and she says the Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup is a popular choice with the locals.
A new fine dessert menu has recently been launched – and keep an eye out for their upcoming afternoon tea menu; share a special dessert and coffee with a loved one or grab a group of friends for some Asian-fusion sweet treats.
Summer is fast approaching and colour is filling the shelves at Style Footwear in Ashburton.
Melissa and Trudy are thrilled with the range this year and know you will find a favourite amongst the selection of wedges, heels, slides, sandals and athleisure styles. A new range of fashion jewellery and top-of-the-line leather handbags are also freshly stocked.
Top brands such as Ziera, Cabello and Saimon once again grace the shelves and offer not only comfort but also leading styles for all ages – even high school regulation orthotic-capable footwear is available. The team at Style Footwear pride themselves on their custom-fitting service and experience finding the correct footwear for your needs.
Located in the heart of Ashburton, the team are just as passionate as they were when they first opened the doors almost seven years ago. Providing a friendly, relaxed atmosphere, Melissa and Trudy love interacting with regular customers and welcoming new ones into the store. “We really value our customers and we look forward to seeing you all soon.”
Style Footwear is Ashburton’s only specialist footwear store that provides Ruralco and Rural women discounts. To keep up-to-date with all the excitement, updates are regularly posted on Facebook and Instagram. Visit the store at 177 Burnett Street, Ashburton, Monday-Friday 9am-5pm and 10am-1pm Saturday, or shop online at www.stylefootwear.co.nz. Layby and WINZ quotes are available.
More than 40 years ago, an enthusiastic member of the Ashburton business community – Russell Anstiss – started the now-iconic Ashburton Boulevard Day as a way of promoting the rural town and its CBD.
Today, the event hosts over 120 fantastic stalls with an amazing range of shopping delights, say local business owners with a wild enthusiasm for the town, Sue Cooper and Bob McDonald, who run the event.
From plants, crafts, food and entertainment to clothing, jewellery and skincare, a wide range of local businesses from both the CBD and smaller boutiques attend the event; as well as charity and service groups who are passionate about giving back to the community.
The event is so popular that many stallholders attend from throughout the country. Rain, hail, wind and snow have never stopped it from happening, with between 10-15,000 visitors every year.
Ashburton Boulevard Day is on 23 September, East Street from Havelock to Moore Streets, from 9am-3:30pm.
If you are looking for a great day out to banish those winter blues then Lushingtons Garden, Gifts and Café at Tinwald, Ashburton is your ideal destination.
Only an hour from Christchurch, it’s the perfect place to catch up with friends for coffee and something scrumptious, browse exquisite giftware, or wander through the large, award-winning garden courtyard at your leisure.
As thoughts turn to springtime and we long for the return of colour to dormant, wintry plots, new season arrivals of rhododendrons, hellebores, fruit trees and roses, such as stunning floribundas My Mum, My Dad and My Grandma, from Bob Matthew’s ‘My Rose Collection’, will delight the eye, while daphne promises to perfume your garden with the sweetest fragrance.
Co-owned by Mayfield born and bred sisters Miranda Sinton and Sophie Duff, Lushingtons has been their labour of love for just under a decade. Miranda’s passion is for the garden centre, while Sophie’s is for the café; the giftware store is overseen by them both and showcases discerningly curated merchandise of a distinctive French and English Country style.
Proud of their local and sustainable ethos, many of their plants are grown in nearby Allenton, assuring the highest standard of quality control. This same business philosophy is experienced in the café, where patrons are served homemade, wholesome food – from delectable baking through to a full breakfast, lunch and side menus. Gluten free and vegetarian options are also catered for.
Lushingtons Garden, Gifts & Café, visit www.lushingtons.co.nz.
Good things have always been said to come in small packages and when it comes to certain things in life, it’s all about quality over quantity.
CharRees meets both these briefs in a small family owned boutique vineyard just off State Highway One on southern edge of Ashburton, just south of Tinwald. It’s the place to be on Saturday 23 November when this year’s Twilight in the Vines hits the social calendar. We’re sure you don’t need an excuse to sit amongst the vines with your favourite wine-drinking friends and savour the flavour that Ashburton’s only vineyard has to offer, but if you do, then this is it.
There will also be live music and you can indulge in an alfresco dining experience from local caterers. Turning their talented hands to top quality Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir and Reisling wines, CharRees Vineyard also offers a world-famous (in Ashburton) Sparkling Pearl wine, which is a delicate combination of Reisling and Pinot Gris in a Sparkling form – a must try!
While Mid Canterbury might be a little off the winery radar, its regional climate helps the grapes mature slowly at a steady pace, creating an ideal ripening environment. With this in mind, the grapes from CharRees Vineyard are selectively hand harvested for optimum flavour from this terroir. But the best way is to experience it for yourself.
Find CharRees Vineyard at 22 Laings Road, Ashburton, phone 0800 2427 7337 or visit www.charrees.nz.
From slippers to snow boots, the shelves are groaning with gorgeous footwear at Style Footwear Ashburton. The team – Melissa, Brian and Trudy – are thrilled with the winter range and hope customers will be too.
Strong again this season is ankle boots – there are a few long boots in the range with some exclusive lines amongst them. Mid-height block heels are very popular and super comfortable to wear all day. The ‘athleisure’ look is still in style, with dress sneakers and basketball style boots featuring strongly.
Black is and always will be the strong colour in winter, but there are few stand outs available – metallic blues, cherry red patent, khaki and a great range of navy blue. Stocking top brands such as Ziera, Sugar ‘n’ Spice, Bear Paw, Toilno, Saimon, Cabello, Klouds and more, there is something for everyone, including a range of handbags, scarves and jewellery.
Shoe care is also important and Style Footwear stocks Footcom and Scholl products, to provide the best options possible. Melissa does the majority of the buying and always has her customers in mind. Attending buying meetings twice a year and being in regular contact with her suppliers means the latest releases are never far away. Sizes 35-45 are stocked in most ranges and the team will endeavour to source the perfect shoe for you. Custom fitting is done in-store for free, as no two feet are the same.
Follow Style Footwear on Facebook and Instagram. Visit www.stylefootwear.co.nz which offers laybuy as a payment option and free shipping.