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Fairlie

Fairlie is the eastern gateway to Mackenzie Country (Mackenzie Basin) at the centre of New Zealand's South Island in the Canterbury District. Named after James Mackenzie, the 19th century sheep rustler, the region is an area of stunning contrasts with the lowland of rolling green hills and meadows gracefully transforming into glistening tussock-covered upland.

The pretty farming town of Fairlie is on the tourist highway between Christchurch and Queenstown and tourism is blossoming. Experience rural New Zealand through a farm visit, enjoy a stopover at one of the many farmstays, take a break and sample the tasty local fare in at one of the town's cafes or potter around the local art galleries and meet resident artists. On Easter Monday the Mackenzie Highland annual A&P (agricultural and pastoral) show is held in Fairlie.

The area's stimulating history can be explored through the Fairlie Heritage Museum , the Mabel Binney Cottage, the Bullock Wagon Trail and Burkes Pass. At the Raincliff Historic Reserve, Maori rock art can be viewed.

Fans of the outdoor life will find the four distinct seasons in Fairlie a joy. The walking and mountain bike tracks are popular and varied, with walks suitable for the whole family. Enjoy a leisurely ride or take part in one of the mountain bike races or even participate in the Run79 race around Lake Tekapo.

Purchase a fishing licence and revive in the peace and tranquillity of the Opihi River and Lake Opuhu. Trout fishing is an all year round pursuit in Fairlie as fishing is permitted in the hydro lakes outside the open fishing dates. In November the Lions Club run their annual fishing competition at Lake Opuha.

In summer there is nothing more delightful than packing up a picnic and heading down to the lake or river for a cooling down paddle and a glorious stress-free day by the water. If you feel like exploring, how about a three hour trek round Lake Opuha with the trained llamas carrying your morning or afternoon tea? The warm waters of the lake are ideal for wakeboarding and waterskiing.

In winter, the commercial skifield at Mt Dobson is an exciting destination for skiing and snowboarding. From beginners to the more experienced skier, Mt Dobson has a large learner area, intermediate and advanced runs and great backcountry ski touring. On the shores of Lake Tekapo, Roundhill Skifield is perfect for young skiers.

For information regarding the accommodations on offer please enquire directly with the listed provider.

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