Springfield Travel Guide

Discover the beauty of Springfield in South Island, New Zealand with our comprehensive travel guide. Find out the top attractions, things to do, where to stay, and how to get around in this hidden gem.

Introduction to Springfield

Located in Greater Christchurch, Canterbury, in South Island, New Zealand, Springfield is a small town that offers a perfect mix of beautiful natural landscapes and adventurous outdoor activities. This hidden gem of South Island is surrounded by scenic mountains, rivers, forests, and hiking trails. Whether you are a nature lover, adventure-seeker, or history enthusiast, there is something for everyone in Springfield.

In this comprehensive travel guide, we will take you on a tour of Springfield, from the must-see attractions to the hidden gems, hiking and biking routes, local food and drink scene, where to stay, and how to get around.

List of Places to Visit in Springfield

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  • The Heritage Walkway: Take a stroll down the Heritage Walkway to discover Springfield’s rich history. The walkway features several historic buildings, including the Springfield Railway station, the Courthouse, and the Post Office.
  • The Springfield Museum: Located inside the courthouse building, the Springfield Museum showcases the town’s history, including stories of the early settlers and the surrounding agricultural industry.

Natural Attractions of Springfield: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  • Castle Hill Rocks: Explore the stunning rock formations at Castle Hill Rocks, a popular climbing destination that has also served as a filming location for movies like “The Chronicles of Narnia.”
  • Hog’s Back Mountain Bike Track: If you’re looking for a thrilling bike ride, head to Hog’s Back Mountain Bike Track, a 9-kilometer downhill track with breathtaking views of the Southern Alps.
  • Craigieburn Forest Park: Explore the beauty of Craigieburn Forest Park, where you can hike through the beech forests, go bird watching, or mountain bike along the trails.
  • Springfield Domain: Located in the heart of town, Springfield Domain is a perfect spot for a picnic, a game of frisbee, or a walk along the riverbank.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Springfield

  • Te Ara Kākāriki Trail: This 5 km trail through Springfield’s beautiful natural landscapes is perfect for hiking and biking. The trail offers magnificent views of the mountains and the Waimakariri River.
  • Craigieburn Trails: With over 60 km of hiking and mountain biking trails, Craigieburn Trails offer a variety of options for all levels, from easy walks to more challenging climbs.
  • Cass-Lagoon Saddle Track: This 8-hour hike takes you through the spectacular Cass River Valley and up to Lagoon Saddle, offering panoramic views of the Southern Alps and Canterbury Plains.

Best Things to Do in Springfield: Activities and Tours

  • Hot Air Balloon Rides: Take a hot air balloon ride over the Canterbury Plains and enjoy stunning views of the Southern Alps and the Waimakariri River.
  • Jet Boating: Experience the thrill of jet boating along the Waimakariri River and through the scenic gorges.
  • Trout Fishing: Go trout fishing in the crystal clear streams and rivers surrounding Springfield. The town is known for its excellent fishing spots.
  • Glowworm Cave Tours: Take a guided tour of the Springfield Glowworm Cave and marvel at the thousands of twinkling glowworms.

Week-Long Itinerary for Springfield

Day Activities
Day 1 Explore the Heritage Walkway and the Springfield Museum
Day 2 Hike the Te Ara Kākāriki Trail and enjoy a picnic in Springfield Domain
Day 3 Take a hot air balloon ride over the Canterbury Plains and see the Southern Alps
Day 4 Go trout fishing in the surrounding rivers or jet boating along the Waimakariri River
Day 5 Visit Castle Hill Rocks and take a guided tour of the Springfield Glowworm Cave
Day 6 Spend the day hiking or mountain biking in Craigieburn Forest Park
Day 7 Take a day trip to nearby attractions, such as Hanmer Springs or Arthur’s Pass National Park

Food and Drink Scene of Springfield

Must-Try Dishes

  • Lamb Roast: New Zealand is renowned for its lamb, and you cannot leave Springfield without trying the classic lamb roast.
  • Whitebait Fritters: Usually served during the whitebait season, these fritters, made from young whitebait fish, are a much-loved local delicacy.

Local Beverages

  • Monteith’s Beer: A classic Kiwi beer with a distinctive taste, Monteith’s is brewed in Greymouth on New Zealand’s West Coast.
  • Central Otago Wine: Springfield is perfectly situated to sample some of the world’s best Pinot Noir, thanks to its close proximity to Central Otago, New Zealand’s premier wine region.

Where to Stay in Springfield: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

  • Springfield Motel and Lodge: A comfortable and convenient modern lodge offering a range of accommodation options to suit all budgets.
  • The Sheffield Hotel: A historic hotel with beautifully renovated rooms, a restaurant, and a bar which is only a short drive away from Springfield.
  • St. James Cottage: Escape from the hustle and bustle of the city and stay in this cozy, newly renovated cottage in the heart of Springfield.

What to Buy in Springfield: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

  • Sheepskin Rugs: New Zealand is famous for its sheep farming, and you cannot leave without buying a beautiful, high-quality sheepskin rug for your home.
  • Merino Wool Products: Merino wool clothing and accessories are world-renowned for their warmth, durability, and softness. Bring home a piece of New Zealand’s heritage with a merino wool sweater, scarf, or hat.

Local Culture and Customs of Springfield

The people of Springfield are friendly and welcoming towards tourists. It is always appreciated to greet people with a smile and a “hello” or “kia ora” (the Māori greeting) when you walk around town. New Zealanders are also very respectful of the environment, so it’s crucial to take care of the natural beauty around you and leave no trace after your visit.

Best Time to Visit Springfield

The best time to visit Springfield is from September to May when the weather is pleasant, and the local attractions and activities are in full swing. The summer months (December to February) offer the warmest temperatures and the highest number of outdoor activities, while the autumn months (March to May) are perfect for relaxing, peaceful getaways.

Do’s and Don’ts of Springfield


  • Respect the local culture and customs.
  • Take care of the environment and leave no trace.
  • Try the local cuisine and drinks.


  • Litter or disturb the wildlife.
  • Overstay your visa or work without proper documentation.
  • Drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Safety and Health

Safety in Springfield

Springfield is a quiet and peaceful town with a low crime rate. However, it’s always essential to take precautions, such as locking your doors and windows and not leaving valuables unattended in public places.

Health in Springfield

New Zealand has excellent health care facilities, and most medical treatments are relatively affordable. We recommend taking out comprehensive travel insurance before arriving in Springfield to cover any unforeseen health issues.

Getting to Springfield: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near Springfield

  • Christchurch International Airport: The closest major airport, located approximately 70 km from Springfield.

Bus Stations Near Springfield

  • Springfield Bus Stop: Located in the heart of town, serviced by InterCity buses.

Other Options

  • Private Car Hire: Several car rental companies operate in Christchurch, offering a range of rental options to suit all budgets.
  • Taxis and Shuttle Services: Taxis and shuttle services are available from Christchurch to Springfield and surrounding areas.

How to Get Around in Springfield

Springfield is a small town, and most of the attractions and amenities are within walking distance. However, if you want to explore the surrounding areas, we recommend renting a car or taking a guided tour.

Where to Go Next from Springfield: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

  • Hanmer Springs: Famous for its hot springs, Hanmer Springs is only a short drive from Springfield and offers a range of outdoor activities, including hiking, biking, and skiing.
  • Arthur’s Pass National Park: Located in the heart of the Southern Alps, Arthur’s Pass National Park is a must-visit destination for hiking enthusiasts and nature lovers.
  • Christchurch City: A vibrant and exciting city with a rich history, lively nightlife, and spectacular scenery.


Springfield may be a small town, but it’s packed with natural beauty, exciting outdoor activities, and a rich history and culture. From the stunning mountain landscapes to the delicious local cuisine, there’s something for everyone in this hidden gem of South Island, New Zealand. Whether you’re looking for a quiet getaway or an adventure-filled vacation, Springfield is sure to exceed your expectations.