Ashburton straddles the River Ashburn, four miles before joining the River Dart. It is the main town in the farming district of mid-Canterbury. The town was named after Lord Ashburton, a member of the Canterbury Association, which settled the region in the 1850s. Even though in the beginning dry and covered with thick clumps of grass, applying water to the land areas has allowed agriculture to grow.
The town of Ashburton is known for its historic brick buildings and many established trees, including some in the Ashburton Domain often referred to as the “jewel in the crown”. The domain has a 37.54 hectare park and is walking distance from the industrial area of Ashburton. The domain is beautiful with a variety of different colourful gardens- a good venue for weddings.
The Ashburton Craft Village is a good place to visit producing and selling a selection of high quality craft work and has a museum famous for its spinning wheels and weaving looms. They will even teach you how to spin, weave and felt your own garments. There is also a selection of toys for the children.
Other places to visit in Ashbuston are Corwar Lodge that includes a small museum of colonial artefacts, Methven Museum, Rakaia River Bridge – one of only two structures of this type remaining in the world, The Plains Vintage Railway and Historical Museum and the Ashburton Arcade Shopping Centre.
Accomoodation in the area is relatively easy to find including Ashburton motels & motor lodges, hotels, camping & holiday parks and bed and breakfasts/cottages.