Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

Canterbury NZ

Canterbury, NZ, a province occupying all the central portion of South or Middle Island, New Zealand, and having Nelson to the north, Otago to the south, Westland to the west, and the Pacific Ocean to the east. The total length is about 200 miles, the breadth 150 miles, and the area 13,578 square miles. On the western border rises the range known as the Southern Alps, forming almost an impassable barrier. Mount Cook, the highest peak, attains an elevation of 12,460 feet, and Mounts Stokes, Murchison, Darwin, Brewster, Forbes, and Tyndall are not much inferior, their summits being clothed in perpetual snow. From the huge glaciers on their flanks descend numerous streams, such as the Ashburton, Ashley, Waimakariri, Rakaia, Selwyn, etc., for the most part swift, shallow, and subject to floods. The country slopes gradually down to the east in a series of wide grassy expanses, called the Canterbury Downs, which extend over 3,000,000 acres and afford pasturage for countless flocks of sheep. Farther east still is Banks' Peninsula, a volcanic district of great fertility, with Akaroa harbour at its extremity. The first colony was established in 1850 by a Church of England Association, under the delusive idea that it might be possible to rear up a kind of Anglican Utopia at the Antipodes. The experiment failed from an ecclesiastical point of view. and was many years before it proved an economical success. Christchurch, the capital, is connected by railway with the chief port, Lyttelton, which is situated on Pegasus Bay to the north of Banks Peninsula, and the railway is now further extended to the south-west. Other towns are Timaru Kaiapoi, Rangiora. Sheep-farming has hitherto been the principal industry, but wheat, fruits, and flax are grown with profit. There is excellent timber, and the culture of silk has met with some success. The mineral resources are not fully explored, but iron, coal, building-stone, and precious metals have been worked advantageously.