Experience Canterbury and the West Coast with UC Science

When you enrol in two or more science courses as part of UC’s Study Abroad programme, you’ll have the opportunity to take part in an amazing weekend trip to discover Aotearoa New Zealand’s spectacular South Island.

This full weekend experience takes you on a guided tour of Canterbury and the West Coast. UC Science staff and postgraduate students will explain the science behind what you see, providing an in-depth look at this part of New Zealand and what makes it unique.

On this 667km round trip, you'll connect with like-minded people, see science in action and discover our living laboratory. From rugged mountains to vast plains, rolling hillsides to subtropical rainforest, and miles upon miles of coastline – it's all here.

Join us for a weekend of discovery

Semester 1 2023: Friday 10 March - Sunday 12 March
Semester 2 2023: Friday 28 July - Sunday 30 July


  • Learn about Canterbury’s glacial braided rivers and pastoral plains.
  • Traverse the majestic Southern Alps, discover the West Coast’s rugged natural beauty and dip your toes in the Tasman Sea.
  • Gain insight into how Aotearoa New Zealand was formed and the forces that created this landscape.
  • Stay at the University of Canterbury’s renowned Cass field station, based at the foothills of the Southern Alps.
  • Experience the distinctive limestone boulders of Castle Hill, where the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe was filmed.
  • Venture into native beech forests, the largest remaining indigenous forest type in New Zealand.
  • Travel 100 km from Greymouth to Westport along the Great Coast Road, regarded as one of the best coastal roads in the world.
  • In Westport you will stay in UC accommodation and venture out to explore the coastal town including Tauranga Bay and the fur seal colony.

Accommodation, travel and food are FREE.

These are provided by the University of Canterbury (with the exception of snacks and drinks which must be purchased separately). You will need to bring a sleeping bag, wet weather gear, warm clothing, and walking shoes. A full gear list will be provided.

For the best experience, each trip is limited to 30 people.

Students must have an offer of place to the UC Study Abroad programme for 2023 and be enrolling in at least two Science courses.

Eligible course codes

ANTA - Antarctica
ASTR - Astronomy
BIOL - Biology
BCHM - Biochemistry
CHEM - Chemistry
ENVR - Environmental Science
GEOG - Geography
GEOL - Geology
PHYS - Physics
PSYC - Psychology
SPSC - Speech and Hearing
SCIE - Science
WATR - Water

Apply for UC's Study Abroad programme