Christchurch and Banks Peninsula are characterised by a network of surface water bodies.

These range from large lakes to narrow tributaries with intermittent flows, including:

  • Lake Forsyth/Te Roto o Wairewa and part of Lake Ellesmere/Te Waihora, as well as a number of smaller lakes
  • Approximately 78 kilometres of rivers, including the Avon/Ōtakaro River, Heathcote/Opāwaho River, Styx/Puharakekenui River, and part of the Waimakariri River and Halswell/Huritini River, as well as a number of rivers on Banks Peninsula
  • Approximately 2605 kilometres of river tributaries and other smaller streams (many of them ephemeral).