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).