Population: 1,506 [2013 Census]
Location: 25 mins south of Christchurch


Photo of Leeston main roadLeeston township services the rich arable farmlands of the Ellesmere District.

Two suggestions have been made regarding Leeston’s name. The first is that it was named after Leeston in Cornwall, the birthplace of F.J. Smith who gifted the land for the township. Other records credit E.J. Lee for allowing his name to be incorporated into township’s name.

Entering Leeston from the North, you will pass the town's impressive war memorial, in keeping with which, the names of many of the streets in Leeston are a roll call of the important battlegrounds of the First World War.

First on the Show calendar each year, Leeston's Ellesmere A & P Show is a showcase for the quality produce from the fertile lands surrounding the township.

From Leeston it is a short drive to Lake Ellesmere (“Waihora” in Maori), famous with bird watchers for its large population of black swans. The shallow lake is also known for the delicious flounder and eel which swim in its waters.

Leeston Street Map [PDF, 5445 KB] (Printable A3 size)

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