68 km north-west of Christchurch, Springfield is the last settlement on the plains before the main road west turns to cross Porters Pass. The railway to the West Coast veers off to begin its spectacular journey through the Waimakariri Gorge. The Springfield Hotel was a coaching stop on the road west from Christchurch. When trains became the usual way to travel between Canterbury and the West Coast, the station refreshment rooms were well patronised. Water from the Kowai River, just beyond Springfield, was tapped in the 1870s to feed one of Canterbury’s early systems of stock water races.

Meaning of place name
One account says it was named by J. Bell in 1868 after an American Civil War battlefield. The post office was named in 1870, possibly because of a spring in a field beside the local hotel. Some sources suggest a connection with other Canterbury names such as Darfield and Sheffield.