Christchurch

From the beaches to the alps the Canterbury region has so much to explore.

Many of the treats and sight-seeing around Christchurch have a certain community-grown charm- including the increasingly popular farmers markets, and a number of “pop-up” bars that have kicked into gear after the earthquakes in 2010 and 2011. Christchurch is also famed for its art scene and green spaces like the riverside Botanic Gardens. 

Kia Kaha, Christchurch – the city looks forward to your visit in the future!

For more information visit www.christchurchnz.com

1. Hagley Park Events Village

Set up for the Christchurch Arts Festival and Rugby World Cup fanzone, this beautifully prepared substitute for the inner city’s charm during the events season has been welcomed with open arms by locals and tourists. Decked with fairy lights, big screens, flash tents and the Telstra Clear dome and bar that anyone who has been inside won’t believe is technically a “tent”, this spot is the ideal place to catch a game or a gig. One can only hope the site will keep hosting events until the inner city is back up and running. Worth a look!

2. Punting the Avon

This is one of Christchurch’s most iconic sightseeing activities! Tour the inner city waterways in European style, with quaintly dressed boater boys steering passengers under the riverbanks’ weeping willows and the picturesque Hagley gardens. www.punting.co.nz

3. Taylor’s Mistake Beach

Over the summer months expect soupy shores at this bay tucked beyond the hills, an alternative to the more popular Sumner beach. Surfers frequent this spot year round, and its cliff jumps are spectacular. Check out the live streaming webcam – www.taylorssurf.co.nz

4. Farmers Markets

Enjoy a buzzing atmosphere in a charming setting at Christchurch Farmers’ Market. Held at historic Riccarton House every Saturday morning. Meats, cheeses, fruit and vegetables sit alongside superb coffee and goodies to enjoy while you’re strolling around.

With over 300 stalls Riccarton Market is Christchurch’s largest market. Held every Sunday from 9am – 2pm there’s always a bargin or tasty treat to be found.

5. North Canterbury wines

North Canterbury is an internationally renowned destination for wine and food. The region is home to 90 + vineyards, most of them independently owned by a close-knit community of local families. North Canterbury has become an internationally renowned destination for food, wine and nature. www.northcanterburywines.co.nz

6. Willowbank Wildlife Reserve

Picturesque Willowbank Wildlife Reserve offers a variety of unique attractions and services, including Maori cultural experience, New Zealand food tasting and a guided Kiwi tour. Check out their special value packages online and learn more about their ‘Kiwi guarantee’ experience. www.willowbank.co.nz

7. Cycling Lanes

Christchurch is arguably New Zealand’s most cyclist-friendly city and not just because it is pancake flat. Canterbury’s rolling plains harbour wide cycle lanes which make life vey breezy for the two-wheeled commuter, or eco tourist.

8. View from the Port Hills

Head up the hills for a romantic vantage point to behold the Canterbury plains, or at night its twinkling city lights.

9. Waimakariri Alpine jet-boating

If Christchurch’s quainter experiences don’t tickle your fancy, book in for a high speed race down the rapids of the Waimakariri river, affectionately termed the ‘Waimak’ by locals in an Alpine Jet www.alpinejetthrills.co.nz

10. Hector’s dolphins

The world’s smallest and rarest dolphin may be shy, but when you do encounter one you know you’ve seen something special. Head to Akaroa or Lyttelton to watch, or even swim with New Zealand’s own Hector’s dolphins. www.blackcat.co.nz

11. Daffodils at Hagley Park

In Christchurch, spring is heralded like nowhere else in New Zealand- the ‘Garden City’s’ picturesque Hagley Park is ripe for a frolic- home to beautiful daffodils from August, and cherry blossoms from September. Just don’t be tempted to pick them, in Christchurch, defacing the city’s famous gardens attracts a hefty fine.

12. Orana Park

Christchurch’s “wildest” destination is home to New Zealand’s only gorillas … and the country’s only orang-utans too! Set in 80 hectares within 15 minutes’ drive of Christchurch Airport, Orana Wildlife Park provides the ultimate animal adventure.

13. Riccarton House and Bush

Riccarton House and Bush / Pūtaringamotu is a unique New Zealand heritage site consisting of two historic buildings, flanked by beautiful open parkland and ornate gardens, bordered by Ōtākaro / Avon River and set against extensive native bush forest featuring kahikatea trees up to 600 years old. This tranquil 12-hectare reserve is located just 3.5 km from Christchurch city centre. www.riccartonhouse.co.nz

14. Bars & Nightlife

Fairy lit laneways, local craft breweries, quirky bars and chic urban hangouts sums up the nightlife scene that is uniquely Christchurch. Explore the great range of cafés, restaurants and bars available in the Central City

15. Adrenalin Forest

If you’re afraid of heights, feel the fear and do it anyway! Adrenalin Forest makes for an exhilarating day out— climbers can negotiate the tree tops via an exciting array of high wires, flying foxes, barrels and jumps that cater to both the daring— with wires at 20m above ground— and the faint of heart. How high can you go? www.adrenalin-forest.co.nz

16. Cup and Show Week

Cup and Show week is an old Christchurch favourite – an excuse to dress up in your finest, quaff a couple of champagnes and put your best foot forward to welcome in the summer. Take a punt on the horses, enter in a best dressed competition, and revel in the spirit of the day, starting with the Casino sponsored event. The week runs from Saturday 10th to Saturday 17th November.

17. Gateway to Antarctica

The International Antarctic Centre is the only specialised Antarctic attraction in the world. It provides a fun, interactive and informative way to learn about life on one of the most hostile continents in the world.

18. The Casino

The Casino is open for business and looking bolder than ever! Don’t be put off by the red zone cordons surrounding it. Escape inside for a night of cocktails and games!

19. Addington Coffee Co-Op

This unique café, roaster, and fresh fruit sellers rolled into one is a bastion of fair trade, quality food that has no match in Christchurch. A welcome relief, and a friendly place to catch up with friends whilst the inner city cafes remain out of action. www.addingtoncoffee.org.nz

20. Christchurch Art Gallery

The Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetuis home to one New Zealand’s most important public art collections. The gallery houses a collection from classics to modern art, and regularly showcases works from New Zealand and internationally based artists.

21. The Arts Centre

With more than half of the Arts Centre restored, there’s no excuse not to explore! The Great Hall and Rutherford’s Den have undergone an incredible restoration bringing the over 135-year-old heritage buildings back to life! Shop at the growing number of boutique shops, galleries and food outlets, or experience the wide range of on-site events. 

21. The Court Theatre

Hidden in Christchurch’s suburb of Addington is New Zealand’s largest and oldest theatre company. Situated in an old grain shed, is a magical world of happiness, laughter, drama and intrigue. Everything from the sets to the costumes is designed and created in-house. The shows are produced exclusively for The Court’s audience with some plays touring nationally and internationally. www.courttheatre.org.nz/whats-on/

22. The Canterbury Museum

The Canterbury Museum located at the entry to the Botanic Gardens is a Christchurch icon, first opening its doors to the public on the 1 October 1870! Highlights include … The world’s largest collection of Moa bones, The largest and most diverse collection of Antarctic memorabilia and photos in the world and the unique and quirky exhibition of Fred and Myrtle’s Paua Shell House.

 

AND SOME OUT OF TOWN TEMPTATIONS…

If you’re travelling on beyond the Christchurch city limits, the following spots are easily accessed from Christchurch city. These highlights of the wider Canterbury region are worthy stop-offs on your road trip!

Visit the West Coast


Only three hours drive from South Christhurch, the road trip to the West Coast is a scenic delight. The West coast is home to a rugged landscape perfect for camping or fishing. As locals will tell you, watch out for a display of all four seasons in one day on the coast. The annual Wild Foods Festival is highly recommended- but only for those with strong stomachs! www.wildfoods.co.nz

Kaikoura


Kaikoura is only an hour drive out of Christchurch and is a popular site for whale watching, and its annual seafood festival ‘Seafest’ attracts connoisseurs from all walks of life. www.kaikoura.co.nz

Hanmer Springs

Hanmer springs are all natural, geothermal hot springs that delight visitors all year round in a breathtaking Alpine setting. The Springs are a treat in Winter, as some lucky visitors will find themselves bathing during snow fall. Hanmer Springs has plenty of traditional chalets to stay in, and backpackers for the more budget conscious.
www.hanmersprings.co.nz

TranzAlpine Train Journey

Travel coast to coast from Christchurch to Greymouth and experience one of the world’s most spectacular train journeys. Experience the striking beauty of the Southern Alps, the ice-fed Waimakariri River through to unique native beech forests. www.greatjourneysofnz.co.nz

Methven

Methven is a sweet small town situated only 90km out of Christchurch. Make a day trip if you wish to fish, play gold, jet-boat, tramp, or even hot air balloon!


Akaroa

Akaroa is a beautiful French influenced village about one and a half hour’s drive away for Christchurch. It is a quaint little town, with many boutique shops and cafes. Its attractions include dolphin watching, jet-skiing and breathtaking boat rides in the harbour- which is home to heritage sites, and is actually a dormant volcano crater.
 www.akaroa.com