Christchurch Destination Guide
Since February 2011, when it was hit by a devastating earthquake, Christchurch has undergone a metamorphosis. While many old buildings were destroyed, there’s now an extraordinary mass of cutting-edge thinking and design taking its place. This is a town like no other. You can still cycle or canoe along the rivers and amble in the gardens to experience the Christchurch of old. But in the realm of the new, stay in funky hotels and get into some of New Zealand’s finest hospitality. Christchurch is a city of great restaurants, brilliant bars and some cracking coffee.
That’s just for starters. Christchurch opens up to the South Island’s excitement, beauty and wonder. You don’t need to venture far out of town to get into extreme sports like bungy jumping. Visit vineyards, stately homes with exquisite gardens, amble around pristine bays, play golf, visit fascinating museums, galleries and wildlife parks. Christchurch invites you to create your own best holiday.
- Country: New Zealand
- Currency: New Zealand Dollar (NZD)
- Offical Language: English, Maori
- Visas: Australians travelling to New Zealand as tourists do not require a visa
- Tipping: Voluntary, tips of around 10 per cent are optional for good service
- Electricity: New Zealand outlets run on an average 230 volts and use Type I plugs
Temperature (max C)
J 22, F 22, M 20, A 17, M 14, J 12, J 11, A 12, S 15, O 17, N 19, D 21
Rainfall (max mm)
J 38, F 42, M 45, A 46, M 64, J 61, J 68, A 64, S 41, O 53, N 46, D 49
Get around town on...
- A punt from Antigua Boatsheds
- A bicycle down Summit Road
- A tram across Cathedral Square
Cleverly combining the old with the new, this South Island city is bursting with excitement, beauty and natural wonder.
Learn about Christchurch life in...
- The Canterbury Museum
- Ferrymead Heritage Park
- The Cardboard Cathedral
Prepare for some serious eating and drinking in Christchurch. The surrounding natural environment produces incredible fresh produce from both land and sea and its people make fine wines, microbrews, dairy products and other delicacies.
Enjoy English-style ales at...
- Pomeroy’s Old Brewery Inn
- The Twisted Hop
- Darkroom Bar
The largest city on New Zealand’s South Island centres on Cathedral Square and its earthquake-damaged Anglican cathedral. The Avon River winds through town in a picturesque greenbelt of tranquility. It’s here that you’ll find many of Christchurch’s hotels, a good proportion of which are new, fresh and funky. Having either opened or re-opened post the 2011 quake, they reflect the spirit of revitalisation and progress that permeates the city.
Retail therapy in Christchurch is a unique experience. As you wander the streets and malls checking out the goods on offer, you’re also touring the innovative and captivating fruits of the city’s post-earthquake reimagining as well as contributing to the resurgence of a wonderfully resilient community.
Christchurch like a Local
Christchurch is New Zealand’s newest wine star. Just 40 minutes from the city, find the Waipara Valley and some stunning cellar doors, including the award-winning Pegasus Bay run by the famed and much awarded Donaldson family. Have lunch, a tasting, and take in the beautiful scenery.
1. Tram it: Christchurch’s historic tram is more than just a heritage attraction. Your all-day ticket means you can get on and off whenever and wherever you please at any or all of its 17 stops. They include the gardens, Cathedral Junction, Avon River, Re:Start Mall, the Arts Centre, the Canterbury Museum and New Regent Street.
2. Back to nature: Christchurch’s Port Hills, 10 minutes from the city, are brilliant for running, hiking and mountain biking. With astonishing views of the Pacific Ocean, Southern Alps and Kaikoura Ranges, they’re also a nature lover’s playground, with lots of native bush land to explore. Picnic spots abound.
Take a trip to...
- Lyttleton, just over the hill
- Banks Peninsula, on the city outskirts
- Akaroa, first settled by the French
Did you know...? Gap Filler is a program of fun and innovative installations designed to bring life and community to corners of the city damaged by the earthquake and yet to be redeveloped permanently. Look out for anything from a communal woodfired pizza oven to mini-golf.