Our top 10 Christchurch attractions
1. Christchurch Gondola:
Get a bird’s eye view of Christchurch and its beautiful surrounds during the 10-minute cable car ride to the top of Port Hills. At the summit, journey through history in the Time Tunnel and enjoy 360-degree vistas of the Canterbury Plains, Southern Alps, Banks Peninsula and Lyttelton Harbour.
2. International Antartic Centre:
Explore all things Antarctic at this award-winning attraction. Experience a storm at -5 degrees, scale some serious hills in an amphibious all-terrain truck, and get an overload of cuteness at the Penguin Encounter, along with other great adventures.
3. Canterbury Museum:
Opened in 1870, this beautiful Gothic style building holds over 2.1 million objects relating to human and natural history and possesses the greatest collection of Antarctic artifacts of any museum in the world.
4. Cathedral Square:
The cultural heart and civic soul of Christchurch, this important city space got its name from the great cathedral that stands watch over it. Surrounded by historic buildings and museums, today the square is a place for social gatherings, street performances, public markets and art fairs.
5. Punting on the River Avon:
What better way to view picturesque Christchurch than a punting excursion down the delightful Avon River. Dressed in handsome period costumes, punters take visitors on relaxing journey, meandering through parkland, under historic bridges and past beautiful buildings.
6. Christchurch Botanic Gardens:
One of the largest city parks in the world, these superb gardens are known for the magnificent trees planted here in the 19th century and the extensive collection of art works on display including the Peacock Fountain and Te Puna Ora Spring.
7. Cardboard Cathedral:
Designed by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, Christchurch’s temporary Anglican home of worship features an A-line roof made out of cardboard tubes and is the only building of its kind in the world. You can worship here, or just come and admire.
8. Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna O Waiwhetu:
Constructed with waves of glass and metal, this modern complex offers a striking yet beautiful contrast to the Victorian Gothic setting of the city's Cultural Precinct. The lovely gallery spaces and outdoor sculpture area create an inviting space to enjoy the fine collection of European and New Zealand works.
9. Tranz Alpine Express:
Considered one of the world’s great train journeys, this 4 and a half hour trip departs Christchurch and crosses lush prairies and farmland, climbs pristine alpine ranges and meanders through mountain tunnels before descending through sub-tropical rain forest to Greymouth.
10. Christchurch Arts Centre:
The 23 historic buildings that make up this impressive complex are known for their ornate Gothic Revival beauty and feature quiet colonnades, vaulted ceilings and intricate trimmings. Currently undergoing restoration, the complex is being transformed into a world class centre for the arts, culture and creativity.