What to do in christchurch?

HotbotBy HotBotUpdated: July 9, 2024

Explore the Christchurch Botanic Gardens

Established in 1863, the Christchurch Botanic Gardens offer a serene retreat with a diverse collection of flora from New Zealand and around the world. Wander through themed gardens, including the Rose Garden, the Herb Garden, and the New Zealand Garden, each showcasing unique plant species. Don't miss the impressive conservatories and the Daffodil Woodland in spring.

Visit the Canterbury Museum

The Canterbury Museum is a treasure trove of regional history and natural artifacts. Located on Rolleston Avenue, it houses exhibits ranging from Maori artifacts to Antarctic exploration memorabilia. One of the highlights is the Paua Shell House, an intricately decorated house made entirely from paua shells.

Stroll Along the Avon River

The Avon River meanders through the heart of Christchurch, providing picturesque views and a tranquil atmosphere. Take a leisurely stroll along the riverbanks or enjoy a traditional Edwardian punting tour for a unique perspective of the city. The river is lined with beautiful willow trees and quaint bridges, making it a perfect spot for relaxation and photography.

Discover the Christchurch Art Gallery

The Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū is the city's premier art institution, featuring a diverse collection of local and international art. The striking modern building itself is a work of art, with its glass façade and dynamic architecture. Inside, you'll find rotating exhibitions, interactive displays, and a dedicated children's area.

Experience the International Antarctic Centre

Located near Christchurch Airport, the International Antarctic Centre offers an immersive experience into the icy continent. Experience a simulated Antarctic storm, learn about the history of Antarctic exploration, and meet the resident penguins. The centre also features a 4D theatre and a Hagglund ride, providing a thrilling adventure for visitors of all ages.

Take a Scenic Drive to the Port Hills

The Port Hills offer breathtaking views of Christchurch, the Canterbury Plains, and the distant Southern Alps. Drive up to the Summit Road and stop at various lookout points, such as the Sign of the Kiwi and the Sign of the Takahe. For the more adventurous, there are numerous hiking and mountain biking trails that traverse the hills.

Explore the Re:START Mall

The Re:START Mall is a symbol of Christchurch's resilience and creativity following the 2011 earthquake. Built from brightly colored shipping containers, this innovative shopping precinct offers a unique retail experience. Browse through boutique stores, enjoy local cuisine from food trucks, and soak in the vibrant atmosphere.

Visit the Quake City Exhibition

Quake City is a compelling exhibition dedicated to the Canterbury earthquakes of 2010 and 2011. Located in the heart of the city, it provides an in-depth look at the seismic events, the impact on the community, and the ongoing recovery efforts. Personal stories, interactive displays, and artifacts from the earthquakes make this a poignant and educational experience.

Enjoy a Day Trip to Akaroa

Just a 90-minute drive from Christchurch, the charming town of Akaroa offers a delightful day trip destination. Nestled in the heart of an ancient volcano, Akaroa boasts a rich French heritage, evident in its architecture and street names. Enjoy a harbor cruise to see Hector's dolphins, explore the local boutiques and galleries, or savor French-inspired cuisine at one of the many cafes and restaurants.

Walk Through Hagley Park

Hagley Park, Christchurch's largest urban open space, is a green oasis in the city center. The park is perfect for leisurely walks, jogging, or picnicking. With its expansive lawns, tree-lined avenues, and sports fields, there's plenty of space for recreational activities. The park also hosts various events and festivals throughout the year, adding to its vibrant atmosphere.

Explore the Christchurch Gondola

The Christchurch Gondola offers a panoramic view of the city, the Canterbury Plains, and Lyttelton Harbour. The gondola ride takes you up to the summit of Mount Cavendish, where you can enjoy the stunning scenery from the observation deck. At the top, there's a café, a gift shop, and the Time Tunnel experience, which takes you on a journey through the region's history.

Discover the Riccarton House and Bush

Riccarton House and Bush is a historic homestead surrounded by lush native bushland. Take a guided tour of the beautifully restored house, which dates back to the early 19th century, and learn about the lives of the pioneering Deans family. The adjacent Riccarton Bush is a rare remnant of native forest, offering walking trails and a peaceful escape from the urban environment.

Visit the Air Force Museum of New Zealand

Located in Wigram, the Air Force Museum of New Zealand showcases the history of New Zealand's military aviation. The museum features a vast collection of aircraft, interactive displays, and historical exhibits. Guided tours provide insight into the stories behind the aircraft and the people who flew them. The museum also offers flight simulators and hands-on activities for children.

Explore Sumner Beach

Sumner Beach is a popular coastal destination just a short drive from Christchurch city center. The sandy beach is ideal for swimming, sunbathing, and surfing. The nearby village of Sumner offers a range of cafes, restaurants, and boutique shops. Take a stroll along the Esplanade, enjoy an ice cream, and soak in the relaxed beachside atmosphere.

Discover the Cardboard Cathedral

The Cardboard Cathedral, also known as the Transitional Cathedral, is an architectural marvel and a symbol of resilience. Designed by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, the cathedral is constructed from innovative materials, including cardboard tubes. It's a temporary replacement for the Christchurch Cathedral, which was damaged in the 2011 earthquake. Attend a service, take a guided tour, or simply admire the unique design.

Experience Willowbank Wildlife Reserve

Willowbank Wildlife Reserve offers an up-close encounter with New Zealand's native wildlife. The reserve is home to a variety of animals, including the endangered kiwi, tuatara, and kea. Enjoy a guided tour, participate in a Maori cultural experience, or explore the reserve at your own pace. Willowbank also features a farmyard area, where children can interact with friendly farm animals.

Attend a Performance at the Isaac Theatre Royal

The Isaac Theatre Royal is Christchurch's premier performing arts venue, hosting a diverse range of events, including theatre, ballet, concerts, and comedy shows. The beautifully restored heritage building features ornate architecture and a stunning interior. Check the theatre's schedule for upcoming performances and enjoy a night of entertainment in this iconic venue.

Explore the Ōtākaro Avon River Precinct

The Ōtākaro Avon River Precinct is a major redevelopment project transforming the river corridor into a vibrant public space. The precinct features landscaped gardens, walking and cycling paths, and public art installations. Highlights include the Margaret Mahy Family Playground, the Victoria Square redevelopment, and the Terraces, a series of riverside steps perfect for relaxing and socializing.

Discover the Christchurch Adventure Park

The Christchurch Adventure Park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, offering mountain biking, zip-lining, and hiking. The park features a network of world-class mountain biking trails, catering to all skill levels. The zip-lining experience provides a thrilling ride through the forest canopy, with stunning views of the surrounding landscape. The park also offers a café and a chairlift, providing easy access to the trails and scenic viewpoints.

Visit the Tannery

The Tannery is a boutique shopping and dining destination located in Woolston, Christchurch. Housed in a beautifully restored historic building, the Tannery features a range of specialty stores, artisan workshops, and eateries. Browse through unique fashion, homewares, and gifts, or enjoy a meal at one of the many cafes and restaurants. The Tannery also hosts regular events, including markets and live music performances.

Explore the Christchurch Farmers' Market

The Christchurch Farmers' Market is held every Saturday at Riccarton House and Bush. The market offers a wide variety of fresh produce, artisanal products, and delicious food. Wander through the stalls, sample local delicacies, and chat with the friendly vendors. The market is a great place to pick up unique souvenirs and experience the local food culture.

Relax in New Brighton

New Brighton is a coastal suburb of Christchurch, known for its long sandy beach and iconic pier. The New Brighton Pier offers stunning views of the coastline and is a popular spot for fishing and photography. The area also features a range of cafes, shops, and the New Brighton Hot Pools, providing a relaxing way to unwind after a day of exploring.

Discover the Isaac Conservation and Wildlife Trust

The Isaac Conservation and Wildlife Trust is dedicated to the preservation of endangered species and habitats. The trust operates a wildlife reserve near Christchurch, where you can see rare and endangered animals, including the takahe, North Island kokako, and black stilt. Guided tours provide insight into the conservation efforts and the unique species found at the reserve.

Explore the Christchurch Street Art Trail

The Christchurch Street Art Trail showcases the city's vibrant street art scene. Following the earthquakes, many blank walls and empty spaces were transformed into canvases for local and international artists. The trail takes you through the city center, highlighting stunning murals, graffiti, and installations. Download a map or join a guided tour to discover the best of Christchurch's street art.

As you uncover the myriad experiences that Christchurch has to offer, you'll find that each discovery adds a unique layer to the vibrant tapestry of this resilient city. Whether you're drawn to its natural beauty, rich history, or innovative spirit, Christchurch beckons with an adventure that is uniquely yours to explore.