A Guide to Christchurch, New Zealand

  in  Australia/New Zealand
The largest city in New Zealand's South Island, Christchurch is one of the country's oldest and storied destinations. With superb places to eat and unforgettable attractions to explore, there are loads of things to do in Christchurch that make it worth a visit. Here are some tips for getting the most from a trip to Christchurch.

Things to Do in Christchurch

Known as "The Garden City," Christchurch is rich in stunning gardens, parks and walks. Beautiful at any time of the year, a stroll through the Botanic Gardens is a must for any visitor. There's also plenty of wildlife to be seen at Orana Wildlife Park, New Zealand's only open range zoo. It's one of the most popular Christchurch attractions, perfect for families.

Located next to the airport is the International Antarctic Centre, one of the best tourist attractions in Christchurch. The centre offers visitors a unique chance to experience the magic of Antarctica. Inside, you'll learn about life in Antarctica, see what an Antarctic snowstorm is like, and hang out with blue penguins.

The city also has a rich artistic history, and a visit to the Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu is one of the best free things to do in Christchurch. Other Christchurch art galleries include the popular Jonathan Smart Gallery, which has been showcasing contemporary New Zealand art since 1987.

If you're looking for a little more outdoor adventure, there are many adrenaline pumping Christchurch activities located just 2 hours of the city centre, including mountain biking, sky-diving and white water rafting.

Places to Eat in Christchurch
Visitors and locals are spoilt for choice when deciding where to eat in Christchurch. Christchurch offers a great mix of fine dining restaurants, family restaurants and comfortable neighbourhood cafes. Located in the central city, the DUO Dining Room & Bar is a popular spot that offers a shared dining experience of innovative European and Asian cuisines. However, if you want a truly unique dining experience, a visit to to the Tramway Restaurant is a must do. The restaurant tram takes you on a slow journey through central Christchurch, giving you the chance to take in the beauty of the city while enjoying a delicious four-course meal.

Christchurch Climate

Christchurch has a dry, temperate climate experiencing less rain than New Zealand's other major cities. The climate is relatively comfortable all year round, but during the winter nights, it can be very cold and frosty. Winter temperatures can often fall below 0C (32F) at night. Usually, after a cold night and morning, the city enjoys a bright, sunny day with little to no wind. About once or twice a year, the hill suburbs of Christchurch have snow fall.

Getting Around Christchurch
With a great public transport system in place, there are many ways to travel around Christchurch. However, most visitors find that the best way to get around is to book a car hire in Christchurch, as this will give you the freedom to travel where you want on your own terms. There are some great day trips you can take from Christchurch, like Akaroa and Hanmer Springs, so it's definitely worth heading out of the city and exploring the Canterbury Region.
Rental cars at Christchurch Airport are also available from a number of trusted local and international providers. Cycling is also a great way to get around the city. With various routes for safe cycling, many locals enjoy riding into work and visitors use it as a fun way to see Christchurch for the first time.

Christchurch Accommodation

Everything from 5-star hotels to cheap self-catering motels are available in and around the city. Within the city centre, there is an extensive selection of townhouses and apartments that are ideal for a business trip. Accommodation is available near CBD businesses and close to top Christchurch attractions, like the Botanic Gardens. Accommodation rates can range from anywhere between $60 to $300+ depending on where you chose to stay and the deals on offer.