Heading to Christchurch for a weekend away, visiting a friend or family, or as part of your backpacking journey through New Zealand? Don’t know what to do during your time in the city?
We might be able to help! We put together a list of great things to do in and around Christchurch. There will definitely be something that interests you.
Christchurch City Centre
Check out the city centre
It might look like a lot of the city centre has vanished after the earthquake, but if you look closely there are many things to do in the centre of Christchurch.
To get a deeper understanding about the earthquake and how it changed the city centre and effected the people in Christchurch visit Quake City (Admission $20 for Adults, $16 Concession, accompanied children free). Visit this unique multi-sensory attraction each day of the week from 10am till 5pm and get educated about the Canterbury earthquakes.
Afterwards, hang out at the Re:Start Container Mall, located right next to Quake City. Grab a coffee, shop for some real Kiwi souvenirs or stock up on the newest fashion trend items. The Re:start Mall, even though small, has all the shops you need in a beautiful set-up.
A must visit once you are in Christchurch - despite you being Christian or not - is the Cardboard Cathedral. After the earthquake in February 2011, the original cathedral was majorly damaged, leaving it unsafe to be entered. Therefore, this transitional Cathedral, substantially made of cardboard has been build in Latimer square. You should definitely check out this unique cardboard building.
Take a stroll through Hagley Park and the Botanic Gardens, open 7.30am to 6.30pm during the summer time (till 8.30 during summer). Stroll through the blissful 30 hectares of sculptures, flowers and trees. If you are keen to learn more about the gardens take one of their walking or shuttle tours through this splendid area.
If you love museums and/or want to learn more about the history of the area, check out the Canterbury Museum. Aiming on providing visitors with a world class museum, this admission free venue (donations appreciated) might just excite your day. With ever changing exhibition check out their website to see what’s on offer before visiting. Or just pop by and be surprised – your call. The Canterbury museum is open every day till 5.00pm (5.30pm in summer).
Greater Christchurch area
New Brighton Pier
New Brighton pier at night
Take a stroll along the beach and pier in new Brighton. Also great for a sundown walk to experience the great light installations along the pier. Once you are there, also check out the small beach town flair like shops surrounding the beach and pier area. On a sunny day it might just feel like a summer vacation.
Visit Quail island
To pay a visit to Christchurch’s very own Ellis Island, board a ferry at Lyttelton Harbour. Canterbury’s largest Island was formerly used as a migrant quarantine station, as well as quarantine island during past influenza and leprosy outbreaks. You can easily explore the island in one day.
Go to a market
After the earthquake, pop-up markets started blossoming in Christchurch. Some of the great Farmer’s markets you should check out are the Christchurch Farmer’s Market as well as the Lyttelton Farmer’s Market.
Something different - Street art gallery
Are you a street art fan? Then a visit to the Brockworth street art gallery in Riccarton is a must! The gallery runs along the wall besides the railway line from Riccarton Road up to Brockworth street.
There is something for everyone. From easy one hour walks, over moderate hikes to challenging tramping tracks, the region around Christchurch has it all.
Bridle Path gondola view
The historic first connection between Lyttelton Harbour to Mt Herbert and over Christchurch. This 3 km trek will take about 1.5-2 hours and reward you with stunning summit views over Christchurch and Lyttelton. Encounter informative historic signposts, as well as the Pioneer Women’s Memorial, as you make your way up the steep path.
Bridle Path Summit views over Lyttleton Harbour
This hike follows the coastline from Taylor's Mistake Beach. It is a well surfaced track that takes about 3 hours for the round trip of 7km. Enjoy views of Lyttelton Harbour, the north face of Banks Peninsula and as an add-on, discover the World War ll military installation on Godley Head.
Remains of the WWII Installations
And many more…
If you want to check out another of the numerous hikes in the area, and trust us - there are a lot, visit the website of the Christchurch City Council or Christchurch & Canterbury Tourism.
Christchurch offers many different spots throughout the city to enjoy a beer or dance the night away. As there is not one party location connecting all the cool clubs, you somewhat have to know where to look though.
The best call to check for great bars is in the middle of the City Centre, close to the InterCity Bus Stop. Further there are some great party locations along Victoria Street.
If you are located outside of the inner city ring, check out this info on where to go out in the rest of the city.
We hope you enjoy your stay in Christchurch!