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Things to do in Christchurch

Things to do in  Christchurch

Welcome to Christchurch

Known for its Anglo-influenced architecture and well-manicured gardens, the South Island city of Christchurch is the epicenter of New Zealand’s colonial heritage. But for all its inherited English charm, Christchurch is a modern Kiwi city in the midst of a rebirth following the devastating earthquakes of 2010 and 2011. Visitors enjoy peaceful punt rides down the Avon River, visits to the verdant Christchurch Botanic Gardens, and gondola rides into the Port Hills. Expansive Hagley Park offers city dwellers space to stroll among the cherry trees, jog or hike on the on the numerous trails, or relax and set up a picnic; while bustling New Regent Street is lined with shops, restaurants, and sidewalk cafes serving up regional specialties. Christchurch also acts as a home base for day trips to points further afield. Visitors can taste wine vinted from homegrown grapes in the Waipara wine region, explore Arthur’s Pass National Park, or summit the formidable Mt. Cook. Departures for the Banks Peninsula and Akaroa Harbor offer the opportunity to see the South Island’s picturesque physical features, and a trip on the TranzAlpine Train, which runs daily from Christchurch to Greymouth on the west coast, takes passengers on what is considered New Zealand’s most scenic train ride.

Top 10 attractions in Christchurch

#1
International Antarctic Centre

International Antarctic Centre

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Across the road from New Zealand’s Christchurch International Airport lies the next best thing to visiting Antarctica itself: the International Antarctic Centre. Here the whole family can experience a simulation of the harsh Antarctic climate, learn all about the icy continent, and meet the center’s cutest residents—little blue penguins.More
#2
Lake Tekapo

Lake Tekapo

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A glacial lake on New Zealand’s South Island, Lake Tekapo is an adventurer’s playground by day—and a stargazer’s heaven at night. On a clear night, southern hemisphere constellations, plus the Milky Way and the southern lights, shine spectacularly in the UNESCO-listed Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve.More
#3
Christchurch Botanic Gardens

Christchurch Botanic Gardens

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Christchurch, coined the Garden City, is an Anglophile settlement of well-tended gardens and tree-lined streets. Its crowning jewel is the 52-acre (21-hectare) Christchurch Botanic Gardens, attractively set within Hagley Park alongside the winding Avon River. The gardens are planted with thousands of exotic and indigenous plants and trees including seasonal blooms such as magnolias, azaleas, and 250 varieties of roses.More
#4
Lake Pukaki

Lake Pukaki

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Bright turquoise Lake Pukaki is one of the most beautiful—and most photographed—bodies of water in New Zealand. Many travelers make a quick stop by the lake en route to Mt. Cook, New Zealand’s tallest mountain, but it’s worth spending a bit more time there to hike, bike, or just savor the views.More
#5
TranzAlpine Train

TranzAlpine Train

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The TranzAlpine Train is New Zealand’s most spectacular train journey, one which winds its way through the dramatic gorges and alpine forests of the Southern Alps, over staggering viaducts and dizzying mountain passes. From Christchurch on the East Coast to Greymouth on the West Coast, this almost 5-hour trip serves up endless photo opportunities as it runs through the heart of the South Island.More
#6
Christchurch Tram

Christchurch Tram

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The Christchurch Tram combines leisurely transportation with narrated city sightseeing aboard a restored vintage tram. Visitors learn about historical landmarks in central Christchurch as well as the Garden City’s revival efforts following the earthquake damage of 2011. With 17 hop-on hop-off stops, it’s an easy and fun way to get oriented to New Zealand's third-largest city.More
#7
New Regent Street

New Regent Street

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When first constructed in the 1930s, New Regent Street was famously lauded as “the most beautiful street in New Zealand.” Today, after the devastating earthquakes of 2010 and 2011, the street has rebuilt its colorful façade—built in a Spanish Mission style—where colorful, two-story buildings host retailers, restaurants, coffee shops, and cafés. When the street was first built in the Great Depression, only 3 of the original 40 buildings were occupied by lease-paying tenants, due to the economic hardships of the time and the tenants’ inability to pay rent. Gradually, an increasing number of businesses were established, and the street was reconstructed as a pedestrian mall in 1994. When the fateful Christchurch earthquakes struck, New Regent Street was one of the first places to rebuild and reopen its doors—though many repairs were only temporary and are in need of a permanent fix. Either way, it remains as one of downtown Christchurch’s most popular venues for shopping, with the pastel colored, lightly hued buildings contributing an architectural charm.More
#8
Hagley Park

Hagley Park

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Take a break from the cars and crowds of Christchurch without leaving the city. Covering 407 acres (165 hectares) of central Christchurch, Hagley Park is a tranquil park full of green, open spaces. Take a paddleboat down the Avon River, play a match of soccer or rugby, or explore the flower beds and glasshouses of the Christchurch Botanic Gardens.More
#9
Christchurch Gondola

Christchurch Gondola

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Enjoy a bird’s-eye view from more than 1,640 feet (500 meters) above sea level on the Christchurch Gondola. Take in 360-degree views of the Christchurch cityscape set against a scenic backdrop of the Canterbury Plains, Southern Alps, and Banks Peninsula. It’s a not-to-be-missed experience for visitors of all ages.More
#10
Pegasus Bay Winery and Restaurant

Pegasus Bay Winery and Restaurant

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Pegasus Bay Winery and Restaurant is a family-owned and run winery and restaurant located in the Waipara Valley, north of Christchurch. Pegasus Bay wines are made with estate-grown fruit from the Donaldson family’s vineyards.The Donaldsons have been growing grapes and making wine since the early 1970s. A husband, wife and three sons team, the family uses natural methods, and the winery produces a sauvignon, Reisling, chardonnay, pinot noir, merlot and cabernet. The winery is also known for half a dozen reserve wines.More

Trip ideas

How to Spend 2 Days in Christchurch

How to Spend 2 Days in Christchurch

Ways to Experience Maori Culture in Christchurch

Ways to Experience Maori Culture in Christchurch

Top activities in Christchurch

Christchurch Zipline Tour

Christchurch Zipline Tour

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Recent reviews from experiences in Christchurch

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Perfect!
Andrea_C, May 2021
Tramway Restaurant 4 Course Dinner Service through Christchurch
The meal was great, the staff were all very courteous and professional, and the tram ride itself was an awesome way to see Christchurch on our first eveningthere.
star-5
Great Wines , beautiful gardens, delicious food. What more could you ask for?
Julie_C, Jan 2021
Waipara Wine Trail Afternoon Tour from Christchurch
What a wonderful area to visit.
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Tradition and pleasure
isobelmd, Feb 2020
Christchurch Hop-On Hop-Off Tram
Ideal way to see Christchurch.
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Anniversary dinner
deltrev, Jan 2020
Tramway Restaurant 4 Course Dinner Service through Christchurch
The food was amazing, service was 1st class and it's also a great way to see some of the changes to this ever changing and evolving city.
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Akaroa - A Great Experience
Mansi H, Jan 2020
Akaroa Full Day Sightseeing Tour from Christchurch
The day was clear and cruise was excellent and we got to see the dolphins, and the colony of seals.
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Horse Trek in the Mountains
Travel39047556974, Jun 2019
Rubicon Valley Horse Treks - 2 Hour River Trail Horse Trek
Highly recommend if you want to see the incredible views in this part of Christchurch.
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Christchurch Tram
GoPlaces47670507769, Jan 2019
Christchurch Hop-On Hop-Off Tram
Tram drivers excellent guides and a wonderful way to see the City😊Highly recommend this way of seeing Christchurch.
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A really pleasant day. A relaxing...
Michael J H, Jan 2017
Akaroa Swim with Dolphins Tour from Christchurch
We did manage to see quite a few along with some penguins.
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Travelled with kids, and they simply...
Mario P, Jan 2014
Christchurch Snow and Kiwi Tour
Travelled with kids, and they simply loved it, lots to see and learn, a must see attraction if you going to Christchurch
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Nothing in Christchurch is open on...
Marie M, Jan 2011
Christchurch Gondola Ride Ticket
It is a good trip to see the city at all angles.
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The driver of the shuttle was waiting...
Nicole C, Jun 2010
Arrival Transfer: Christchurch Airport to Christchurch Central City Hotels
From the airport to the hotel, he told us about places we might like to see in Christchurch.
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I only had four days to visit...
Hannah M, Jun 2007
Christchurch City Sightseeing: Must See Three Attractions
I saw the main attractions and split them up between two days to fit in other activities.
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This is great to see Christchurch for...
Carlos A R, Feb 2008
Christchurch City Sightseeing: Must See Three Attractions
This is great to see Christchurch for the very first time.
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Wonderful day at Aoraki-Mt Cook National Park
daviddannecker, Jan 2020
Aoraki-Mt Cook Tasman Glacier & Alpine Centre scenic day tour from Christchurch
We would definitely recommend this tour company if you are staying in Christchurch, because outside of renting a car and trekking yourself, it is the easiest way to get out to see Mt Cook that we could find, and definitely the best value.
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We had arrived back in Christchurch...
Michael P, Jun 2017
Waipara Wine Trail Afternoon Tour from Christchurch
they picked us up from where we were staying, Sue our tour guide/ driver was very good in her knowledge of the area and of the vineries we were going to visit, we had a very good tour with her as we were traveling with four other people who were in Christchurch for the Rugby match, I think that she may have thought that we may not enjoy ourselves but we did as she put everyone at ease.
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The trip was customised to suit most...
Alan R, Mar 2018
Arthur's Pass Full-Day Tour Includes TranzAlpine Express Train from Christchurch
The train left from Christchurch but we travelled to Springfield on the bus to pick up the train as there was little of interest to see between Christchurch and there.
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A great tour of Christchurch...
CraigandSharon M, Mar 2018
Tramway Restaurant 4 Course Dinner Service through Christchurch
Awesome food - a great way to see the city.
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The tour started with a beautiful...
Jennifer S, Jan 2018
Akaroa Full Day Sightseeing Tour from Christchurch
The free time in small sea-side town of Akaroa provided enough time to visit the shops and enjoy a walk along the harbor shore.
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This was a brilliant tour, well...
Lucy P, Oct 2017
Lord of the Rings - Journey to Edoras from Christchurch
To be able to stand on top of Mt Sunday, especially with the snow creating a winter wonderland effect, was excellent.
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We did this trip from Christchurch...
Alan R, Mar 2018
Kaikoura Whale Watch Day Tour from Christchurch
It was a fairly calm day and the boat took us to see the dolphins first - there must have been 200 ahead of us just playing and doing flips.

All about Christchurch

When to visit

Christchurch is a year-round destination, with summer and winter being the most popular times to visit. December through February sees warm, sunny days, though the northwesterly wind—which blows all year but is most prevalent during these months—keeps things comfortable. In winter, Christchurch is a great base for nearby ski fields. To escape the crowds, visit in autumn when the Garden City shows of its fall foliage.

Frequently Asked Questions

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