The Christchurch Tramway 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.
The 50-minute route from Cathedral Junction takes you through downtown Christchurch, starting at Cathedral Square. Nearby attractions include the Bridge of Remembrance, Quake City, Christchurch Cathedral, Canterbury Museum, Hagley Park, Victoria Square, and New Regent Street. All trams have informative and entertaining on-board commentary.
Visitor typically combine the hop-on hop-off tour with a punt cruise on the Avon River, a ride on the Christchurch Gondola, a caterpillar shuttle tour through the Christchurch Botanic Gardens, or some combination of activities. Alternatively, take an evening ride on the Restaurant Tram with a 4-course dinner menu that features local lamb and seafood.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Christchurch Tramway departs daily, every 15–20 minutes.
- Tickets are typically valid for one day.
- Use your ticket to hop on and hop off at 17 stops and create your own sightseeing itinerary.
- Some combo tours include convenient hotel pickup and drop-off.
- Children up to age 15 travel free; however, the Tramway Restaurant is not suitable for children under 10 years old.
How to Get There
The Christchurch Tramway, including the Tramway Restaurant, departs from Cathedral Junction. The route crosses the Worcester Bridge over the Avon River, loops past the Christchurch Botanic Gardens, and travels past the shops of Armagh Street. You’ll find boutiques and restaurants in the glass-covered shopping arcade, which is easily accessed by metro bus, car, or on foot.
When to Get There
The Tramway runs 9am–6pm daily in summer (September–March) and 10am–5pm daily in winter (April–August). The Tramway Restaurant departs from Tram Stop 1 in Cathedral Junction at 7pm daily March–October and 7:30pm daily November–February (with the exception of public holidays).
Riding in Style
The refurbished 36-seater Christchurch Tramway Restaurant combines sightseeing with a fine-dining experience. Waitstaff serve customers a welcome drink along with coffee or tea to accompany the gourmet 4-course meal. Take a seat at an elegant windowside table and relax in style during the 2.5-hour round-trip journey, which is fully narrated.