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Christchurch

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After the devastating earthquakes that hit Christchurch in September 2010 and February 2011, the New Zealand city was quite literally shaken. Its confidence, landmarks and spirit all took a hit, but while the aftershocks continue and the repair efforts are still in progress, Christchurch is a city more determined than ever to show you its beauty.

The once-grand Christchurch Anglican Cathedralnow serves a sadder historical purpose, although its pre-earthquake history remains fascinating. The nearby Avon Riverwith its quaint punts floating by is a nod to the city’s strong British roots, while Lichfield Street with its boutiques and cafés is a gaze forward to a funkier, trendier Christchurch that is shedding its conservative roots.

Just outside the city, the rubble gives way to lush greenery and breathtaking natural beauty, and it’s possible to forget – for at least a while – that tragedy occurred here.

Christchurch’s Top 10

10. Mona Vale Set outside the city, this elegant country manor is a step back in time to a more genteel era.

5. Canterbury Museum This grand old museum has a rather one-sided focus on British Colonisation, but the Brits are nothing if not selective with their history…

9. Willowbank Wildlife Reserve Spot a kiwi at the largest viewing centre in NZ.

4. Punting on the Avon They say you can tell the difference between an Oxford boy and a Cambridge boy by the technique they use to punt. Check this place out to see how they punt in Christchurch!

8. Adrenalin Forest New Zealanders love to raise their adrenaline. Put your heart rate to the test in this obstacle course of extreme sports.

3. The Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament Although damaged in the earthquake and set to be partially demolished in the near future, it’s still worth a look.

7. Christchurch Botanic Gardens For a change of pace, immerse yourself in the English charm of these spectacular gardens.

2. Lake Pukaki Pinch yourself – yep, it really is that beautiful!

6. Pegasus Bay Winery A little way out of the city centre, the trek is worth it for the divine Sauv Blanc. Sniff, swill… don’t spit!

1. Waimairi Beach Heathcliff and Cathy would have been happy on this ruggedly beautiful stretch of sand.

Christchurch History

  • Christchurch Cathedral - The famous cathedral where Anglicans have worshipped for 180 years.
  • Heritage Buildings - Located at the Arts Centre of Christchurch. Gothic-style buildings.
  • Air Force Museum - Displays of aircraft, medals and collection of vintage, parachute-silk wedding gowns.
  • Punting on the Avon - A historic tradition. Ride the river and enjoy the lovely gardens and scenic parks.
  • Floral Clock - Gift to the city in 1953; more than 7,000 plants are used every spring and fall to create the spectacular designs.

Christchurch Art & Culture

  • Canterbury Museum - Collections from the Classic Maori Period and Antarctica expeditions. Museum cafe and gift shop inside the museum.
  • Arts Centre Of Christchurch - Seasonal festivals. Theatres, galleries and cinemas are housed in the complex.
  • Cathedral Square - Home to the Arts Centre and close to attractions including Christchurch Art Gallery and Hagley Park.
  • Akaroa Tour - Historic area with guided walks to learn about the French heritage of Christchurch.
  • Christchurch Art Gallery - Historic and contemporary art collections featuring New Zealand and international art.

Christchurch Shopping

  • The Arts Centre - Over 40 shops and boutiques. Buy local handcrafts and enjoy the Friday Farmers' Market.
  • Merivale Mall - Located in Merivale Village, with 40 shops, restaurants to sample local cuisine.
  • New Regent Street - Between Armagh and Gloucester Streets, this cobblestone street features a wide variety of designer boutique shops.
  • Victoria Street - By the Parkroyal Hotel, antique dealers from the Christchurch & Canterbury Visitor Centre.
  • Primary Shopping Streets - Cashel, Colombo, Gloucester and Armagh, Hereford; and High Street.

Gay & Lesbian Christchurch

  • All Stars Bowling League - At the Garden City Bowling Centre. Bowl and socialize with friends.
  • Christchurch Gay Social Group - Social events including barbeques, bowling, rock climbing, skating, movie nights and evening coffee.
  • Dykes Dining Out - Group dines at different restaurants. Open to singles and couples.
  • Crave - Social activism group at the former All Saints Metropolitan Community Church.
  • Gayline/Lesbianline - Information about the gay community and phone support. Ph: (03)379-4796.

Christchurch Outdoor

  • Hagley Park - One the biggest of the world's inner city parks, covering an area of approximately 160 hectares.
  • New Brighton Pier - Popular outdoor recreation spot offering an array of events, including an annual fireworks display.
  • Botanic Gardens - Gardens, displays and playgrounds. Close to museums and galleries.
  • Orana Park - Wild animals in natural habitat settings. Farmyard area with domesticated animals local to New Zealand.
  • Ski Fields - Mt Dobson, Mt Hutt and Porter Heights are close to Christchurch.

Christchurch Sport

  • Fish the Rakaia or Waimakariri rivers.
  • Take a thrilling jet boat tour of the Waimak Gorge.
  • Ride horses through scenic countryside, view spectacular mountains and enjoy thermal hot springs at Hammer Springs.
  • Go for a quad bike ride around Kaikoura.
  • Ski the Southern Alps at Mount Hutt.

Christchurch Events

Get your gold coins ready for the World Busker’s Festival each January.

While a lot has happened in the past few years to change the face of Christchurch, the Biennial Christchurch Arts Festival from August to October has more reasons than ever to celebrate the strength of the city.

Rugby is pretty much a religion in New Zealand. Catch a game while you’re in town – you’ll have plenty to choose from!

When To Go

  • Christchurch enjoys relatively mild winters and pleasant summers.
  • In winter (June-August), temperatures hover around 10ºC (50ºF) during the day, falling to freezing overnight.
  • Summer temperatures average around 22ºC (72ºF).

Getting Around

Much of the inner city is still strictly limited due to quake damage, so check your accommodation in relation to the damaged areas

The Christchurch Shuttle operates around parts of the city. It’s free and sustainable (a hybrid vehicle). Hooray!

For trips outside the city, renting a car is your best option. NZ is best viewed through a windscreen as you pass some of the most breathtaking attractions simply getting from A to B.

HotelClub Blog

Top 5 Hotels In Australia & NZ For Value

Hotels in Christchurch

Recommended hotels

From US$77

1 Rendezvous Hotel Christchurch

4 stars
4.7 / 5 43 reviews

166 Gloucester Street Map

Stay 3 Nights & Save 20%

Rendezvous Hotel Christchurch is a centrally located contemporary base offering style and comfort to business and leisure travellers visiting Christchurch. Tourists exploring the South Island of... More

A terrific central city hotel
This is a very comfortable hotel, right in the heart of Christchurch. From check in to check out the staff were friendly & helpful, the chef cooked our steak exactly as we wanted. The wine...
25 Aug 2015
From US$61

2 Ramada Suites Christchurch City

4 stars
Not yet reviewed

264-266 Tuam Street Map

Stay in the heart of Christchurch Ramada Christchurch offers self-contained accommodation located in central Christchurch. These air-conditioned apartments feature a fully equipped kitchen,... More

From US$74

3 City Centre Motel

4 stars
4.0 / 5 1 reviews

876 Colombo Street Map

With contemporary accommodations centrally positioned in Christchurch, City Centre Motel makes for an ideal starting base for travellers in this part of New Zealand. This inviting hotel places... More

The next best thing
The motel was.okay. Never the same as staying at a hotel though. But was a good alternative.
26 Jul 2015
From US$146

4 Heritage Christchurch

4 stars
4.9 / 5 81 reviews

28-30 Cathedral Square Map

The Heritage Christchurch Hotel offers a mix of dining, recreational and meeting facilities to suit the needs of corporate groups and holidaymakers. For entertainment, guests can visit Christchurch... More

Fantastic location for Christchurch marathon
Stayed for the Christchurch marathon perfect for start finish line, great friendly service, enjoyed spa and sauna facilities.easy to walk to sightseeing trams etc.
4 Jun 2015
From US$74

5 The Towers On The Park

4 stars
4.0 / 5 25 reviews

7 Kilmarnock Street, Riccarton Map

Offering a wide range of accommodation and recreational facilities, The Towers On The Park Christchurch Hotel, is ideal for family vacations or corporate outings. Tourists can visit Botanical... More

Stay at Towers
The rooms were spacious and clean. We booked two rooms, one the spa unit, unfortunately the water ran cold before the spa was full, very disappointing! Also I left to pick up the couple staying in...
2 Jun 2015
From US$49

6 BreakFree on Cashel

3 stars
4.0 / 5 2 reviews

165 Cashel Street Map

Book Now & Save 15%

Featuring well-appointed accommodations set in the heart of the city, BreakFree on Cashel makes for a suitable base for Christchurch travellers. Visitors at this cosy hotel can first have fun at... More

Simple and compact accomodation
Stayed in one of the basic no-window rooms it was compact, but the space was very efficiently utilised and felt clean. Staff were very helpful, gave us late checkout (12pm) and heated up our...
18 Jul 2015
From US$63

7 Bealey Avenue Motel

4 stars
4.1 / 5 43 reviews

229 Bealey Avenue Map

Bealey Avenue Motel Christchurch offers modern and luxurious accommodation for corporates and family group travellers for a relaxing night's stay. This property is within easy walk to the Square,... More

Weekend Stay
Have no complaints, room was comfortable and service was great
26 Aug 2015
From US$84

8 Pavilions Hotel Christchurch

4 stars
4.1 / 5 12 reviews

42 Papanui Road Map

Providing exceptional value, courteous service and comfortable accommodation, Pavilions Hotel Christchurch is an ideal place to take in the view and venture out the exciting attractions of the... More

Frustrated and Disappointed
I was very disappointed by the poor customer service provided by the hotel. The in-room Wi-Fi wasn't working and I requested to the duty manager for a room change. Initially, he told me it was not...
16 Jun 2015
From US$77

9 Chateau On The Park Christchurch

4 stars
4.5 / 5 75 reviews

189 Deans Avenue Map

Includes Full Buffet Breakfast

The Chateau on the Park is resort style hotel accommodation in the vibrant city of Christchurch. Set amongst 5 acres of tranquil surroundings and gorgeous gardens, the hotel offers a welcome... More

Great place to stay.
Very comfortable and great place to stay. Only drawback is the dining room ambience is a bit ordinary although the food is good.
26 Apr 2015
From US$105

10 Rydges Latimer Christchurch

4 stars
4.2 / 5 6 reviews

30 Latimer Square Map

FREE Wifi

Discerning travellers find ideal base at the elegant accommodations of Rydges Latimer Christchurch set in the heart of Christchurch. Vacationers at this contemporary property can see the exhibits... More

Nice new hotel good food at bar.
Nice modern hotel. Staff helpful. By joining Rydges club we got a free drink and discount on our meal. We ate in the bar area as the restaurant was booked out, Food was good and well priced. I used...
9 Sep 2014
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