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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.

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Hotels in Christchurch

65 hotels in Christchurch, NZ

1 The George Christchurch

5 stars
4.9 / 5 7 reviews

50 Park Terrace Map

Featuring deluxe accommodations and central location, The George Hotel Christchurch makes for an ideal retreat for business and leisure travellers while visiting Christchurch. Tourists at this... More

2 Hotel 115

4 stars
4.8 / 5 14 reviews

115 Worcester Street Map

Hotel 115 is a contemporary hotel with chic accommodations that caters to discerning travellers exploring the heart of Christchurch. This boutique hotel places vacationers within four kilometres... More

3 Southwark Apartments

4 stars
3.9 / 5 12 reviews

25 Southwark Street Map

Featuring upscale self-contained units and modern amenities in the heart of Christchurch, Southwark Apartments makes for an ideal base for travellers on short or extended trips in this side of New... More

4 Heritage Christchurch

4 stars
4.9 / 5 80 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

5 Pavilions Hotel Christchurch

4 stars
4.3 / 5 10 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

6 Rendezvous Hotel Christchurch

4 stars
4.7 / 5 39 reviews

166 Gloucester Street Map

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

7 Rydges Latimer Christchurch

4 stars
4.2 / 5 6 reviews

30 Latimer Square Map

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

8 Commodore Airport Hotel

4 stars
4.4 / 5 20 reviews

449 Memorial Avenue Map

Set in an idyllic setting on award-winning native New Zealand gardens, Commodore Airport Hotel is an ideal place to stay. Mona Vale, a historic site with lake, springs and gardens is within a short... More

9 The Ashley Hotel Christchurch

3 stars
3.3 / 5 13 reviews

106 Mandeville Street Map

Beautifully located just next to Quality Education, the The Ashley Hotel Christchurch welcomes guests for a splendid experience at the comfort of its luxurious accommodation. GeneralThe hotel... More

10 City Centre Motel

4 stars
Not yet reviewed

876 Colombo Street Map

Christchurch motel accommodation, City Centre Motel, offers you a warm welcome to its quiet garden setting and comfortable, spacious studios and apartments. Accommodation caters for up to five... More