Things to do in Christchurch

Christchurch is home to many attractions. Whether you are looking for dining out, shopping, architecture and history, relaxed activities such as leisurely walks, river punting and tram rides or more challenging outdoor activities like hill tracks and mountain biking, there is something here for everyone.

Christchurch is a city of contrasts, with many historic buildings damaged or destroyed during the 2010/11 earthquakes. However some have been restored, and are stunning in the restored form. For example the Arts Centre complex is being progressively restored, with several portions now reopened to the public. The magnificent homesteads of Riccarton House and Mona Vale are also fully restored and open to the public. Riccarton House hosts a fabulous bustling Farmers' market every Saturday morning.
The forced demolition of so many buildings and so much infrastructure in the city has necessitated a massive rebuild, and this has created some fascinating new architecture. A stroll around the inner city reveals a wide variety of modern designs, and the rebuild blueprint has created many new shopping precincts and urban parks, with increasing provision of pedestrian and cycle friendly access routes.

Hagley Park, only a few blocks from the city centre, provides a host of attractions and activities. It contains a full 18-hole golf course, many kilometres of tracks for walking, biking and running, the botanical gardens with visitors' centre and cafe/restaurant, river punting or hire boats and the Canterbury Museum.

New aquatic centres are available in several areas of the city, offering a range of pools and family leisure activities such as wave pools and hydroslides.

The Port Hills, overlooking the city from the south, contain a myriad of public walking and biking tracks, ranging from easy to challenging, all with fabulous views across the city, Banks Peninsula and the Canterbury Plains. The hills are also home to the Christchurch Gondola, Christchurch Adventure Park (biking and ziplines) and Ferrymead Historic Village and Museum.
On the other side of the hills lies Lyttelton Harbour, with the port of Lyttelton and a range of communities around the picturesque harbour, formed by an extinct volcanic crater. Further still is Banks Peninsula with stunning rugged scenery and the tourist town of Akaroa, situated in its own beautiful harbour.

Wildlife attractions include Willowbank, within the city, and Orana Park, just out of the city in the McLeans Island area, which also contains numerous attractions such as walking and biking, forest tracks and golf courses.

Christchurch also offers beautiful beaches, ranging from the seaside community of Sumner to the New Brighton Pier and beyond. Beautiful clean and uncluttered beaches stretch continuously from South Brighton to the Waimakariri River Mouth to the North.

To get you started, we have listed some ideas for activities and links to find out more information.
Hagley Golf Club

Staying close to the centre of the city you are just minutes away from a relaxing game of golf. Visiting players are most welcome.

Transitional Cathedral

Visit the transitional cathedral designed by world famous Japanese architect Shigeru Ban using structural cardboard tubes.

New Regent Street

Home to an exciting range of boutique businesses in a stunning heritage setting. The ideal place to relax and indulge yourself.

Christchurch Tramways

Enjoy a journey in style through the changing face of Christchurch’s city centre on board beautifully restored heritage trams.

Christchurch Art Gallery

The gallery has a lively exhibition programme and great range of talks, films and events, there’s always something new to see and do.

Margaret Mahy Playground

Spectacular array of playground equipment, picnic areas and seating, changing facilities, shade canopy and food and beverage retailers.

Christchurch Farmers' Market

Christchurch's largest Saturday Farmers' Market located in the beautiful and historic grounds of Riccarton House and Bush. 

Punting on the Avon River

Admire the beautiful Botanic Gardens as you are guided gently along the Avon River on authentic Edwardian punting tours.

Air Force Museum

Explore the museum's galleries, special exhibitions and memorials and discover New Zealand's miltary aviation history.

Isaac Theatre Royal

Visit the Grand Old Lady of Christchurch Theatre; the only operational Edwardian style theatre remaining in New Zealand.

Ferrymead Heritage Park

An early 1900s Edwardian township with a variety of restored cottages, school house, church and businesses which reflect the period.

Christchurch Adventure Park

Set in the Port Hills, the park is the hub of adventure and leisure in the area with downhill mountain biking, dual zip-line and stunning views.

Port Hills Tracks

Enjoy the Port Hills, from scenic drives to picnic lookouts. Walking, running, mountain biking and road biking are all very popular.

Hanmer Springs

Relaxing rock pools, soothing sulphur pools and an array of water jets and bubbles at a range of temperatures or indulge in a luxurious spa day.

Whale Watch Kaikoura

Experience whale watching from boat, plane or helicopter in this beautiful, peaceful part of New Zealand’s spectacular South Island.

Christchurch CBD

Christchurch inner city can be described as old meets new. The CBD is taking shape with new places opening almost daily.

Image sources:
Courtesy of ChristchurchNZ, Bernard Spragg/Flickr, Christchurch Adventure Park

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Merivale, Christchurch 8014


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