Christchurch Travel Guide
Hotels
Nightlife
Itineraries
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Maps


ITINERARIES

Arts Centre
Christchurch‘s hub of arts and crafts, featuring art galleries, craft studios and shops, theatres, cinemas, a selection of cafes, restaurants and bars and an exciting colourful weekend market and ethnic food fair. Lunchtime concerts feature every Friday and live music every weekend in summer. This historic site was originally home to Canterbury University College, first established in 1873. It includes many wonderful places of historic note, including the oldest lecture theatre in New Zealand and the centres latest attraction, "Father of the Atom", Ernest Lord Rutherfords Den.

Christchurch Tramway
Enjoy an entertaining Inner City Tour on beautifully restored heritage trams. Explore the "must see and do" attractions on the tram route. The tramway offers a quality inner city tour experience that combines the heritage of the trams, attractions and historic buildings with the culture of the Garden City. The trams follow a 2.5 kilometre loop around central Christchurch taking in some interesting sites. These include Cathedral Square, Southern Encounter Aquarium, The Arts Centre, Botanic Gardens, Canterbury Museum, Punting on the Avon, Victoria Square, and New Regent Street to name just a few.

Botanic Gardens
Christchurch’s reputation as the Garden City is truly reflected in the Botanic Gardens. Undoubtedly the finest collection of exotic and indigenous plants found anywhere in New Zealand, the Gardens provide spectacular displays all year round. You can’t help but be impressed with the large majestic trees and sweeping lawns providing a wonderful backdrop to our feature gardens including rock, water, rose and herb gardens. Also featured are herbaceous borders, woodland areas and a conservatory complex, open daily from 10.15am until 4pm. Relax and let the kids play in our play area next to the Gardens Restaurant.

Banks of the Avon
The Avon is a delight to simply stroll along, or, if you're up for its watery delights, find the historic Antigua Boatsheds and hire a boat, or better still a punt. The river meanders right through the unmissable Botanic Gardens, which has an amazing collection of exotic and indigenous plants. Hagley Park lies on the other side and is a draw for the sports-loving locals on weekends. More gorgeous gardens can be found on the other side of North Hagley Park, at Mona Vale, a Tudor-style homestead with extensive gardens, fountains and ponds.

Botanic Gardens
Christchurch’s reputation as the Garden City is truly reflected in the Botanic Gardens. Undoubtedly the finest collection of exotic and indigenous plants found anywhere in New Zealand, the Gardens provide spectacular displays all year round. You can’t help but be impressed with the large majestic trees and sweeping lawns providing a wonderful backdrop to our feature gardens including rock, water, rose and herb gardens. Also featured are herbaceous borders, woodland areas and a conservatory complex, open daily from 10.15am until 4pm. Relax and let the kids play in our play area next to the Gardens Restaurant.

Cathedral Square
Cathedral Square, at the heart of Christchurch, is the best place to start exploring the city. Although attracting its fair share of tourists, it's also well used by locals. The Cathedral, built in Gothic Revival style and symbolising the Church of England bedrock of this city, dominates the square. There's a visitor centre-cum-souvenir shop and cafe, and you can climb the spire (for a small fee). Look out for the Wizard, a famous eccentric who takes up a soapbox most fine afternoons somewhere in the square.

Christchurch Gondola
Riding the Gondola is a spectacular sightseeing experience enjoyed by visitors to Christchurch and locals.Unique 360-degree panoramic views of Christchurch, the Canterbury Plains and Lyttelton Harbour unfold as you rise to the summit of Christchurch's famous extinct volcano.

Nga Hau e Wha
Visiting a marae (a traditional complex of Maori buildings) is one of the best ways to gain an understanding of Maori culture. Experienced guides, employed from local tribal groups, explain the culture, customs, history and traditions represented by the marae, which features two of New Zealand's most spectacularly carved whare (meeting houses).

Sign of the Takahe
For scenic views and a sense of history, the s-shaped Summit Rd offers a great ride, walk or drive. To the south of the city, it follows the ridge of what were once volcanic craters. Liberal thinker Harry Ell fought against the closure of various walking tracks scattered across this area as early as 1900, believing the preservation and appreciation of natural heritage was intrinsic to local identity. He envisaged a network of scenic reserves along the Port Hills, connected by a specially built road, with walker's rest houses at regular gaps.

Willowbank Wildlife Reserve
Experience New Zealand's largest and most unique daytime and night-time Kiwi bird viewing area. Feed and pet sociable animals throughout the enchanting natural wildlife reserve.

The Circuit
Science Alive!, Supa Kart Raceway, Laserstrike, Garden City Bowl, Aimtru’s Indoor Archery and Alpine Ice Sport Centre make up ‘The Circuit’; six action-packed, fun entertainment venues all located within a small distance of each other. Challenge your body and mind through the interactive experience of Science Alive!, skate hard or just chill out at Christchurch’s only ice skating arena or take-on all, or any, of the Circuit attractions.

Clearwater Resort
Clearwater, the country's newest resort, was designed in consultation with New Zealand golfing legend, Sir Bob Charles and the course features some of the toughest holes in the country. Naturally, water features amongst the hazards, in itself is a novelty in New Zealand. However, the choice of five tee positions will bring pleasure for players of all abilities. Deluxe accommodation is available immediately adjacent to the course.

Swimming with Dolphins - Akaroa
Akaroa Harbour is the only place on the planet where you can swim with the world's smallest and rarest Dolphins - the Hector's or New Zealand Dolphin. Akaroa is a delightful scenic township about 90 minutes drive from Christchurch. The Hector's Dolphins frequent the sheltered harbour all year round. Dolphins Up Close operates a jet-powered catamaran for ultimate safety for you and the dolphins. Everything is provided including wetsuits, masks, snorkels, hot showers, hot chocolate and a free gift pack.

Akaroa Harbour Cruises
The historic French Village of Akaroa is 90 minutes drive from Christchurch. Here you can cruise around an extinct volcanic crater. Experience majestic scenery and stunning wildlife on daily Canterbury Cat harbour cruises. You'll see the rare, native dolphin - the Hector's or New Zealand Dolphin.

Island Adventures
Lyttelton Harbour, just 15 minutes from Christchurch, is home to two islands, each with an incredible link to Canterbury's past. Ripapa Island Historic Reserve was originally a Maori pa before it became home to Fort Jervois, built in 1860. The island then housed the famous prisoner Count Felix Von Luckner. Today guided tours explore this historic island. The early European settlers first used Quail Island as a leper colony and a quarantine station.

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