Christchurch Basic Information

This bright, energetic city engulfs visitors with an unmissable range of sights and top attractions. There’s never a dull moment in Christchurch as travellers from all backgrounds of life mix together in the constant festival atmosphere that lingers all year round. Before setting off, please find all the need to know information below.

Visa Requirements

As it stands, Australian passport holders are eligible to holiday, work and live in New Zealand indefinitely as long as certain terms are met. Please be aware though that this information is only a guideline. For up to the minute visa information please contact your local New Zealand embassy. Most other tourists who are residents of a country within the ‘visa waiver list’ can visit as a holiday maker for up to 3 months. UK residents can visit for 6months.

Currency

The currency in New Zealand is the New Zealand Dollar. The exchange rate between the Australian Dollar and the New Zealand Dollar fluctuates constantly so it's a good idea to monitor the rate before purchasing cash. For safe spending while overseas, consider bringing a credit card or travel money card with you.

Food

The culinary hotpot that is Christchurch sizzles away seven days a week with gourmet restaurants taking advantage of the city’s prime location for local produce. The Garden City’s unique location, which backs onto a natural harbour and is encased by a calm river, allows restaurants to snap up fresh seafood as well as dairy and meats from neighbouring farming communities.  While the food is fresh it can range in prices, from AA rosette restaurants attracting those with a taste for high end á la carte meals to backpacker friendly low-priced delights. The city is strongly influenced by European food and cafe culture is rife in town. Check out the Food and Wine Festival that kicks off annually in May to see even more of a variety than is already on offer.

Nightlife

Following the earthquakes that hit Christchurch, many central venues have had to be shut for refurbishment. But for party animals of the night there’s no reason to panic as this city yet again surprises the watching world by putting on a fantastic night out week upon week. The largest casino is centrally located and is a lively joint with two bars, a restaurant and many table games to raise the stakes of the night. Bars are busy and have a light-hearted international community spirit about them which in this day and age is a rarity to find. Bars tend to close at about 2am with some that are centrally located staying up until 5am. Head for the busy areas of Riccarton, Merivale, Addington and Fendalton to guarantee an entertaining nightout. The clubbing scene is not as extensive as the bar scene in Christchurch but still gives a selection of around 15 venues all within a couple of square kilometres of the centre.