Things to do in Christchurch
Much like other Kiwi tourist hotspots, Christchurch is awash with world-class activities and sights to keep you entertained. The city has an attraction or activity to suit all budgets and personal tastes, from relaxing in the sun to setting off for an adventure in the nearby natural terrain.
Head just 90 minutes north of Christchurch and you’ll find numerous outdoor activities to take part in at Hammer Springs. Sit back and enjoy a thrilling jet boat ride as the experienced driver blasts through the Canterbury plains at 80km per hour, cutting corners and spinning 360 degrees. Out of the water and up into the sky, try bungy jumping off of a historic 135 year old bridge that lies 35 metres above a fast paced river. Not for the faint hearted – or those afraid of heights.
For something more lax, take a grand tour of Christchurch in the comfort of a luxury coach. The best time to take this tour is at the beginning of a stay in Christchurch as it takes passengers around all of the hotspots. Included in the tour is a peaceful punt ride along the River Avon, a quick look around the infamous Botanical Gardens, a trip to the top in the nearby Christchurch Gondola and the last stop being at the wonderfully colourful container village.
If shopping is on your list, Christchurch Farmers’ Market commences weekly on Saturday mornings. It is here you will find a selection of mouth watering local produce including meats, cheeses, fruits and vegetables. On Sundays an Artisan Market takes place also, allowing you to browse for both lunch and souvenirs. The market is located in the historic Riccarton House. New Zealand is also well known for its wine so if you’re partial to a glass of red, consider joining a wine tour to try what’s on offer at the region’s surrounding wineries including Pegasus Bay, Mud House, Waipara Springs and Bishops Head.
The country’s only free range zoo was opened in 1976 and is home to some 400 animals spanning across 70 different species. Many of the species seen here are endangered and cared for by the charity funded park.
Specialising in the human and natural history of the surrounding area, the Canterbury Museum is a fascinating place packed with artefacts large and small. Each piece shown in the museum has its very own unique story to tell all of which have helped build the country up to the proud nation it is today.
Known as one of the most scenic rail routes in the world, the TranzAlpine is a modified train journey boasting luxury seating, panoramic car windows and an outdoor observation deck. Meander the Southern Alps and gaze into the ever long rolling fields along the way.
The Willowbank Wildlife Reserve is open from the morning well into the night on a made to measure wildlife haven. Observe native animals within the park and hand feed a friendly selection. Located just 5 minutes drive away from Christchurch airport, the reserve is a popular destination throughout the year.
A great chance way to observe the city’s English heritage, the Christchurch Botanical Gardens boasts fantastic attention to detail, stunning flora and scenic punt rides along the River Avon.