Visit the gateway to New Zealand’s South Island, Christchurch. See the sights in different ways on guided tours by punting, gondola or tram to name a few ways.
Christchurch is found on the east coast of South Island is well known for its English heritage but also as being a city that is vibrant and in transition after the Earthquakes of Canterbury 2010 and 2011. Christchurch bounced back with energy and resilience that is evident in the creativity and innovative new attractions for all to see. There are still the old popular attractions too!
It is the largest city in New Zealand’s South Island with a population of around 370,000. Thankfully there are plenty of beautiful gardens, parks and tree-lined streets for all residents and tourists to enjoy. It is also why the city is known as the ‘Garden City’.
Thanks to the ‘alps’ and the beaches along with the usual attractions, Christchurch, in or around, has many exciting things to do and see suitable for all ages and price ranges. Read More...
Be Thrilled at Willowbank Wildlife Reserve With Private Tour Guide
There are great adventures to take when you decide to visit in Christchurch such as a private tour guided trip to the Willowbank Wildlife Reserve. Here you can meet New Zealand’s equivalent to Africa’s Big 5, kiwi, tuatara, kaka, kea and takahe.
Other reasons why you should take a trip to Christchurch include the city’s art scene, the food scene, entertaining events and festivals, the choice of either hiking or biking up a mountain in the morning and surfing and swimming at the beaches for the afternoon. All available within easy reach of each other.
Christchurch is certainly unique in many ways!
Top 10 Things to Do in Christchurch
Willowbank Wildlife Reserve - Christchurch
Experience close encounters with the Big 5 when on a guided tour of Willowbank Wildlife Reserve. However, the big 5 here are different from Africas; they include Kiwi, Kea, Tuatara, Kaka and Takahe. This Reserve combines conservation with culture. Be introduced to livestock breeds which are unique to New Zealand, feed some wild eels and learn about Maori Cultural. This is a perfect place for a family outing.
International Antarctic Centre
The International Antarctic Centre is an award winning attraction for tourists and locals. It is regarded to be among the best tourist attractions in New Zealand and it is located next to Christchurch International airport. It's a place to experience authentic Antarctica through guided tours and fun activities. Experience an Antarctic Storm, a Hagglund ride, an Ice Voyage or see penguins like never before.
When on a sightseeing tour of Christchurch, make stop at the Canterbury Museum. This is where you can explore the rich cultural of New Zealand and its natural heritage. This museum was first opened in 1867 and is registered as a Charitable Trust. There are many displays and interactive exhibitions which are very popular with both young and old. It is also well known worldwide for its natural and human history collection.
Orana Wildlife Park
A great place to visit on a guided tour is Orana Wildlife Park. This is the only open-range zoo in New Zealand and found on the outskirts of Christchurch. Here you can have the ultimate adventure, getting close to animals. Eye ball rhinos, feed a giraffe from a specially made feeding cage, meeting a kiwi a national icon, quietly go through the Lion Reserve or have a staring competition with only gorillas in the country.
Christchurch Botanic Gardens
Another place to visit when on a sightseeing tour is Christchurch Botanic Gardens. These gardens were founded more than 150 years ago and regarded to be Garden City’s Green Heart. It started small and has grown and transformed over the many years. There are rare and wonderful plant species on view, an archery lawn and rose gardens. While it is lovely to visit at any stage of the year, it is extra special in Springtime.
Air Force Museum Of New Zealand
You can find the Air Force Museum of New Zealand at the Royal New Zealand Air Force first operational base in Wigram, Christchurch. On a guided tour discover and learn about the history of military aviation in New Zealand through galleries, exhibitions and displays. There are a vast range of interactive activities found in the museum which makes learning and discovering much more enjoyable especially for children
White Water Rafting from Christchurch
From Christchurch, why not take an adventure tour to do some white water river rafting on the Rangitata River. This location is one of the best places in all of New Zealand for white water rafting as it is set against a striking gorge. With experience rafters tackle 2-5 grade rapids, rocky outcrops, thrilling bends and calm river passes. This is a tour for adrenaline fuelled enthusiasts and a whole lot of fun.
Christchurch Gondola Tours
The best way and slightly thrilling way to see the breathtaking views of Christchurch is on a Christchurch Gondola tour. Whether you call it a Gondola or cable car it does not matter as the views are spectacular. This is a must do sightseeing tour as the Gondola cabins afford you a 360-degree view of the city, Canterbury Plains, out to the Southern Alps and Banks Peninsula. Certainly a unique experience to have here.
Punting on the Avon River
Everyone must partake in Christchurch’s iconic activity which is punting on the Avon River. There are custom tours which will bring you to do this if you are staying too far away to get to yourself. The Avon River Punting tours are on handcrafted boats that are flat bottomed guided by a pole and a punter on a raised platform at the rear of the boat. These tours are romantic and relaxing. An early evening ride is especially romantic.
Take a guided tour to the Cardboard Cathedral which is in Christchurch. It is Christchurch’s Transitional Cathedral for Anglican worshippers. It was established n 2013, and the building is exquisite. The simplicity and quietness draws the crowds and you do get a sense of peace when you are there. Learn the history and plans from you private tour guide. Everyone from any faith is very welcome here.
Travel Tips for Christchurch
Best Time To Visit
One research company for New Zealand had a great reply to this question - tomorrow. In other words, Christchurch is a place you can visit at any stage during the year. There is always something to do whatever the weather such as indoor guided tours of museums when it is raining. The busiest and possibly the more expensive time of the year is from December to February, summer time, but the weather is great.
The prices in Christchurch are quite reasonable for tourists and for a major city cheaper than the likes of Wellington, the capital city. A nights accommodation starts from US$50 / 70NZD for a basic hotel. An evening meal in a good restaurant will cost from US$13 / 18NZD. A fast food menu meal is around US$8 / 11NZD. Get a daily Metrocard for traveling on local buses as it is cheaper than individual fares.
Know Before Visiting
Decide what you want from your trip to Christchurch and book well in advance including any private guided tours to major attractions. When here during the summer months, it is vital that you keep applying a high factor suncream as the ultraviolet rays are strong at this time. On group tours, never stray away on your own and be alert for pickpockets especially if the area you are visiting is crowded.
Christchurch's climate is temperate and relatively dry, it rains less here than the other main cities in New Zealand. In general, all year round the weather is comfortable except for the winter nights when it can be cold. The temperatures during the summer months range from 21-23 degrees Celsius and in the winter months, the ranges are from 11-13 degrees Celsius. Spring and Autumn have temperatures in between.