Christchurch Travel Guide

  • Hagley Park, Christchurch
    Hagley Park, Christchurch
    by Tricky_Dicky69
  • An impressive display of paua shells.
    An impressive display of paua shells.
    by Kakapo2
  • At a 20/20 match against England at AMI Stadium.
    At a 20/20 match against England at AMI...
    by Kakapo2

Christchurch Things to Do

  • City Center

    I was rather taken with this cone - I think they call it the Chalice - and was surprised to see it there in the Square still in March 2015. I hadn't expected it to survive the quake (maybe it's been restored - great to see it again)

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  • International Antarctic Centre

    4 out of 5 stars

    The Snow Storm room at the International Antarctic Centre is a well sealed safe environment with real snow. The temperature is set at -4C but at pre-determined times during the day a 'storm' occurs with thunder and lightning and 40kph winds, dropping the temperature to -18C. Visitors are provided with a warm jacket and overshoes. A great...

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  • Christchurch Gondola

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    The Gondola had been closed after the earthquake on 22 February 2011 - not because of structural damage but because of flooding at the summit station. Now everything is ok again, some pillars have been made safe in order to avoid potential rockfall damage. Grand re-opening on 25 March 2013!!! Get up there as you will not get anywhere near the place...

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Christchurch Hotels

Christchurch Restaurants

  • Dux de Lux

    3.5 out of 5 stars

    Update 21 November 2012 The Dux de Lux is back - somehow: It is now the Dux Dine (because the name Dux de Luxe will be kept for the hoped-for re-opening of the legendary place at its original site at the Arts Centre) and located at 28 Riccarton Road. As at the original Dux you will also get a good selection of vegetarian food and fresh seafood....

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  • Art Center Foodstalls

    4 out of 5 stars

    No longer exists after the quake....but I hope in time it will make a comeback as the Arts Centre is restored, building by building. There are other markets, but they seem to have moved out of the city, like so many things. Really liked the food stalls that used to be at the Arts centrre market. Many different nationalities, including Asian,...

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  • Sticky Fingers

    4 out of 5 stars

    It is very conveniently located, near the CBD. Oxford Terrace is lined by numerous cafes & restaurants - a good choice of different styles. The atmosphere is great with the river flowing in front, and the restaurant is open till late (unlike some in Cathedral Square). Good selection of wines - we had decided to taste different Kiwi wines during our...

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Christchurch Nightlife

  • Christchurch Casino

    Although New Zealand has a gambling problem, and we must hear and read every now and then how horrible it is to go to a casino, I quite like the Christchurch Casino. For those who are no gambling addicts it is ok to go there, and it is much more than gambling. In fact we mostly go there not for gambling at all but for lunch and dinner. They have...

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  • The Holy Grail

    This is a Night Club in Christchurch, The beats are awesome, The people and dancing is wicked, it makes for a pretty great night out. With 'The Strip' & Boulivard just down the road, close to central town (in it) & with the rest of the clubs right down the street, you have your pick of them! Decent dress Formal No gang patches etc

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  • City Views at Night

    Not much about it really, but THE square in town. The cathedral is beautiful and well worth a visit. At night, even in mid-winter, when this picture was taken, there's lots of people out there. Souvenir shops, Internet cafes, Starbucks, the Visitor's Centre, restaurants...well, I guess, it simply is THE place to start your tour of Christchurch....

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Christchurch Transportation

  • getting around

    Rent a car is highly recommended in New Zealand, especially the South Island. Hertz and Europcar are the 2 market leaders. With Hertz, for the automatic compact group, usually they give you a Toyota Corolla which looks fancy, but in terms of driving experience and technologies, especially South Island has a lot of hilly and challenging roads,...

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  • Getting There

    - If you want to start or end your NZ trip in Christchurch, or both, the most comfortable way of getting here is by chosing an airline that flies directly to Christchurch, and not via Auckland, check out the luggage, check it in again, and then walk or shuttle from the International Airport to the Domestic Airport. Immigration procedures in...

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  • Bus Exchange

    On 25 October the two temporary bus exchanges will merge into one single central bus exchange which will make connecting bus journeys easier and quicker. The new exchange will not be on the same site as the old one that is still in the 'red zone' the area closed after the quake. NEW: The new exchange will be at 52 Lingfield street and buses will...

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Christchurch Shopping

  • the 4 main Shopping Malls

    This is Christchurch’s and – nearly logical – the South Island’s biggest shopping mall. You have a choice of 150 shops, and especially if you are looking for shoes this is the place to go. Sometimes I have the impression every second shop is for shoes – and I still do not find what I want LOL There are also some nice clothes and homeware stores,...

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  • Artcenter Market

    UPDATE - unfortunately this has been closed since the February 2011 earthquakes. Located in the back of the Art Center building, the Fudge Cottage is a small yet fully stocked sweets outlet. Regardless if you call them candies, sweets or lollies, the Fudge Cottage will have something for you. The ladies were quite nice to explain some of the...

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  • Useful Tips

    The Malls around Christchurch are some of the best places to go looking for most of the items you need. You can get around them quite easily via the Orbiter Bus which has its route going past Northlands, The Palms, Eastgate, Westgate (Riccarton) and Barrington Malls plus the Bush Inn centre. Anything and everything

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Christchurch Local Customs

  • Useful Tips.......Emergency number

    The New Zealand dollar has depreciated in value over the last few years. It now lies around $1NZ=$0.49US good for all of you wanting to travel to NZ but bad for us kiwi's!! The notes were changed over 10 years ago to depict famous kiwi faces instead of the queen. She has been retained only on the $20 bill and on the back of the coins. There are...

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  • Local People

    This old english method of having a bloke yelling the news pre newspaper days was trialled a few years ago as a tourism stunt - and it stuck. The Town Crier of Christchurch screams a few items of interest using a very random schedule. When he isn't doing the yelling thing he wanders about the Cathedral Square to chat with visitors and provide a few...

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  • Wizard

    Speaking to the masses, though not so often these days, is the Christchurch Wizard aka Ian Brackenbury Channell. He has actually been deemed a "living work of art" and has been doing his thing in Christchurch since after his arrival in 1974. The Wizard was born in London in 1932 and took degrees in Sociology and Psychology at Leeds University...

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Christchurch Warnings and Dangers

  • Departure Tax at the Airport

    Departure Charge for International Flights You no longer need to pay a a separate departure charge at Christchurch Airport. NZ$12.50 will be applied to each international arrival and departure as part of the airfare costs. Refunds If you believe you have paid more than NZ$25 for your return trip, or NZ$12.50 each way, then you can request a...

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  • at nite

    although a visually stunning city, christchurch is quite dangerous at night. I lived there for four years, and got regularly hassled by groups of drunk young guys (15-20). the most dangerous areas at night are at the sydenham (pronounced sid-nam) end of colombo st (most cars parked there overnight get damaged, if not all), in and around the city...

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  • Air pollution in winter

    Christchurch lies on a river plain and most of the time in winter it's not that windy, so the smog settles pretty quickly. Add to that all the fireplaces and woodburners in people's homes than you have a recipe for bad air. It's supposed to have been worse 10-20 years back, but I think it's still bad. So bad that when I went to Wellington on a...

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Christchurch Tourist Traps

  • Willowbank Wildlife Park

    ...almost good enough to be under 'attractions'...but to me, not quite.. Address: www.willowbank.co.nz/ 60 Hussey Road, Christchurch We wanted to see at least 1 wildlife Park during our 9 day stay in New Zealand, and by half way through the trip we hadn't seen really any birds in the wild at all, which was disappointing, so we resorted to going to...

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  • KoTane have found a new Source of Income

    The other day when we went to the Maori show at the Willowbank, Christchurch's fabulous wildlife park, I got aware that KoTane, the show group, now have invented a new source of income. You are no more allowed to take your own pictures or video recordings of the song and dance show. Instead, you can have your photo with the group taken by a...

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  • Rip-off at the New Maori Village in...

    At the end of April 2007 the Tamaki Maori Village has been opened in Ferrymead, next to the Ferrymead Heritage Park. As it has taken four years and 5 million dollar (11 instead of 6) more than expected the Tamaki brothers who also run the Maori village in Rotorua obviously think NZ tourists should pay for the bad planning and extra expenses. They...

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Christchurch What to Pack

  • Packing List

    Make sure you bring plenty of warm clothing in our colder months of May through September. These months tend to be wetter than usual and often include a cold southerly wind which will make the temperature feel even colder. Given that it is likely to get wet make sure you have a good rain coat. Nothing out of the normal is needed for winter. If you...

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  • Winter Travel

    Make sure you bring plenty of warm clothing in our colder months of May through September. These months tend to be wetter than usual and often include a cold southerly wind which will make the temperature feel even colder. Given that it is likely to get wet make sure you have a good rain coat. Nothing out of the normal is needed for winter. If...

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  • August Packing List

    Most likely, Christchurch is not going to be your only destination on this trip, so make sure you pack your bags to be easily transportable for you. In August, it was definitely cold, but not freezing. I was perfectly fine with a rugby jersey and an undershirt. My wife went with a fleece coat, but was not too cold. I would recommend bringing a...

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Christchurch Off The Beaten Path

  • Port Hills

    Gethsemane Gardens If you would like to visit a wildly romantic garden with a Christian theme, then this is it! St. Cecilia Chapel is an enchanting little trellis structure in the heart of Gethsemane Gardens. High on a hill and close to heaven, the chapel overlooks the Pacific Ocean. Romantic pathways lead you through the gardens, which have a...

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  • Lyttelton

    and lots of charm. With its brightly painted houses tumbling down the steep hills and narrow stairs to go up and down, Lyttelton reminded me of the Chilean port of Valparaiso way across the other side of the Pacific. Whilst still the busiest commercial port and deepest harbour on the South Island, like its Chilean counterpart, Lyttelton has seen...

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  • New Brighton Pier..

    The pier was built originally in 1894 and was demolished in 1964. $4 million was raised by the council and community funds to build a new pier, and in 1987 it was opened. You can get good views of the ocean at the end, though on a nice weekend day a lot of people will fish from it, and if you dont like the smell of fish and blood then you might...

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Christchurch Sports & Outdoors

  • Canterbury Crusaders Rugby

    Rugby is the big team sport which is played in Jade Stadium in winter, and the Crusaders are probably the best club/regional team in the world. They have been the champions of the Super12 and Super14 series which is the league for the best professional rugby teams of New Zealand, Australia and South Africa - well... until their dreadful semi-final...

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  • Paragliding

    I do not do paragliding but visiting friends of mine have enjoyed it very much in the Port Hills. Along the Summit Road there are several fine spots for the start, one at Castle Rock which is a very prominent rock not too far from Bridle Path, and the other one over Taylor's Mistake further out towards Godley Head. There are several companies that...

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  • Rowing

    There are lots of sports you can do around Christchurch, but we weren't after anything too adventurous. Canoeing was ideal for us, because it was in the city. Nothing required (not even lifejackets, since the water is little over 30 - 40 cms deep!)

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Christchurch Favorites

  • Downtown Christchurch

    The tram is running again (it's a tourist tram with a defined circuit that you can hop on and hop off) and the tram stop on Cathedral Square has been restored. Nice to see the tram making its bright way around the city.

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  • Architecture

    - This impressive stately building with its classical ornamentation is located right behind Christchurch Cathedral, and opposite the Press buidling and Cathedral Junction. It was designed in 1909 (and built from 1911 to 1913) to accommodate many of the Government Departments in Christchurch. It was used for this purpose for 70 years. Although it...

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  • Beautiful flowers

    Floral Clock On reserve in Victoria Square south west of Town Hall adjoining amphitheatre Floral Clock presented to the citizens of Christchurch by Calder Mackay Co Ltd in 1953. Two bronze plaques set into wall at base This clock look tidy every single day

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Comments (1)

  • kiwi's Profile Photo
    May 17, 2013 at 2:16 PM

    Christchurch Airport now closes down midnight to 5am, so any sleeping travellers are put outside, in the cold. Book yourself some accommodation if you need to!

    • kiwi's Profile Photo
      May 19, 2013 at 8:06 PM

      UPDATE: If you can provide documents to show you have an early morning flight booked, you will be able to stay in the airport now, during the hours preceding that flight. They will be checking documentation.

 
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ARTS CENTER
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