The largest city on New Zealand’s South Island, Christchurch is a dynamic cultural centre offering plenty to see and do. Whether you are into beaches and mountains or museums and coffee shops, you will find Christchurch to be a city full of life and brimming with fun.
Breathe in the fresh ocean air with a stroll along New Brighton Pier. Although the current pier opened only in 1997, it stands at the same site as the original New Brighton Pier, which dated back to 1894. If you’re looking for something more active, make your way down to the beach to join the surfers out on the water.
Lying at the heart of Christchurch, Cathedral Square is a great starting point for getting to know the city. The square is named after the magnificent ChristChurch Cathedral, which was built in the late 1800s.
With a large part of the square closed off to traffic, you can stroll around at your leisure while people-watching and enjoying performances by buskers.
Discover New Zealand’s rich military aviation history at the Air Force Museum. There are 28 aircraft on display, giving you a unique opportunity for an up-close look at some very special planes.
Browsing through the collections of components, memorabilia and art, you will gain an appreciation for the incredible courage and personal stories behind New Zealand’s Air Force. Open 10:00am to 5:00pm daily; admission is free.
Exciting animal encounters await you at Orana Wildlife Park, where you will find lions, tigers, zebras and more.
Set up as an open-range zoo, the park uses minimal barriers to create as natural a habitat as possible for the 70 species of animals that live here. Open 10:00am to 5:00pm daily.
When the sun is shining, Hagley Park is a great spot to enjoy the outdoors in the middle of Christchurch. Bring a book and find a nice tree to sit under, or get caught up in the action watching a lively game of rugby.
Located next to the park are the Christchurch Botanic Gardens, where you can walk along paths lined with beautifully tended flowerbeds.
Get a feel for what an expedition to Antarctica would be like and learn about this fascinating continent at the International Antarctic Centre. At a chilly -5 degrees Celsius, the Snow and Ice Experience gives you a taste of the snow, wind and ice found in Antarctica – don’t worry, warm jackets are provided.
Be sure to catch the centre’s waddling Little Blue penguins in action, especially at feeding time. Open 9:00am to 5:30pm daily.
Put your courage to the test at the Adrenalin Forest adventure park. Featuring aerial obstacle courses strung high up in the forest canopy, the park offers an exhilarating way to test your limits.
With several pathways of varying levels of difficulty, there is a safe and fun activity for everyone. Plan about 3 to 3.5 hours for your visit.
Get a glimpse into New Zealand’s natural and human history at Canterbury Museum. You can learn about the fascinating Maori culture and see what a street in Christchurch would have looked like during the Victorian era.
Packed full of interactive, hands-on exhibits, the museum’s Discovery area is a big hit with children. Open daily; general admission is free.