Things to Do in Christchurch

Activities in Christchurch

Explore the International Antarctic Centre, Experience the famous Gondola ride, Relax at Hagley Park, Visit the shooting places of the Lord of the rings, Go to Quake city and many more.

For the ones wondering what things to do in Christchurch, this magnificent town offers a wide range of activities that you can experience, explore and participate in. If you are a thrill-lover, then you must go hiking at Godley Head or try bungee jumping. You could even do the impossible and fly a helicopter. However, if you are a nature lover, then you can visit the serene Port Hills or take a look at the diversified wildlife species at the national parks.

If you are thinking about what to do in Christchurch NZ with your partner, there is no shortage of activities. You can have a romantic dinner at the Christchurch Tramway Restaurant or get cozy on the punting experience in the Avon River. Before leaving the town, do not miss the opportunity to experience the much-talked-about nightlife of Christchurch. Moreover, you can also visit the unconventional cinema or dine at one of the several restaurants to end your days.
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Christchurch Botanic Gardens
With an information center, tea kiosk, and all the basic amenities, this spacious garden can be comfortably enjoyed. It is popular for being home to beautiful trees and other attributes, like rhododendron and shrub borders, a long herbaceous fence, and an outstanding traditional rose garden.

While exploring nature is the predominant factor in the garden, one of the biggest Christchurch tourist attractions is the centuries old trees one can witness in the botanic gardens.

Location: City Centre Rolleston Avenue, Christchurch Central City, Christchurch 8013, New Zealand


- Daffodils, roses, leaf displays, and conservatories.
- It has disability access
- Smokefree and vape free
- Dogs not permitted
Avon River
The Avon River, a special area of the region, supports a range of plant and animal life and offers various recreational activities that you can take part in. It is an ideal place to take a beautiful stroll, where one can witness the restoration work that took place after the Christchurch earthquakes struck.

Listed amongst the places to see in Christchurch for the scenic views it provides and the quiet river flowing by, major developments like cool cafes and bars, and shopping spots work as a cherry on the top.

Location: Christchurch, New Zealand


- Penguin statues and ducklings.
- Cafe hopping and shopping
- Spectacular bridges and parks to picnic in.
- Playground for children.
Christchurch Gondola
Also famous as a cable car, the Christchurch Gondola is 1,000m long, and one can witness the entire town of Christchurch and the Canterbury Plains, Southern Alps, and Lyttelton Harbour, and the Banks Peninsula from the summit.

There are many entertainment options at the summit station like discovering the several walking pathways and outdoor spaces amidst the clean air, learning about the history of the area on the Time Tunnel trip, and going on a shopping spree at their inexpensive gift shop.

Location: 10 Bridle Path Road, Heathcote Valley, Christchurch 8022, New Zealand


- Have mesmerizing 360-degree views of Christchurch.
- Eat at the licensed Red Rock Café.
- Enjoy the sparkling waters of Pegasus Bay and the Pacific Ocean.
Willowbank Wildlife Reserve
Willowbank Wildlife Reserve is a wildlife park and nature reserve. In addition to providing public exhibits of different animal species, it also offers conservation of native species such as tuatara, kiwi, tuatara, kea, and gecko duvaucel.

When you visit this place, take a guided kiwi tour, walk around the reserve, feed the animals, and experience a Maori culture.

Location: 60 Hussey Road, Northwood, Christchurch 8051, New Zealand


- Witness the NZ big 5 wildlife - the kiwi, kaka, tuatara, kea, and takahe.
- It has 95 species categorized in 3 sections: exotics, farmyard, NZ natives.
- Willowbank has the only pair of takahe on display.
Orana Wildlife Park
Orana Wildlife Park offers an epic adventure to all wildlife lovers. You can feed a majestic giraffe by yourself, witness the beautiful white rhino; encountering the national icon of New Zealand, the kiwi, or stroll through the Lion Reserve.

Orana is primarily recognized for its participation in zoo-based breeding events for exotic and native animals at risk of extinction.

Location: 793 McLeans Island Road, Harewood, Christchurch 8051, New Zealand


- It is the home to NZ's only gorillas.
- It offers recreational activities.
- Educates kids about environmental and conservation issues.
International Antarctic Centre

Known for offering an immersive experience to travellers and locals alike, the International Antarctic Centre is an iconic destination in Christchurch, New Zealand. Here, travellers can participate in various exhibitions and experience a stimulating storm. A tour of the International Antarctic Centre gives a glance into the continent's rich history and scientific research. Major things that stood out at the International Antarctic Centre were the Penguin Encounter, which featured rescued Little Blue Penguins, and the Hagglund ride. In all, it is a highly engaging and educational space for all age groups! 

Canterbury Museum
You will witness the fascinating historical and heritage background of New Zealand. Explore unique Maori relics and more than 1,000 pāua shells encircling the walls of the popular Paua Shell House. Take a stroll down Christchurch Street with the vistas of the developing times of the city and be taken backward in history.

Uncover the most important collections in the world from the epic era of exploration and discovery of the Antarctic. Know about the frozen continent's courageous pioneers and see artifacts from the globally important Antarctic collection of the Museum.

Location: 11 Rolleston Avenue, Christchurch Central City, Christchurch 8013, New Zealand


- A lot of exhibitions take place.
- One can spend up to 1-2 hours here.
- Wide range of displays: Antarctica, NZ birds, Maori, and more.
Hagley Park
Hagley Park is known to be one of the best places to visit in Christchurch since the 1850s when it was cast aside for leisure and pleasure for Christchurch citizens. The park is ideal for a lot of occasions, whether you are looking for different city bike channels or taking a family trip on the convenient landscape.

There is more than enough area along the tree-lined pathways for walking and cycling. It has a sports ground where individuals can play golf, tennis, croquet and much more.

Location: 14 Riccarton Avenue, Christchurch Central City, Christchurch 8011, New Zealand


- The sports ground is used for school, club and casual competition.
- A lot of outdoor events are taking place here.
Riccarton House
Riccarton House and Bush/Pūtaringamotu is a rare heritage site in New Zealand comprised of 2 historical buildings, backed by bright and spacious parkland and elegant lawns, surrounded by the Avon River and situated alongside expansive native bush forest with up to 600-year-old kahikatea trees.

One can spend some quiet time at house gardens. One can spend peaceful time exploring the house grounds and bush at their convenience.

Location: 16 Kahu Road, Riccarton, Christchurch 8041, New Zealand


- It is a grand Victorian/Edwardian homestead constructed in 3 stages – 1856, 1874, and 1900.
- It takes you back to history.
- Take guided heritage tours and book restaurants for private events.
The Tranz Alpine Train
The TranzAlpine train runs daily between Christchurch, Arthurs Pass, and Greymouth- from the east coast to the west coast of NZ's South Island. It is most popular for the scenic views it has to offer along with the most courteous staff.

This train has a cafe carriage serving a selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, snacks, and appetizers, and an open sight carriage presenting views of the Southern Alps and the west coast of the South Island's alpine rainforest landscape.


- Accessibility for wheelchairs and a disabled public toilet.
- You can upgrade to 'Scenic plus' and get local delicacies delivered right to your seats.
Port Hills
The Port Hills, so-called since they sit between the city of Christchurch and its port at Lyttelton, is a set of hills in Canterbury, New Zealand. They are an eroded fragment of a volcano called Lyttelton that formed thousands of years ago making it a popular Christchurch tourist attraction.

The Port Hills (Te Poho-o-Tamatea) are popularly known for their ecological, geological, and aesthetic qualities. Their geological characteristics are also of national and foreign interest.


- Take a trip along the Summit Road.
- It offers various recreational activities like walking, tramping, running, mountain biking, and rock climbing.
Bridge Of Remembrance
The Bridge of Remembrance is one of the best places to visit in Christchurch. It is devoted to all those who died in World War I and acts as a memorial for those who fought in the two World Wars as well as ensuing wars in Borneo, Korea, Malaya, and Vietnam.

You can discover the historical importance of the memorial, a stoic illustration of the courage of Canterbury's soldiers, through in-depth commentary from local guides, whether it is pointed out from a double-decker bus or presented on a cycling tour.

Location: Cashel Street, Christchurch Central City, Christchurch 8011, New Zealand


- The place is famous for family picnics and get-togethers.
- It is a haven for history buffs as it has a whole lot of history involved.
Awaroa/Godley Head
It is a coastal defense heritage site with lovely views of the coast and the historical ruins of WWII and makes up for the best Christchurch sightseeing places. There are a variety of great mountain bike trails, some reserved and some shared with walkers like Godley head track, Captain Thomas track, and Anaconda along with the most popular walking tracks like Rapanui track, Scarborough bluffs track.

It is one of the best Christchurch tourist attractions for nature and adventure lovers.

Location: Christchurch, New Zealand


- It is ideal for walking and tramping.
- The gun emplacements display beautiful graffiti which recognizes the role of the Women's Auxiliary Army Corp
Victoria Clock Tower
An iconic attraction with beautiful architecture, the Victoria Clock Tower, which is also popularly known as the Diamond Jubilee Clock Tower, is the greatest landmark in the history of Christchurch. From the colorful history of the tower to its latest renovation, it is one of the magnificent Christchurch sightseeing places.

Location: 95 Victoria Street, Christchurch Central City, Christchurch 8013, New Zealand


- It is one of the original structures of Christchurch City’s past.
- It was originally intended to be positioned on top of the council chambers.
Cardboard Cathedral
The Cardboard Cathedral, replaces the Christchurch Cathedral, which was severely affected in the Christchurch earthquake of 2011. Crafted by the Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, The Cardboard Cathedral got open to the public in August 2013.

It is made from 98 similarly sized cardboard tubes and 8 steel shipping containers and can be classified as Christchurch's strongest, earthquake-proof structures.

Location: 234 Hereford Street, Christchurch Central City, Christchurch 8011, New Zealand


It is the world’s only cathedral made just from cardboard.
Sumner Beach
A quaint spot to enjoy a day in the sun away from the center of Christchurch, Sumner beach is the primary beach in the seaside retreat. Rest on the moist, sandy beaches and focus on your tan, or dive in the beautiful Summer Beach's shallow waters.

Uncover the famous Cave Rock or relax with a cocktail at one of the bars or restaurants that face the beach when you visit the most popular Christchurch tourist attractions. On a summer day, you can witness walkers, joggers, parents with strollers, or people sitting and relaxing at the seafront.


- Access to toilets, children's playground, and paddling pool nearby.
- Dogs must be on a leash.
Christchurch Tramway
Christchurch Trams offers a fascinating opportunity where it brings history and Christchurch sightseeing places together. Their newly renovated historical trams are among the most loved destinations in the region, are family-friendly, and suitable for locals and tourists alike.

Their all-day hop-on-hop-off passes enable you to explore the central city attractions at your pleasure, and in their insightful live commentary, their polite and helpful operators will keep you informed about all the essential spots.

Location: 109 Worcester Street, Christchurch Central City, Christchurch 8011, New Zealand


- It is accessed from the 17 stops.
- It is free for kids.
Isaac Theatre Royal
The Isaac Theatre Royal is a heritage building in Christchurch, New Zealand, designed by the brothers Sidney and Alfred Luttrell. With 1266 seats across three stages, it is a beautifully restored and remodeled Historical Edwardian Heritage Theatre.

It is the Christchurch headquarters to most of New Zealand's national performing arts industries. It is also the preferred venue for international tours, musicals, concerts, recitals, community, and school activities, and children's theatre.

Location: 145 Gloucester Street, Christchurch Central City, Christchurch 8011, New Zealand


- The theatre is decorated with red drop curtains that reflect the drama of the program
- The gold trim around the walls gives away historical vibes.
Christchurch Art Gallery
New Regent Street
New Regent Street is a pedestrian mall built in the 1930s.  New Regent Street is regarded as a precursor to contemporary shopping malls, an innovative concept at the moment was to include a variety of small shops as a systematic development.

It's gained great popularity with residents and visitors alike, with stunning Spanish Mission architecture and a unique pastel color palette that makes it one of the popular places to visit in Christchurch.

Location: Christchurch Central City, Christchurch 8011, New Zealand


- It is bustling with cafes, clothing and jewelry stores, and more.
- Cathedral Square is just one block away and is known as the city center.

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Christchurch Things To Do FAQs

What are the best things to do in Christchurch?

1. Explore the International Antarctic Centre: One of the best things to do in Christchurch is to visit the International Antarctic Center, where the museum offers an intriguing insight into the almost aloof continent – Antarctica. It is an excellent way to experience the adventure of exploring Antarctica without any discomforts.

Some of the most popular attractions include the Hägglund vehicle rides and the indoor Antarctic storm room, which is actually a simulation technique that you can enjoy without any concern for safety. Furthermore, you can also admire the cute blue penguins.

Location: 38 Orchard Road, Harewood
Price: 59 NZD
Timings: 9 am to 5:30 pm every day

2. Experience the famous Gondola ride: A bird’s view of Christchurch will offer you some of the most enticing scenic visuals, such as the flattering valleys and the Canterbury Plains and you can also admire the unflinching beauty of the Banks Peninsula and the Southern Alps.

With a base station at the Heathcote Valley, the gondola makes a pit stop at the Summit station, where you can step out and enjoy the time tunnel, eat in the Red Rock Café and shop some souvenirs, while creating unforgettable memories.

Location: 10 Bridle Path Road, Heathcote Valley
Price: 30 NZD
Timings: 10am - 4pm every day

3. Relax at Hagley Park: Situated right beside the Christchurch Botanic Gardens, Hagley Park boasts of being one of the biggest green open spaces in the entirety of the city. It has a total area of 406.7 acres and has been a crucial part of the city for decades.

The park hosts different events and recreational facilities, and you can just come in to get a breath of fresh air which is one of the best things to do in Christchurch.

Location: 14 Riccarton Avenue, Christchurch Central Christchurch

4. Visit the shooting places of the Lord of the rings: Are you a hard-core fan of the Lord of the rings and want to know more about the location of the shootings? Well, Christchurch offers you the opportunity to visit the different places where the famous movie franchise was shot, such as Gardens of Isengard, Edoras, Shire, and Helms Deep.

Moreover, the panoramic view of nature around will leave you breathless and make this one of the top-rated things to do in Christchurch.

Location: Helms Deep, Shire, Gardens of Isengard, Edoras, etc.

5. Go to Quake city: Though the naming of the place has the city in it, it is essentially a well-designed museum depicting the disastrous effect of the natural disasters that struck the city on 22-02-2011. The museum is interactive and allows tourists to understand the foundation of present-day Christchurch, making it one of the most vital things to do in Christchurch.

Location: 299 Durham Street North, Corner Armagh Street, Christchurch
Price: 20 NZD
Timings: 10.00 am to 5.00 pm, every day

6. Marvel at the beauty of Akora: If you want a hint of the famous French streak, then you will find it abundantly at this township of Akora. Here, you will be mesmerized by the magnificent beauty of the colonial architecture, and you can also opt for the wildlife harbor cruises to get a glimpse of the coveted Hector's Dolphin and penguins.

Other than that, you must try the delectable dishes found here and make a quick visit to the indescribably beautiful mosaic garden.

Location: 1 hour and 20 minutes from Christchurch

7. Explore the New Regent Street: Established in the early part of the 1930s, the New Regent Street is actually a pedestrian mall that has the architectural flair of the Spanish Mission. With bright colored buildings, numerous restaurants, and excellent bars, it is the most hyped place in Christchurch and offers you several things to do at once.

Here, you can grab dinner at the Twenty Seven Steps, enjoy an exciting play at the Isaac Theatre, or simply stroll along and discover the hidden gems. With multiple options of entertainment at hand, no wonder exploring it is one of the best things to do in Christchurch.

Location: Christchurch Central City, Christchurch

8. Book a seat for the TraNZAlpine Train: If you want to encounter one of the most breathtaking train journeys from Christchurch to Greymouth while admiring the stunning visuals of the alpine terrain, then you must opt for the exciting TraNZAlpine Train ride.

The journey covers around 233 kilometers and takes just about 5 hours while traipsing the guests through the mesmerizing Canterbury Plains and the sight of the majestic Southern Alps. With different classes to choose from, you can have the experience of a lifetime, so make sure that you tick this in your top-most things to do in Christchurch.

Location: Christchurch Railway Station, Troup Drive, Addington Christchurch
Price: Starts from 189 NZD per individual
Timings: 08:15 am to 18:31 pm (train schedule)

9. Visit the Cardboard Cathedral: Initially designed as a replacement for the Christ Church Cathedral that was ruined due to an earthquake, the Cardboard Cathedral is now one of the most revered places in Christchurch.

The credit for the impeccable design goes to Shigeru Ban, and the cathedral opened its door to the public in 2013. The intriguing architecture, triangular-shaped glass windows, and cardboard tubes will leave you mesmerized, making it one of the best things to do in Christchurch.

Location: 234 Hereford Street, Christchurch
Price: If you want, you can take a guided tour costing 5 NZD
Timings: 9 am to 4 pm on Monday to Saturday. On Sunday, the timings are 7:30 am to 5 pm

10. Admire the beauty of Port Hills: If you are looking for a place to simply admire the unfiltered beauty of nature while soaking in the tranquil ambiance, then visiting Port Hills is an ideal choice.

After all, it is one of the most popular places to visit in Christchurch and derive its name due to numerous hills that you can observe between the port of Lyttelton and Christchurch. Here, you will find reserves, public parks, and mountain bike tracks for adventure enthusiasts, making it one of the most highly rated things to do in Christchurch.

Location: Port Hills, Canterbury

What are the best adventure activities to do in Christchurch?

1. Experience Bungee jumping: If you are wondering what to do in Christchurch NZ, you can try bungee jumping. The thrill you will get when you fall from the edge will give the boost of adrenaline that you desperately desire.

2. Opt for flying a helicopter: Is flying a helicopter by yourself on your bucket list? Then, you can tick it off and enjoy the adventure-thrilling experience of taking off and landing while cruising the air for at least thirty minutes with instructions from a trained guide.

3. Participate in rafting: No matter your experience in rafting, you can chase the thrill of riding out the river water in the Rangitata River. If you are a thrill-seeker and have never tried this before, it is the perfect time to enact your fantasies.

4. Try jet boating: One of the most exciting activities in Christchurch is experiencing boating in the gorgeous Waimakariri River. The breakneck speed when you ride down the waves will give you a thrill like no other.

5. Get the thrill of hiking: While Christchurch has plenty of hiking paths, the one leading to Godley Head stands out spectacularly. Apart from the historical significance, the trail offers unparalleled views and the opportunity to witness dolphins, penguins, and more.

What are the best things to do in Christchurch at night?

1. Opt for a night tour of the Christchurch Art gallery: One of the best activities in Christchurch that you must do is to opt for the 50 minutes night tour of the Christchurch Art gallery. It is scheduled every Wednesday till 9, and you can enjoy the mesmerizing exhibitions and collections.

2. Get a front seat view of the cultural performance at Ko Tane: Located within the Willowbank Wildlife Reserve, Ko Tane offers a unique Maori cultural experience. Here, you can understand more about the indigenous traditions and savored delicious hangi dinners.

3. Scourge the St Asaph Street for a party: If you are thinking about what to do in Christchurch NZ, what better answer than parting away. You will find several bars and nightclubs in St Asaph Street.

4. Watch movies with dramatics: The cinema watching experience in Christchurch is far from the normal norm. Visit the Deluxe Cinema and enjoy movies while you gorge on delicious cheese platters and craft beer, or for some vintage vibes, you can explore Alice in Videoland.

What are the best things to do in Christchurch for couples?

1. Take a cozy stroll along with the Botanic Gardens: The panoramic view of the Botanic Garden coupled with rose trees, innovative water features, and the lovely vibes make it a fan-favorite among the things to do in Christchurch for couples.

2. Book a wine tour: Surprise your partner with a private wine tour at the Waipara Valley and enjoy some alone time together.

3. Plan a romantic dinner at the Christchurch Tramway Restaurant: What could be more romantic than booking a table at the Christchurch Tramway Restaurant? Here, you can hold hands, taste a delicious four-course meal, and view some prominent attraction sites.

4. Have a once in a lifetime experience of punting: One of the best things to do in Christchurch for couples is to admire the ethereal beauty of nature while you ride on a boat in the Avon River. With a punter propelling the boat, you can gaze out while cozying up with your partner.

What are the best free things to do in Christchurch?

1. Visit the Canterbury Museum: Interested in the history and culture of New Zealand? Then, a visit to the Canterbury Museum is a must.

2. Explore Brockworth Street: You just need to visit Brockworth Street to estimate the kind of talent that Christchurch oozes. Here, you will see the brick walls used as a canvas for painting, and when you are in awe of these, you will find it one of the top-rated free things to do in Christchurch.

3. Stroll along the Bridle Path walk: If you want to have a scenic view of the city without paying for the Gondola, you can simply walk along the Bridle Path walk.

4. Relax at Summer Beach: If you want to soak in the serene ambiance with sand underneath, then a visit to the Summer Beach is an ideal option. Here, you explore the caves or experience fishing, making it one of the best free things to do in Christchurch.

Which are the best wildlife parks in Christchurch?

1. Willowbank Wildlife Reserve: Undoubtedly, one of the most popular wildlife reserves is the Willowbank Wildlife Reserve. Here, there are three sections – Zoo/Exotic, New Zealand, Farmyard, and the major attraction is the intriguing Kiwi House.

2. Orana Wildlife Park: Credited for being the only open zoo in Christchurch, the Orana Wildlife Park boasts of the overly hyped Lion Encounter. Moreover, here you will get to see tigers, giraffes, gorillas, etc.

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