Christchurch and Canterbury backpacker must-dos

Backpacking is the perfect way to meet people and to explore new surroundings. It’s also the perfect excuse to try something different.

Backpacking is the perfect way to meet people and to explore new surroundings. It’s also the perfect excuse to try something different. Here’s a sample of Christchurch and Canterbury backpacker must do’s.

Peddle power
Discover striking street art, shops made out of shipping containers and heritage buildings fused with bold new inner city developments on a Christchurch bike tour. Gain insights into future developments in the CBD or explore popular icons including Mona Vale, Riccarton House & Bush, Hagley Park, Christ’s College, The Arts Centre and much more complete with commentary.

Climb to new heights
Roxx Climbing Centre is the largest indoor climbing centre in the South Island combining traditional climbing walls with innovative auto belay climbing at Clip ‘N Climb. Climbing at The Roxx offers varied terrain to challenge all abilities with over 100 set routes and a dedicated bouldering area. Clip ‘N Climb has a variety of fun, brightly coloured and unique climbing walls installed with auto belay devices so climbers don’t need to belay, perfect for those climbing on their own.

Surf’s up!
With miles of untouched coastline there’s no better place to learn to surf than in Christchurch. Learn to Surf schools are operated by one of New Zealand’s top surfing instructors Aaron Locke and are located in the coastal suburbs of Sumner and New Brighton. Classes cater for all abilities and it’s a great way to have fun and maybe even catch a wave!

Paddle paddle paddle!
Stand up paddleboarding is a novel way to explore the coastal areas of Christchurch. Discover the areas of Lyttelton Harbour, the Avon Heathcote Estuary and Pegasus Lake with Christchurch Paddleboarding and find out first-hand why this traditional Hawaiian sport is becoming so popular.

White-knuckle action
Braided rivers are a prominent feature on the Canterbury landscape and there’s no better way to experience the shallow, winding waterways than by jet boat. Get the blood flowing and heart pumping on a jet boat adventure down the ever-changing braids of the Waimakariri River complete with the spectacular backdrop of the Southern Alps.

Bird’s-eye view
Test your limits and get your nerves racing at Adrenalin Forest’s multi-level aerial obstacle course. Navigate 2km of challenges, 20 metres off the ground in the forest canopy at Spencer Park. Swing, climb and conquer six progressive levels, located in three hectares of forest for three hours of fun!

Bar hopping
Nightlife is an important component of any backpacking holiday so it’s essential to know where to go! The areas of Victoria Street, inner city Christchurch, Riccarton, Merivale and Addington provide excellent options for those wanting a variety of bars and restaurants within walking distance of one another. Check out our map for more information.

Deep belly laughing
It’s true that laughter is the best medicine and when laughter is shared it binds people together! With this in mind there’s no better way to spend a Friday or Saturday evening than to catch a Scared Scriptless show at The Court Theatre. The impromptu, off-the-cuff theatre will have your eyes watering and tummy aching from laughing. You may even get to participate in the show!

Winter playground
When the weather cools down Canterbury’s peaks come alive with more ski areas than anywhere in the Southern Hemisphere. Many of the regions 13 ski areas are located within a two hour drive of Christchurch Airport, offering varied terrain from beginner to advanced. After a hard day on the slopes relish in the après ski scene as small country towns transform and buzz with hungry and thirsty skiers.

Not for the faint hearted
Located 45 minutes from Christchurch and nestled in between the Ashburton and Rakaia Rivers you’ll find Skydiving Kiwis. Offering tandem skydiving with breath-taking views (if you can keep your eyes open!) of the eastern coastline of the South Island, Pacific Ocean, Port Hills through to the Timaru headlands.

For more information on the wealth of things to see and do in the Christchurch and Canterbury region check out 

Article by

  • Phone
  • Visit our website

Have you got a great story to tell? Add your own article