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Living only a few km's away from Christchurch, this really is my local stomping ground. Whilst you can't escape the devistation that the city has gone through in the past couple of years, the city is slowly getting back to its feet. There are some brilliant things to see and do here as part of your New Zealand visit - so don't feel like you need to bypass the city.
My Top 4 Family Activities in Christchurch
This relatively new cycling track boasts stunning scenery of the Banks Peninsula and a very family-friendly route. You can hire bikes at a cost of about $25 along with trailers and child seats. The best bit is that there are plenty of places to get on and off the trial so you choose how long you suits you and the family - whether it be just an hour or the whole day. This company pick you up and drop you off at the beginning of the track
One of the best attractions in New Zealand, the International Antarctic Centre's 'Antarctic for a day' experience is just minutes away from Christchurch Airport. Whilst this top spot is very educational and informative, the fun element stands out much more!
From penguins to an inside snow storm experience, the whole family will be kept entertained for hours. Be sure to make the most of the visit by taking a ride on the Antarctic vehicle that takes you around a cool track outside too.
Whilst this place is a little pricey, I'd recommend it as a brilliant last experience before heading home out Christchurch International Airport.
Althought I keep saying it throughout this series of articles, kids just love wildlife. There is one sure way of getting happy little ones - take them to a wildlife reserve to see and interact with the animals. The Willowbank Wildlife Reserve gives you an opportunity to visit NZ's endangered wildlife and learn about their history. It's also brilliant to see an interactive Maori cultural experience and a journey through an historical Maori Village. Throughly recommended.
A couple of hours away is the charming seaside settlement of Akaroa. Take an enjoyable cruise around Akaroa, Canterbury's oldest town with Black Cat Cruises. Experience a view of the local scenery and wildlife on their daily harbour cruises, including being able to see penguins and seals! There are a variety of different packages on offer for families, some including the possibility to swim with dolphins - something that the older kids will absolutely love!
Apartment style Christchurch accomodation perfect for families
There are a variety of different accommodation options for families staying in Christchurch, some located within the heart of the city and others further out in the surrounding towns. No matter where you choose to stay however, there are endless things for the whole family to do and see locally. Here is a couple of accomodation options in Christchurch that may be of interest to you:
West Fitzroy Apartments - Now open and operating after the eartchquake, these central apartments offer studio, one or two bedroom accomodation, all equipt with a kitchen and laundry.
Bruce Apartments - If you would prefer to be further out from the city, Akaroa is a great alternative location. The Bruce Apartments offers two bedroom waterfront apartments all with beautiful views of the harbour.
Unique to NZ these apartments are like a home away from home. Choose from 40 properties throughout NZ. Need your own full kitchen to self cater? An in room laundry? 1, 2 or 3 bedroom options. Perfect for self drive families, friends and couples.