Enjoy shopping, art, great food & wine and stunning scenery in Christchurch. Have a look at the top 8 experiences in Christchurch.

Port Hills

Explore the stunning Port Hills on foot or by bike, only 10 minutes drive from Christchurch and offering panoramic views of Christchurch City and the Southern Alps. The Port Hills are home to native wildlife, the Castle Rock formation and have a rich Māori and European history all ready to be discovered.

Christchurch Botanic Gardens

Discover Christchurch's Botanic Gardens, the centrepiece of the 'Garden City'. Take a guided garden tour(opens in new window) or wander at your own pace among diverse plants, flowers and sculptures. Little ones will love the children's playground and paddling pool, and grown-ups will appreciate the coffee at Ilex Cafe(opens in new window) or spannish dinner at Curators House Restaurant(opens in new window). Entry is free.

City centre

Experience the vibrant city centre aboard Christchurch's famous historic tram(opens in new window). Hop off to visit the gothic-style Arts Centre,(opens in new window) Canterbury Museum(opens in new window)Christchurch Botanic Gardens(opens in new window) and New Regent Street, said to be the most beautiful street in New Zealand.

Street art to fine art

The Christchurch Art Gallery(opens in new window) (Te Puna O Waiwhetu) in Christchurch has always been inspiring, but the city's post-quake rebuild has provided new and giant canvases for artists, bringing fresh creativity outdoors. Wander the central city and immerse yourself in its ever-growing, ever-changing street art. Once you're ready to step inside, visit Christchurch Art Gallery and Centre of Contemporary Art (CoCA)(opens in new window) for diverse artworks, films, talks and live performances.

Lyttelton Harbour

For a relaxing half day adventure, take a boat trip on Lyttelton Harbour, just 15 minutes from Christchurch. Stop at Quail Island(opens in new window) and experience a piece of Canterbury's past. On the island's walkway, you'll see shipwrecks, a former leper colony and a quarantine station used by European settlers. Spot native birds like the fantail, kingfisher and silvereye. Black Cat Cruises(opens in new window) operate daily trips to Quail Island from October to April. Also enjoy the lively café scene and a home to award winning restaurants and fantastic Saturday morning market.


Punting on the Avon River(opens in new window) is a truly iconic Christchurch activity. Glide past the historic Antigua Boat Sheds and through the lush Botanic Gardens, or choose a city departure to see the changing face of central Christchurch. You will be gently and expertly guided along the river on an authentic Edwardian punt - so you can relax and enjoy the ride.

International Antarctic Centre

Experience this world of ice and snow without leaving Christchurch City. The International Antarctic Centre(opens in new window) is packed with interactive experiences to suit all ages. Learn about Antarctica in 4D, survive a snow storm, take an amphibious Hagglund Ride, and see Little Blue Penguins. The centre is next to Christchurch International Airport(opens in new window), and is open every day of the year.

Café culture

A great cafe is more than just four walls and a coffee machine – it’s about the people, the food and the culture, which is something Christchurch understands well and truly. There are a huge variety of establishments serving up quality food and coffee around the city, from legendary C1 Espresso(opens in new window), operating out of a historic post office building, to hot spots like Black & White Coffee Cartel(opens in new window), Lyttelton Coffee Company, Coffee Supreme(opens in new window), Hello Sunday(opens in new window) and the Caffeine Laboratory(opens in new window).

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