Christchurch promises an eclectic mix of historic elegance and contemporary culture.
Since the Canterbury Earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 Christchurch city has bounced back with innovative new attractions, as well as some old favourites.
Visit the Re Start container mall, the transitional Cardboard Cathedral, and some of the many pop up restaurants and bars. Contemporary art galleries, boutique shops and open-air markets add to Christchurch’s creative vibe.
* Prices include taxes, fees and carrier charges payable to Qantas (exclude any amounts payable to third parties at the airport) and are based on payment at qantas.com. Prices may fluctuate if taxes or foreign exchange rates change. Fares may not be available on all flights or days. Some flights are operated by partner or subsidiary airlines. US$1 = CLP678 as at 01 September 2016.
Need some inspiration on what to do? Here are some of the top attractions in and around the city.
- Take in the city sights by joining a guided bike tour.
- Feed giraffes and lemur, ride into a lion enclosure or get up close with a rhino at Orana Wildlife Park.
- Take a stroll around the vast green space of Hagley Park, or wander the blooms at The Botanic Gardens.
- Discover the history of Christchurch and the surrounding regions at the Canterbury Museum.
It's a crazy time to visit one of New Zealand's most exciting and changeable cities. You'll find a colourful mix and a city full of surprises.
Following the 2011 earthquakes, many buildings beyond repair were sadly pulled down. However, the resilience and creativity of the locals has shone through. Makeshift infrastructure - combining art with function - is all part of an ongoing crusade to rebuild a sustainable Christchurch. By involving local community groups and inspired individuals, organisations like Gap Filler are creating temporary amenities and installations throughout the city.
When it comes to getting around, Christchurch is a compact city and its lack of hills makes it ideal for cycling and exploring on foot. Take a walk through Cathedral Square to Canterbury Museum, you'll pass the crumbling ruins of the Cathedral, which is awaiting proper demolition. You'll notice a lot of street art as you go, a successful attempt by the locals to invigorate their surroundings with hope, colour and positivity.
On the food front, be sure to track down Mamacita’s taco truck for delicious, authentic Mexican street food. And for drinks, check out Smash Palace, a popular watering hole where you can meet locals and participate in the New Christchurch. For somewhere more intimate, have a nightcap at The Last Word - a whisky and cocktail lounge decked out with a multifarious collection of vintage furniture.
Arthur's Pass & Selwyn
Arthur's Pass National park is a must for nature lovers, hikers and mountain climbers with it's magnificent flora, fauna and vistas of the Southern Alps.
Arthur's Pass Village is New Zealand's highest township and is the gateway to discovering this charming mountainous area on foot.
The snow-capped great divide running through the national park has differing landscapes on either side. To the West, thanks to high rainfall, are dense podocarp rainforests. Whereas the geography to the east features wide riverbeds and varying types of beech trees.
During the winter months, skiers and snowboarders are drawn to the 'Selwyn Six' ski fields - often referred to as Canterbury's best kept secret. As well as the skiing and snowboarding, each area has its own unique culture, making a day on the slopes a unique experience.
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There are highlights to every seaon in Christchurch. Winter is cold so beanies and boots are necessary. Summer offers highs of 22C and dry weather. Autumn has its brilliant colours as the leaves change from green to red and spring brings the blossoms, festivals and new beginnings, including lambs in the fields and ducklings on the Avon.
From the airport
Once you've arrived at Christchurch Aiport, travel into the city centre via taxi or the Metro Bus service. If you want to get straight to your hotel, you can pre-purchase an arrival transfer shuttle.
In and around the city
Christchurch is easy to get around on foot so you can take in the city at your own pace. If you're feeling active then the flat landscape is great to explore by bike. There's a good bus service connecting the city and the local area.
Other great ways to see the city are by the Hop-on Hop-off tram or with the Christchurch Sightseeing Pass. For great views of the city, take to the skies with the Christchurch Gondola Ride, or for a more relaxing and gentler pace, take a tour on the River Avon by punt - as they do in Cambridge, England.
Christchurch car hire
Book car hire with Avis, Budget, Hertz and Thrifty. Qantas Frequent Flyer members could earn Qantas Points^ with Avis and Budget.
Your flight with Qantas
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* Prices include taxes, fees and carrier charges payable to Qantas (exclude any amounts payable to third parties at the airport) and are based on payment at qantas.com. Prices may fluctuate if taxes or foreign exchange rates change. Fares may not be available on all flights or days. Some flights are operated by partner or subsidiary airlines. US$1 = CLP678 as at 01 Sep 2016. Prices are not guaranteed until payment is made. Availability is limited. Passengers booking Premium Economy may be seated in Economy on connecting flights. Check the fare rules for more details before booking. Inclusions vary between flights. All schedules subject to change, including last minute aircraft changes.
^ You must be a Qantas Frequent Flyer to earn and redeem Qantas Points. A joining fee may apply. Membership and points are subject to the Qantas Frequent Flyer program terms and conditions.
** Prices are per room, per night and vary depending on date of check in, length of stay and room type. Conditions apply.
~ Qantas activities are provided by Viator. Conditions apply.