Snow capped mountain, Christchurch
Mt Cook
Christchurch

Christchurch is a stunning combination of English heritage, epic natural surroundings and innovative local attractions. The city seamlessly mixes botanic gardens with microbreweries, street art with charming cafe-lined streets and hiking with shopping-filled strolls. Plan where to go with our Christchurch travel guide.

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Places to stay

For New Zealand’s second biggest city, Christchurch offers plenty of value accommodation options that will suit every kind of traveller. Staying in the Inner City of Christchurch, at one of the many hotels like The George or Eco Villa, will put you in the perfect position to wander to many of the city’s main attractions, cute cafes and shopping precincts.

On the outskirts of Christchurch is the eccentric suburb of Lyttelton where you can find a little cottage or Airbnb to base yourself while exploring the weekend farmers market, cool coffee spots and quirky stores. If you plan on hitting the road, hiring a campervan is a fantastic way to see the city before exploring the surrounding countryside. After a proper seaside retreat? Governors Bay Hotel in Governors Bay is a colonial beauty that’s ready and waiting to be your idyllic harbourside haven.

If you’re visiting to hit the slopes, there are plenty of lodges, holiday houses and resorts scattered around the super fun ski runs of Mt Hutt and the nearby town of Methven. So whether you’ve come to discover Christchurch or are using it as a gateway to the rest of the South Island, the city and its surrounds are filled with plenty of great places to stay.

Things to do

Embrace the English heritage of the city by setting off on a double-decker bus or Edwardian-style punt around town. Strolling is also a great way to explore the laneways laden with boutiques, like Ballantynes, Infinite Definite and HAPA in The BNZ Centre, that fill the inner city. For those that like to admire things of beauty instead of buying them, a trip to the award-winning Christchurch Botanic Gardens is a relaxing respite from the inner-city.

If you’d prefer to spend your day by the sea, the seaside suburb of Sumner is a popular local spot to get a fish and chips fix on the beach. Swap the seaside for the mountains at unique and semi-remote Christchurch Adventure Park which offers some of the country’s best mountain bike trails, stunningly scenic zipline tour, and a walking track with a free chairlift back to the bottom. For all things creative and cultural, you must visit The Arts Centre Te Matatiki Toi Ora which is an iconic landmark of the city and has an intriguing variety of collections.

As a city that’s continually reinvigorating and reinventing itself while remaining true to its deeply etched past, you’ll always find something new in Christchurch.

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Where to go

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Food and drink

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.

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Read more on the Canterbury region Arthurs pass snow capped mountains

Arthur's Pass and Selwyn

Arthur's Pass National Park is a must for nature lovers, hikers and mountain climbers with its magnificent flora, fauna and vistas of the Southern Alps.
During the winter months, skiers and snowboarders are drawn to the 'Selwyn Six' ski fields - often referred to as Canterbury's best kept secret. Each area has its own unique culture, making a day on the slopes a unique experience.

Read more on the Canterbury region
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Getting around

From the airport: once you've arrived at Christchurch Aiport, travel to the city centre via taxi or the Metro Bus service. If you want to get straight to your hotel, you can pre-purchase a transfer.

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 surrounds.

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Disclaimer: ** Prices are per room, per night and vary depending on date of check in, length of stay and room type. Conditions apply.