Sitting in the heart of the spectacular Canterbury region on the east coast of the South Island, Christchurch is a city that should be on everyone's bucket list. Beautiful, historic and lively, Christchurch is not just a gateway to New Zealand's incredible South Island, but a must-see destination in its own right.
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With an exciting mix between cutting-edge design and heritage architecture, Christchurch is a constantly evolving city that never fails to surprise. Centred around the Avon River, the city's unique culture includes world famous street art, established green spaces and a vibrant culinary scene.
What are you waiting for? There's no time like now to discover Christchurch.
What are the must-see attractions in Christchurch?
Also known by its Maori name as Ōtautahi, Christchurch is well worth a visit no matter what the time of year. Whether you're staying a day or a month, there's more than enough must-see attractions in Christchurch and the Christchurch region to keep you busy both day and night. Here's some of the best.
The heart of Christchurch is undoubtedly the Botanic Gardens. Take your own food tour on The Terrace, wander at your leisure through the grounds or board a punt on the Avon River. If it's a culinary escape you're after then you're in luck - Christchurch is known for its quality produce and fine food experiences.
Wake up with a latte at any one of the city's quality cafes like C1 Espresso, Child Sister and Unknown Chapter, lunch at Riverside Market or the Little High Eatery, or grab an evening cocktail at one of Victoria Street's many bars.
Catch a show at The Court Theatre, ride the historic Christchurch Tram, educate yourself on local history at The Canterbury Museum or take a street art tour to discover the work of some of New Zealand's and the world's finest contemporary artists. If that's not enough, head to the International Antarctic Centre for a range of mind-blowing immersive experiences.
Need something to get the heart racing? Be sure to visit Christchurch Adventure Park for zip lining and mountain biking adventures, take a walk on the Port Hills or relax and explore the shops and bars of Lyttelton with views across the harbour.
Yet the fun doesn't stop in Christchurch itself. Once you've enjoyed urban life, there's a world of natural wonders at Christchurch's doorstep that cannot be missed.
The Canterbury region has some of the world's best cycle trails, with the 180km Around the Mountains Cycle Trail and the Alps to Ocean Cycle Trail particular standouts. Take a tour, or if you're experienced, set off and enjoy this remarkable area at your own pace.
Feel like something more relaxing? Pop out to Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and rejuvenate those tired muscles in the hot springs - just under 2 hours from the centre of Christchurch.
If walking is more your thing, there are walks to suit all levels of fitness and experience. Drive out to Arthurs Pass National Park to explore waterfalls, beech forests and rivers for some short walks, or take a ride on the TranzAlpine Rail Journey from Christchurch, going across the Canterbury Plain via Arthurs Pass to Greymouth on the west coast - one of the finest rail journeys in the world.
The Hooker Valley Track in Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park is a half day walk with sensational views across a glacial lake of Aoraki/Mt Cook - New Zealand's tallest mountain. Stargaze over the magical Lake Tekapo in the world's largest Dark Sky Reserve, tramp the Tasman Glacier or sample the award-winning Pinot Noir at one of more than 60 vineyards that make up the Waipara Valley.
For penguin lovers, head just an hour out of Christchurch to the Pohatu Marine Reserve to view the largest Australasian Little Penguin colony in mainland New Zealand. If you're looking for something slightly larger in the aquatic realm, the town of Kaikōura has tours that will let you see passing sperm whales, dolphins and orcas in all their glory.
If skiing is more your thing, Christchurch is just under 2 hours from such renowned resorts as Mt Hutt, Broken River, Hammer Springs and Porters. If you want to hit the slopes early and stay late, then local town Methven (just 40 minutes away) will give you more time to conquer all the challenges that Mt Hutt has to offer.
As with any list of must-see attractions in Christchurch, there is far more to see and do than can be contained in one article. So book your holiday and explore Christchurch on your next holiday - you won't be disappointed.