10 Free Activities in Christchurch

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What Christchurch sights are free?

New Zealand is a destination high on the list of any traveler seeking a life-changing experience. Whether you’re a backpacker, an outdoor fanatic or a young couple celebrating their honeymoon, Christchurch is one of those places any traveler should travel to. However, with food, transport and accommodation as inevitable costs, you would like to have some things to do for free to keep a hold on to your budget.

1.  Go to one of the many markets

If you love markets that sell art, crafts and jewellery, you will have the time of your life. Christchurch hosts such markets all year round and there are often artists performing while you’re checking out the many stalls. If you’re looking for a unique way of shopping, check out the Re:Start mall. This colorful mall was rebuilt after the 2011 earthquake and has no actual stores but shipping containers to stall coffee, food and books.

Some other markets worth checking out:

Christchurch Farmers Market

Riccarton Market

Opawa Farmers’ Market

Friday Street Food Market

New Brighton’s Seaside Market


2.  Take a stroll through the Botanic Gardens

When you’re in Christchurch, one of the free things you can do is check out why they call it the Garden City. With city parks like Hagley Park, where you can let your kids play on the playground or visit the Botanical Gardens, one of the highlights of Christchurch. Walk the footpaths and explore the tonnes of plants, art and exhibits.



The Christchurch Botanic Gardens



3.  Visit a museum

In the UK most museums are free to enter. New Zealand has the same way of sharing their culture with travellers. Visit the Canterbury museum for free and learn more about the history and art of New Zealand. Another must visit is Christchurch’s Air Force Museum. Entrance is free but you can opt for the $5 scavenger hunt.


4.  Walk on the New Brighton Pier

Located near the coastline of New Zealand, the ocean has a few free activities to enjoy while staying in Christchurch. For one, you can enjoy the beaches in summer that are popular for surfers and sunbathing, have a swim in the ocean or have a nice walk on the New Brighton Pier.


New Brighton Pier

The pier at New Brighton beach


5.  Hike the Bridle Path

The alpine surroundings of Christchurch gives you plenty of opportunities to have splendid views of the city. One of them is by taking the gondola up to Bridle Path, an expensive option. But why take the gondola if you can hike the walk for free? It will take you about three hours return.

Bridle Path

Views from the top of Bridle Path



6.  Go to a free gig

If you’re a fan of live music, why not spend your evening in the Darkroom on St Asaph Street? This bar offers free live gigs on Wednesday to Saturday nights. They sometimes host magical evenings with hypnotists and comedians as well, but these come with $10 admission.


Darkroom on St Asaph Street

The hustle and bustle of Darkroom


7.  Go to a festival

Christchurch is the biggest city on South Island and has a reputation for being some of the friendliest and most hospitable folks around. It won’t come as a surprise the city hosts many festivals throughout the year that are free to attend. The World Buskers Festival with comedians and artists performing is one of our favourites. The Festival of Flowers in March is another event not to be missed.


The Festival of Flowers

The Festival of Flowers in Christchurch



8.  Visit the Animal House and get an overdose of cuteness

If you’re an animal lover, you’re sure to love this one. Head down to the SPCA or the Animal House and cuddle all the puppies, kittens and rabbits you see. It’s free to do but they will inform you about the adoption program. And trust me it will be very hard to leave the place without taking a new friend home.


9.  Check out the Imagination Station

It can be difficult to entertain your children constantly while travelling. Especially when the weather forecast turns out less fortunate. The charity organisation called Imagination Station can be your rescue. Located in the Central Library (Tūranga), children can be brought to play with Lego for free.




The Imagination Station



10.  Visit Akaroa

One of the places you need to visit is when you are in Christchurch is Akaroa. This old colonial town on South Island is only a little over an hour drive from Christchurch and is the oldest European settlement to be found in this region. It is easy to explore on foot. Also, be sure to check out our other article about Top 12 things we love to do in Akaroa.


Beautiful Akaroa

Beautiful Akaroa


April 11, 2017 by Denym Bird

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