Top 14 Attractions To Visit In Christchurch New Zealand

Christchurch has something to offer for everyone, folks. The choices are as vast as they are exciting, ranging from the historic tramway to the idyllic botanic gardens, to swimming with the dolphins. It’s a great city to visit, whether for business or for pleasure, with friends and family alike. Melding the old with the new, the traditional with the modern, the city evokes both an exotic charm, as well as a homely warmth. So hop on one of our historic trams and go explore this wonderful city. Here are a few of the many things you can do. Take your pick.

 

1. Willowbank

The Willowbank Wildlife Reserve, folks- the clue’s in the name. This is the premier place to experience wildlife New Zealand style. There’s plenty of wildlife to explore: see some of New Zealand’s endangered animals, take guided tours and go bird watching (Kiwis included). Oh and you’re allowed to pet and feed the animals (the kids love that – and some adults do too!)

You can also head on down to the Christchurch restaurant and café for some fine New Zealand inspired cuisine. Souvenirs and gifts are also available (in exchange for money).

 

Address: 60 Hussey Road, Northwood

Christchurch 8051

Opening times: Summer: 9:30am-7pm. Winter: 9:30am-5pm.

Website: www.willowbank.co.nz

Telephone: +64 3 359 6226

 

Willowbank

2. Black Cat Cruises 

No, this has nothing to do with black cats, folks; so the superstitious amongst you can rest easy. Fascinated by life on water? Head on down to Akaroa harbour and take part in cruises and boat tours. The name ‘Black Cat Cruises’ is inspired by the modern catamaran, a sixty foot by twenty-meter boat, referred to as a black cat, a journey on which is available at the harbour. But perhaps the most exciting activity that this venue has to offer is a chance to swim with the dolphins, including the endangered Hector dolphin. If you’re not interested in getting inside the water, cruise around extinct volcanic craters and admire the magnificence of nature.

 

Address: Akaroa Harbour Wharf, Akaroa 7520

Opening times: 9am-5pm

Website: www.blackcat.co.nz

Telephone: : +64 3 304 7641

Black Cat Cruise

 

3. Christchurch Arts Centre

Comprising twenty-three heritage buildings, the Christchurch arts centre is paramount to preserving New Zealand’s rich cultural history. It was badly damaged in the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes. Despite the repairs, it is yet to regain its former glory. But efforts are underway, and businesses have started to return. Visit the great public spaces, like North Quad and the Great Hall, as well as the other historic buildings that this fascinating venue has to offer.

 

Address: 2 Worcester Blvd, Christchurch Central, Christchurch 8013

Opening times: Wednesday – Sunday11am-3pm

Website: http://www.artscentre.org.nz

Telephone: +64 3 366 0989

 

Christchurch Art Gallery

 

4. Christchurch Gondola

One of Christchurch’s premier tourist attractions, the Christchurch gondola is also referred to as a cable car. Its course is one thousand meters in length. The city of Christchurch, the Canterbury Plains, the Southern Alps, Lyttleton Harbour and Banks Peninsula are all visible from the summit. It’s worth going for the view alone.  Take long hikes on the walking tracks on Mount Cavendish, or just relax and enjoy what you see.

 

Address: 10 Bridle Path Rd, Heathcote Valley, Christchurch 8022

Opening times: 10am-5pm

Website: www.welcomeaboard.co.nz/gondola/

Telephone: +64 3 384 0310

 

Gondola Ride

5. Punting on the Avon

Folks, this is a Christchurch classic. Go sightseeing in a small flat-bottomed boat, where your guide, dressed in Edwardian clothing (for no apparent reason) will provide you with running commentary on the way. Admire the beauty of Christchurch botanic gardens or the constantly changing face of the garden city as you gently drift along the Avon river. Open to tourists in summer and winter the Avon punting tours are ideal (eco-friendly) recreations for groups and families alike.

 

Address: 2 Cambridge Terrace, Christchurch Central, Christchurch 8013

Opening times: 10am-4pm

Website: www.welcomeaboard.co.nz/punting/

Telephone: +64 3 366 0337

 

Punting on the Avon river

6. Christchurch Tram

Perhaps Christchurch’s most iconic tourist attraction, the Christchurch tramway routes have been powered by horse, steam and electricity. No longer employed for the purposes for which they were originally built the Christchurch way routes are now limited to the central city. The drivers are world-renowned for being informative, witty and hospitable all the same time. You can get on and off the trams as you please, making this a great way to experience Christchurch quickly and economically.

 

Address: 109 Worcester St, Christchurch Central, Christchurch 8011

Opening times: Summer: 9am-6pm. Winter: 10am-5pm

Website: www.welcomeaboard.co.nz/christchurch-tram/

Telephone: +64 3 366 7830

 

Christchurch Tram

7. The Chairs

Inspired by the paintings of Vincent Van Gough, the chairs is the name given to a touching art installation and unofficial earthquake memorial comprising one hundred and eighty-five empty chairs to remember the hundred and eighty-five individuals those who lost their lives in the 2011 Christchurch earthquake. It was installed on the first anniversary of the earthquake. Viewers are permitted to sit on the chairs and reflect on what they signify. At the moment there is a search for a place that can permanently house this remarkable installation.

 

Earthquake Memorial

 

8. Ko Tane

Let Ko Tane take you on a journey through time. this interactive cultural experience gives visitors into Maori history, spending over three centuries of it in an entertaining and informative manner. Learn what comprised Maoris’ pre-European way of life, compared to its post-European way of life and discover what implications this has for Maori in the twenty-first century. Our guides are tomes of knowledge on the Maori way of life. Allow them to demonstrate what makes the Maori people a singular indigenous culture of the twenty-first century.

Address: Corner of Chasel and Madras streets, near Cardboard Cathedral, Christchurch.

 

Ko Tane

9. Airforce Museum of New Zealand

Charged with the task of preserving New Zealand aviation military history, the air force museum of New Zealand has a collection that includes objects going all the way back to world war one and reaching all the way forward to the present day. The collection also includes objects belonging to former enemy forces, and art and memorabilia as well as an extensive photographic archive. Admission is free.

 

Address: 45 Harvard Ave, Wigan, Christchurch 8140

Opening times: 10am-5pm

Website: www.airforcemuseum.co.nz

Telephone: +64 3 343 9532

 

Airforce Museum

 

10. Christchurch Botanic Gardens

When an English Oak was planted in the central city of Christchurch in 1863 to commemorate the marriage between Prince Albert and princess Alexandra of Denmark, the foundations for the Christchurch botanic gardens were laid. Sprawling over twenty-one hectors, adjacent to the Avon river, the Christchurch botanic gardens are brimming with exotic foreign plants as well as local ones. Visit the gardens visit our centre, grab a bite at the café and buy a gift to commemorate your visit at the gift shop.

 

Address: Rolleston Ave, Christchurch city centre, Christchurch 8013.

Opening times: 7am-6:30pm

Website: www.ccc.govt.nz/parks-and-gardens/christchurch-botanic-gardens

Telephone: +64 3 941 8999

 

Botanical Gardens

11. New Regent Street

The centre where old New Zealand and new converge, New Regent Street is a phenomenon unto itself.

This quaint and historic street, with its unique streetscape, form, design, colour and scale, is home to a multitude of cafes and eateries. It is great for retail therapy. Walk around and marvel at the throng of coloured buildings ranged before you. Also accessible by tram, this is a great spot to jump off and explore. Full of personality, this street is definitely worth a visit.

 

Address: New Regent St, Christchurch Central, Christchurch 8011

Opening times: Monday-Friday9am-4pm. Saturday & Sunday: 10am-4pm

Website: www.newregentstreet.co.nz

 

New Regent Street

 

12. Cardboard Cathedral

Opened in 2013, the cardboard cathedral belongs to the Anglican Diocese of Christchurch. It is a few blocks away from the Christchurch Cathedral, which was significantly damaged in the year 2011. The Cardboard Cathedral is regarded as the most recognisable building in the city, a symbol of moving on from the natural disasters of 2011. It is a must see, being the only cathedral in Australasia.

 

Address: 234 Hereford St, Christchurch Central, Christchurch 8011

Opening times:

Website: www.cardboardcathedral.org.nz

Telephone: +64 3 366 0046

 

Cardboard Cathedral

13. Quake City

Aimed at reminding and informing New Zealanders and international tourists of the Canterbury earthquakes, Quake city is a multi sensory tourist attraction, telling stories through photography, artefacts and video footage. The artefacts include bits that fell off the Christchurch cathedral building. Quake city is currently in the process of relocating as the people in charge seek to secure funding for the purpose.

Address: Relocating to the corner of Armagh and Durham Streets

Opening times: 10am-5pm (Temporarily closed).

Website: www.canterburymuseum.com

Telephone: +64 3 365 8375

 

Quake City

14. International Antarctic Center

Looking for a chilling experience in the snow with penguins? Or perhaps you and the kids are lovers of amusement park rides. The international Antarctic centre is the place for you! Be prepared to be wowed by the scenery. This is a great place to take the family, particularly if you’re fans of history and exploration. The huge land ride is particularly popular amongst old and young alike.

Address: 38 Orchard Rd, Christchurch Airport, Christchurch 8052

Opening times: 9am-5:30pm

Website: www.iceberg.co.nz

Telephone: +64 3 357 0519

 

Antarctic Centre



November 15, 2017 by Sam Yin



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