14 Best Things to Do in Christchurch, New Zealand

|   Last Updated on April 3, 2020

Christchurch is the biggest city on the South Island of New Zealand and is well loved by anyone travelling to the country, This is not surprising since there are a whole host of things to do whilst staying here.

In this article, we are going to be looking at some of the most enjoyable things to do while staying in Christchurch that will be sure to make your trip something that you remember for a very long time to come.

The city is located near to the Banks peninsula on the east side of the island and has a population of almost 400,000 people. The city was founded and named in the late 1800s making it a relatively new city in comparison to others around the world.

1. International Antarctic Center

This is one of the most well known tourist attractions in the city of Christchurch, and is home to various different Antarctic programs from all over the world. At the attraction, guests can interact with a variety of Antarctic themed exhibitions.

There are also places to eat here giving you the opportunity to spend an entire day at the venue. Whilst the Antarctic attraction is the most noted thing here, there are also services such as a post office and clothing store.

2. Christchurch Botanical Gardens

If you are keen to discover some plant species which are both of the native variety and some exotic species, then taking a trip to the Christchurch botanical gardens will give you the opportunity to do this. Christchurch has been nicknamed the Garden City and so this attraction could not be more fitting to its location, and was founded over 150 years ago from the planting of one single oak tree.

Visitors are able to view the beautiful rose garden as well as varying annual plants and head inside the visitor center for further information.

3. Canterbury Museum

No city break would be complete without a trip to the museum and the one in Christchurch has a lot to offer. For those who interested in the rich culture and history of the nation of New Zealand, the Canterbury Museum is a great place to learn this kind of information.

The museum houses its permanent collection as well as having a variety of temporary exhibitions throughout the year. Visitors are not charged a fee to enter into the museum, making it an inexpensive day out, however, it is always worth considering a donation to places such as this one.

4. Orana Wildlife Park

At this attraction, you are given the chance to meet a variety of animals including lions and gorillas. The most interesting thing about this zoo is that it is completely open range and so guests are able to get up close and personal with all of the animals who live here.

There is even the opportunity to hand feed some of the creatures. This is a perfect day out for anyone who loves animals and also brilliant for families with children.

5. Christchurch Gondola

If you are looking to get a good view over the city of Christchurch then perhaps you would consider taking a ride on the Christchurch gondola which gives stunning views across the city and the surrounding landscapes. See the majesty of the mountains and once you have ingested the glorious views, you might ingest a delicious meal at the cafe at the base.

6. Cardboard Cathedral

Those who are looking for something completely unique and quirky to add to their visit to Christchurch might consider visiting the cardboard cathedral. And that is exactly what this is, a church built out of cardboard!

The building is intended to be a temporary fixture, since the actual cathedral in the city was extensively damaged after an earthquake in 2011. It is certainly something that you do not see every day and is also great for those looking to indulge in the spiritual side of the city.

7. Punting on the Avon

This is the chance to see the city by way of a boat tour. The stunning river traverses the city and you can sit back and relax whilst taking in the beautiful sites that Christchurch has to offer. What makes this activity particularly interesting is that the tour is conducted on a pole driven boat by someone dressed in Edwardian clothing, something a little different.

8. Sumner Beach

Going to the beach is always a relaxing and enjoyable experience so why not try out one of the most well loved beaches in Christchurch, Sumners beach. Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and take in some stunning oceanscapes.

This is a rocky beach with a lot of character and whilst it isn’t a place for sun seekers to soak up the rays, it is definitely a place where you can appreciate the earth. If you are into surfing, the beach has a surf school and the waves are said to be pretty good here.

9. Air Force Museum of New Zealand

Looking into the history of the New Zealand air force can be an interesting and exciting activity and the air force museum of New Zealand has some great exhibitions on offer.

The museum first opened its doors to the public in 1987 and is set on an actual military base. There is a lot of information surround in RNZAF in the second world war and how it was formed. There are also displays related to the air forces which preceded the RNZAF, so guests can expect to gain a good education when visiting here.

10. Christchurch Art Gallery

For art lovers, Christchurch has its very own art gallery which features some fantastic collections of modern art that are sure to delight. There are many New Zealand based exhibits here but also a good variety of international ones, echoing the diversity of the country.

As well as an extensive permanent collection, the gallery has a good variety of temporary exhibitions which come and go throughout the year and is open from 10am until 5pm every day of the week.

11. Mona Vale

This historical homestead has become a very well loved attraction for both those who live in the area as well as those who are just passing through. The plot is set over 4 hectares and guests can enjoy the well maintained gardens where there are an array of various different trees and plants.

There are a good number of historical buildings which can be explored by visitors and once you have had your fill, there is a beautiful cafe on site which serves cakes and beverages all year round.

12. Christchurch Casino

If you are in the mood for a bit of fun downtime then paying a visit to the Christchurch casino might pay off. This top casino located in the city offers a good range of both table games and machines.

There are also live shows put on here regularly which is a great way to be entertained. Guests can also dine in the on site restaurant or settle in for a drink in one of the many bars located here.

13. Quake City

New Zealand is a country which has unfortunately fallen victim to many earthquakes over the years. However, rather than wallowing in sorrow over this, they have created the museum which is Quake city.

This is an interactive exhibition which details everything you could ever want to know about earthquakes. This is a good one for those with children, as it is very educational as well as being enjoyable.

14. Christchurch Adventure Park

For an activity or two which is a little more adventurous, visitors would benefit from going to the Christchurch adventure park. There are a huge range of things to take part in here including a zip line, mountain biking trails and many other outdoor activities.

You can buy an annual pass if you are local to the area or if you are just visiting, can enter just for the day.


Christchurch has so much to offer and the things to do here are extremely diverse. From museums to beaches and casinos to cuisine, there really is something for everyone in this vibrant and unique city. Taking part in any of the activities that we have discussed here will be sure to give you a visit to Christchurch that you will look back on fondly for many years to come.

Last Updated on April 3, 2020


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