The largest city of New Zealand’s South Island has lots to see, so we listed the 5 places that you must visit in Christchurch
A gateway to many New Zealand adventures, such as a train ride across the Southern Alps and nearby ski fields, Christchurch is much more than just a passing point. Book a few days to feel the energy of a city that is dusting itself off brilliantly, after devastating earthquakes.
1. A bird’s eye at the Gondola
The first place you must visit in Christchurch is the Gondola. Make your way to Heathcote Valley and board one of the cable cars that take you to Mount Cavendish summit. The views are breathtaking from there, so make sure you visit on a clear day. Spot the ocean on one side and the Southern Alps on the other, with the city tucked in between.
Besides getting a good notion of the region’s geography, you’ll also learn its history at the Time Tunnel experience. This is a dramatic recreation of the events that led to what Christchurch is today, which the whole family will love. Before heading back, enjoy an easy hike at the summit and breathe in the fresh air.
2. Loose yourself at the Christchurch Farmers’ Market
The nearby farming country, makes agriculture the core drive of the city’s economy. Which means you will find here the finest fresh produce in New Zealand, so a traditional market is definitely a must visit in Christchurch.
Only a 10-minute drive from the city centre, Christchurch Farmers’ Market is located in the rustic Riccarton House and Bush. Belonging to the Deans family, founders of Canterbury, it is a historic and charming set for 80 stalls. This is the largest market in the region, with a wide variety of seasonal and artisan treats. Get your bundle of delicious fruits and veggies every Saturday, from 9am to 1pm.
3. Street Art awakens the city
The spirit of renewal and optimism, that has risen among the citizens after the earthquakes, is noticeable along the streets. Once ruined, the city is now reborn within colorful and uplifting walls taken over by street artists. Get your map at Canterbury Museum, the promoter behind this exciting movement, or download the Rise/Oi You! App. As you wander the streets of Christchurch, you will discover vibrant murals painted by local and international artists. Each of them bringing to the surface a powerful message, establishing a connection between the city and its people. And surely with the world too, as will find some of the most instagrammable spots for your trip.
The fading aspect of street art and the ever changing ideas, means that every time you visit there will be new paintings.
4. Punting on the Avon River
Christchurch architecture mirrors a typical English city with the Avon River flowing through it. And what better way to travel in time than a traditional boat ride?
Punting on the Avon has been a favourite among tourists that wish to seat back and enjoy the green bank views. An expert punter, Edwardian dressed, takes you gliding into the magical Botanic Gardens. He will tell you all about the most iconic aspects of Christchurch, during this contemplative moment. Perfect to soak in the vibe of this place and a much deserved pause from rushing to see it all on your getaway.
5. Explore the revived Tannery
If you love to see historic buildings get a whole new life, then you can’t miss The Tannery. A clever recycling of an old industrial site, turned beautifully into a boutique shopping emporium. Full of trendy cafes and shops, among which a bookshop, a florist and a craft brewery. Here is where you can see independent businesses blooming, acquire sustainable products and support local artisans.
Besides shopping, there is a lot more going on at The Tannery. In the spirit of recapturing the golden era of cinema, you can watch a movie at the old style The Deluxe Cinemas. The Victorian building also hosts live music gigs, with incredible performers and bands of jazz, soul, rock and indie music from everywhere.
Now that you know the wonderful places you must visit in Christchurch, New Zealand, what are you waiting for? Book your holiday in New Zealand and check out what else we love about it here.