Christchurch Travel Guide

Christchurch is the gateway to New Zealand's beautiful South Island and is the largest city on the island. Compared with other cities in NZ, Christchurch is known as being more conservative and its colonial English past is evident when walking through the city.

The Anglican Cathedral located in the main public square of Christchurch and older style buildings demonstrate its strong and well preserved history. Don't worry not everything is history orientated in Christchurch. The city is lively with a relaxed culture, a bustling arts scene and plenty of great restaurants and chic cafes.

Christchurch Hotels & Accommodation

Hotels and other accommodation options in Christchurch vary depending on where you choose to stay. There are many 5 star accommodation options, mid range as well as budget options including backpackers, camping grounds and camper van parks. There are plenty of B&Bs and self-contained apartments for couples or families looking for a relaxing stay with a little more privacy. If you are happy to share, backpacker hostels offer rooms for multiple guests and singles at great savings.

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Getting to Christchurch

Christchurch Airport is located about 12kms from the city centre, the trip generally takes about 20 minutes driving or in a taxi. There are many affordable transport options from Christchurch Airport including; buses, taxis and hire cars. It is advisable to book rental cars ahead of time to ensure you get the car you want and avoid waiting around at the airport.

Christchurch Day Trips

Just a short trip away from Christchurch are a number of small tourist towns that attract many visitors each year. Here are just a few.


Akaroa is beautifully preserved French and British settlement and is the oldest town in the South Island. Akaroa is just 75 kilometres Christchurch in New Zealand, The town itself is nestled in the heart of an ancient volcano. Explore the village with its colonial architecture, galleries, craft stores, and cafés. Relax or take part in the many activities including the seasonal dolphin tours.


Lyttelton is a small sea-side town just 12km from Christchurch city centre. Probably one of the most visited attractions with large historical significance is the timeball at port Lyttelton. The timeball is one of only a few still working around the world and began signalling Greenwich mean time to ships in Lyttelton harbor in 1876.

Christchurch Weather

Christchurch has a temperate climate characterised by warm, hot summers with an average temperature of 25°C and mild winters with daily temperatures sticking around 11°C. Christchurch is prone to northwesterly winds which can sometimes reach storm force. Winters are cool with more frequent rains than in summer. Travellers with severe respiratory problems sometimes avoid Christchurch due to smog that lingers a little more during the winter months.

Car Hire in Christchurch

Car hire is available in Christchurch from the following car rental companies. It is always advisable to book in advance especially during peak periods when availability of specific cars is limited. With Webjet compare all available rental companies & rates on one page and save!

Avis Car Hire
Budget Car Rental
Europcar Car Hire
Hertz Car Rental
Thrifty Car Rental

Christchurch - Top Attractions

Christchurch is a well planned city for sightseeing by foot or bicycle. Christchurch is mostly flat making it perfect for walking tours with a lot of the best attractions within walking distance of centrally located hotels.

Christchurch Cathedral

Hardly unavoidable is the Christchurch Cathedral located in the centre of Christchurch. Built in 1904, the cathedral is open daily with regular services still held throughout the week and you can even climb the bell tower for a small fee. Cathedral Square is a modern day town centre where on various days you can find concerts, protests and street preachers alongside food and craft stalls.

Arts Centre

The Arts Centre is home to over 40 art and craft stores in a converted Gothic stone university campus. There are weekend markets with live bands and regular performances held throughout the week. At night you can even book a ghost walk through the spooky buildings at night!

Christchurch Gondola

The Christchurch Gondola on the Port Hills provides a great view over Christchurch from 500 metres above sea level. Beyond the gondola, there is also the Time Tunnel Ride as well as the opportunity to walk on the many trails along the Port Hills.

Dolphins & Whale Watching

For something completely amazing, you should go swimming with dolphins! There are numerous operators offering the opportunity to swim with local dolphins in the ocean. There are also whale watching companies where you get to see various species of whales in their natural environment.
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