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Christchurch Tourism And Travel Guide
16° C / 60.7° F
September to February
5 to 7 Days
Christchurch International Airport (12 kms)
Christchurch Railway Station, Addington (4 kms)
With a river flowing through its main city, the sea to one side and the distant Mountain Peaks to the other, the picturesque city of Christchurch is one of the many popular tourist destinations in New Zealand. Sometimes also referred to as the ‘garden city’ of New Zealand, Christchurch is known for its English Heritage. The city is abundant with parks and botanical garden whilst also being an adventure hub in the Canterbury region. A visit to the magnificent city of Christchurch is must for its lovely tourism if visiting New Zealand. This travel guide to Christchurch should help you plan the fun-filled trip the city is bound to offer.
How to Reach
Christchurch, being one of the many important hubs in New Zealand for business and tourism is very easily accessible from almost all parts of the world. The city is also considered one among the 5 gateways to the Antarctic region. Owing to its popularity and utility, reaching Christchurch is hassle-free.
The city has one of the 5 international airports in the country and is connected to a large number of places in the world. Reaching Christchurch from India is rather easy as a number of airlines operate between India and New Zealand. Although there are no direct flights to Christchurch, there are plenty of flights that depart on a regular basis from all the major cities in India like Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Bengaluru. Indian nationals are to apply for a visa before arriving in Christchurch and are requested to carry a valid passport.
While Christchurch is located on the eastern coast of the Southern Island, it cannot be reached via sea. There are no commercial passenger cruises that operate between India and Christchurch.
On arriving elsewhere in New Zealand, one can easily reach Christchurch by road. The city is one of the major transportation hubs in the Southern Island with plenty of public buses and the Tranz Alpine operating from the city. One can also hire taxis to reach the city or rent bikes/cars and drive to Christchurch. On reaching a city in the Northern Island, visitors can ferry to Picton and then travel to Christchurch via land.
Getting around the city is rather easy as public transport is very good and one can also hire taxis or rent from most parts of the city.
Weather and Best Time to Visit
The city of Christchurch is nice and pleasant all throughout the year, although there are temperature differences during different seasons. The city experiences four distinct seasons, each with its own charm. While summers usually draw a large number of visitors, spring would be the best time to visit the place
Summer: December to February
Summer in Christchurch, with an average temperature of 22°C, is the warmest time of the year. It is widely popular among visitors and is usually rather crowded. Summers here are the best time to take a dip in the cool blue waters to wash off the afternoon heat. A large number of people visit during summers and hence it can be a little hard to find accommodation. Booking in advance is advised if planning to visit Christchurch in summer.
Autumn: March to May
The coming of autumn or the fall is marked by the colourful transformation of the leaves to a wonderful golden Hue. The temperatures begin to climb down and average around 18°C. Autumn in Christchurch is considered as the driest time of the year and is considered the best time for some outdoor fun. Hiking and biking are very popular during this time of the year. Autumn can also be very crowded and is important to keep in mind the price-surges.
Winter: June to August
Winter in Christchurch is time to out the cameras. The clear days make for some extra-ordinary views of the distant snow-capped peaks making it an exciting time to visit the city. Winters are rather cold with temperatures averaging at around 11°C during the day. The nights can be much colder. Christchurch also sees some snow and the city is best known for the ski season that comes with the winter. With the crowds retreating, winters are usually the time for a budget holiday.
Spring: September to November
Spring is known for the colours that it brings and Christchurch can take your breath away with the magnitude of colours that you will see here. The temperatures begin to climb and reach a pleasant 17°C. Spring in Christchurch is a time for everyone and everything. One can explore the outdoors; go for a swim or even ski. With little or no visitors around, spring can be the quietest and the most fun. Spring is the best time to visit the city.
Things to Do
Visit the International Antarctic Centre:
The International Antarctic Centre is a one-stop experience of life in the Antarctic. The centre pays homage to the many expeditions to the Antarctic from Christchurch. A visit to the centre can give you a taste of what it must feel like to go to the Antarctic. The centre houses a gallery that was built for educational purposes and is one of the important attractions here. With displays of the wildlife in the region, the glacier and the many stories of explorers, a visit to the gallery can be exciting.
Parks and Wildlife Reserve:
Christchurch is also referred to as the Garden City of New Zealand. The city has numerous parks and botanical gardens that adorn it. A tour of the parks and the wildlife reserves can be a fun family activity. The Hagley Park is the largest and is located in the heart of the city. The Hagley Park is known for its tall trees and peaceful surroundings. The city is home to some very colourful regional plants like the Azalea and the Rhododendrons and can be found in the Millbrook Reserve. With a mat and some snacks, one can enjoy the songs of the birds and the leaves here.
The Orana Wildlife Park is yet another place to visit with the family. The park houses New Zealand’s only Gorillas and Orangutans along with Rhinos, Giraffes and the native Kiwi. The park allows visitors to feed the Giraffes and this makes for some fun time. The park also has a Lion safari that visitors can take.
With the winter comes the excitement of fresh snow on the slopes around Christchurch. The city boasts of one of the longest ski seasons anywhere. With two very popular ski resorts and many more, Christchurch has transformed into a hub for ski enthusiasts. The closest ski resort to the city is Porters. Porters is considered as one of the best places for amateurs and intermediates providing exciting slopes to train on. The place is also equipped with rentals and shuttles that will take you there. The more popular place for skiing in Christchurch is Mount Hutt. Located at about 115 km from the main city, Mt Hutt sees a lot of visitors during the ski season. Equipped with a variety of slopes for all kinds of skiers, Mt Hutt is the place to be. With Chairlifts and other assistance, the place is buzzing with people. Mt Hutt also has centres for training kids for a fun time for the whole family. Skiing in Christchurch will be an experience to cherish.
Tranz Alpine Journey:
The Tranz Alpine train, running from Christchurch all the way to Greymouth is one of the major highlights in the city. The journey is marked by some amazing views of the scenic countryside of New Zealand. The train passes through the Canterbury plains and then through the famous Arthur’s pass before arriving at Greymouth. Moving alongside hills, mountains, rivers and plains, the journey on the Tranz Alpine is beyond describable. With comfortable seating designed for pairs, couples and groups and broad glass windows, the train is equipped to provide visitors with the best views possible. The train also houses a café for snacks and beverages. A trip on the Tranz Alpine is a must if planning to visit Christchurch.
Eating in Christchurch can be an extremely diverse experience. With access to some extraordinary seafood and some of the best produce from the plains, Christchurch is a paradise for foodies. The city is a combination of everything one can think of food-wise, cafés, bars, breweries, restaurants, farmer’s markets, etc. The city houses some of the best fine-diners and restaurants in the world and it is the opportunity to taste some amazing food. Places like the Hello Sunday, Roots Restaurant and Twenty Seven Steps are some of the popular places to eat from. Christchurch is quite famous for its craft beers and breweries that follow traditional ways of making beer. The city is also home to some of the best bakeries like the Lyttelton Bakery, The Tanner Street Bakery and the Bohemian Bakery. Christchurch also has some amazing Indian restaurants that make some great Indian recipes. The eating experience in Christchurch will leave you wanting for more.
Regarded as one of the earliest English settlements in the country, Christchurch is a beautiful mix of local culture and European heritage. Shopping in Christchurch is an experience by itself. There are plenty of exciting places to be in; the Tannery, Colombo and the Farmer’s markets are just a few. With plenty of big brands and labels, one can find some of the best clothes and apparels in the region. Christchurch is also known for its art galleries. If looking to take back souvenirs for loved ones, this is the place to shop. The farmer’s markets in Christchurch can be colourful and fun. With a number of local producers and artisans taking part in the market, one is sure to find some mind-blowing produce. The farmer’s markets also have plenty of local art and handicrafts to take home. The Christchurch Farmer’s Market and the Akaroa Farmer’s Market are quite famous. On the whole, the shopping experience here is like no other.