Welcome to a lively city in transition, coping brilliantly with the aftermath of New Zealand’s second-worst natural disaster.
Yes, Christchurch is in the middle of an epic rebuild that has wholly reconstructed the city center, where over 40% of buildings needed to be razed after the quake. Scaffolding and road cones will be part of Christchurch’s panorama for a while yet, but don’t be discouraged; exciting new constructions are opening at an extraordinary pace, and most sights are open for business.
Remember that wide-open spaces, fresh air, endless coastlines, scenic biking, and walking tracks – the outdoor setting is key to lifestyle balance in Christchurch.
Today, we will explore a few of the most exciting and unusual things to do in Christchurch, New Zealand.
- Tram Ride: Trams interestingly runs every 8-10 mins on a loop in the central town that takes 30 minutes in total. Get on and off as you please with your day-long ticket. It is the cheapest way to explore the city center, and also one of the most exciting ones.
- Christchurch Gondola: Ride in an enveloped gondola car up to the Port Hills’ summit, then observe the Heritage Time Tunnel exhibition, take an open-air nature walk, visit the restaurants and cafe, and go shopping. The trip takes ten minutes,n but it is advised to allow an hour all up.
- Antigua Boatsheds: In Christchurch, you can boat hire from historic British boatsheds for a hands-on water experience. It is relatively affordable and cheap, and the panorama is all worth it.
- Summit Road: Bike it or drive it or sit in a bus, then walk it. The road and the Crater Rim Walkway crosses the Port Hills crest, which separates Christchurch from Lyttelton Harbour. It extends superb views over Christchurch, Pegasus Bay, the Southern Alps, Banks Peninsula, and Lyttelton Harbour – often all from the very vantage point.
- Punting on the Avon River: Unwind and glide down the river in Cambridge University style with a neat, uniformed boatsman. Admire the stunning Christchurch Botanic Gardens or the city center’s evolving face as you are formally guided smoothly along the Avon River in Christchurch.
- Christchurch Adventure Park: Christchurch Adventure Park offers excellent mountain biking trails for intermediate, advanced, and beginner bikers and zip-lines. Take the formal chairlift up, then bike down. There are gear and bike rentals, skills and lessons clinics, and a bar and cafe.
- Festivals: Christchurch has the most active program of annual celebrations of any New Zealand town. From the music festival running in February in Hagley Park to the South Island’s largest arts festival, there is something for everyone. You can check out the Christchurch City Council website for more details on festivals, booking, and entry fees if any.
For people who love eating, Christchurch has an unofficial ‘Chinatown’ with numerous Asian outlets. Fish’n’chips is the cheapest meal available. Indian food is most preferred by vegans, and you can try local authentic meals almost everywhere along the river.