Let yourself feel inspired by not only the wonders of nature that surround you but also by the people who call this remarkable city their home. 

Open the gateway to the South Island of New Zealand and explore Christchurch city, one of the most beautiful (and breathtaking) destinations in the world. A place where snow-capped peaks, giant glaciers, and shimmering lakes are everywhere you look, Christchurch is not only a nature lover’s dream but also a thrill-seeker’s paradise. Listen to the stories of hope and resilience shown by the people of Christchurch from your trip guide while fully immersing yourself in this city’s vibrant and eclectic kiwi culture. From the bustling bar scene found in the inner city to the calming sounds of the Avon (Otakaro) River, Christchurch is a truly unique place full of bubbling personality and never-ending beauty.

Our Christchurch Tours

10 Days From 4860

Explore New Zealand’s South Island on a 10-day small group tour which includes Franz...

17 Days From 9660

Discover the best of New Zealand on a 17-day Premium adventure, taking in the most...

18 Days From 9660

Discover the best of New Zealand on a 17-day Premium adventure, taking in the most...

Tailor-Made trips

Take four or more on an exclusive trip and tailor your itinerary

Fun things to do in Christchurch

A field of tulips at the Christchurch Botanic Gardens.

Wander through the Christchurch Botanic Gardens

With Christchurch’s recognition as being the ‘Garden City’, it’s no wonder the Botanic Gardens, located just 15 minutes from the city centre, are a natural marvel just waiting to be explored. Featuring a beautiful array of plants from cheery daffodils and sweet-smelling roses in Summer to trees of golden brown and orange in Autumn, this garden dazzles all year round. Why not wander among the century-old trees and take in the Peacock Fountain on a relaxing and refreshing afternoon walk?

Two artists spray painting murals onto a wall in Christchurch

Walk among street art in the inner city

Not only does resilience and creativity flow out of every person you meet in Christchurch, but it also seeps out of the very buildings that make up this beautiful city. Christchurch’s reputation as the home of street art is thanks to the many colourful and captivating pieces that adorn inner-city dwellings, expertly created by a range of inspiring artists. From murals that tell a story to depictions of history, marveling at these artworks should be high on your priority list.

The Christchurch Gondola on a sunny day.

Take a ride on the Christchurch Gondola

If you’re looking for an unbeatable view of the city and its surrounding regions, then hop aboard the Christchurch Gondola. Guaranteed to have you taking in Christchurch from a different perspective, the gondola is a must-do activity, if not for the 360 views, then for the many walking trails you can explore once you’re at the top. But the 10-minute ride really is the main attraction, allowing you to take in the scenery below you from the snowy Southern Alps to the shimmering waters of Pegasus Bay in your four-person cabin.

Punting on the Avon River in Christchurch.

Go punting on Avon River

It’s impossible to visit a town as picturesque as Christchurch and not appreciate its beauty from the water, and by water, we mean the Avon River. Gently gliding along the river has quickly become an unmissable attraction regardless of the season, with punters dressed up in Edwardian outfits ready to propel you past lush greenery and magical weeping willows. With a couple of different departure points that’ll take you either through the city or the Botanic Gardens, punting on the river is one of the best ways to soak up the natural beauty of Christchurch.

Grape vines in a vineyard in the Waipara Valley.

Sip your way through the Waipara Valley

Embark on a day trip to Christchurch’s wine region, Waipara Valley, and sample some of New Zealand’s world-class liquid produce. Just a short 45-minute drive from the city center, the Waipara Valley is made up of over 40 wineries and vineyards, all waiting for you to sample their finest ranges. Whether you fancy a Sauvignon Blanc or you’re more of a Pinot Noir kind of person, the Waipara Valley wineries have a little something for everyone.

A Kiwi bird at the Orana Wildlife Park in Christchurch.

See a Kiwi bird at the Orana Wildlife Park

Sprawling across 80-hectares, Orana Wildlife Park features all your favourite animals as well as New Zealand’s most iconic birds, the nocturnal Kiwis. Providing the ultimate in animal adventures, this park promises to take you up close and personal so you can observe a range of different species from various parts of the world including Australia, Africa, Asia, and America. Home to New Zealand’s only Gorillas and native wildlife, a visit to this Christchurch attraction is a must.

Christchurch Tour Reviews 

Christchurch FAQs

Trips from 1 January 2023 onwards

From 1 January 2023, Intrepid will no longer require travellers to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 (excluding all Polar trips and select adventure cruises). 

However, we continue to strongly recommend  that all Intrepid travellers and leaders get vaccinated to protect themselves and others.

Specific proof of testing or vaccination may still be required by your destination or airline. Please ensure you check travel and entry requirements carefully.

Learn more about Intrepid's COVID-19 policy

Christchurch is located on the South Island of New Zealand so traveling to this picturesque city largely depends on where you're coming from. If you're located in the surrounding regions or other close-by cities then the easiest way to get to Christchurch would be to drive. If you're traveling from other parts of the South Island that are further away such as Queenstown, or if you're traveling from destinations in the North Island, catching a flight to Christchurch Airport would be the quickest and most convenient way. 

Getting around Christchurch is extremely easy with a heap of different options available from hiring a bike and cycling around the city to catching public transportation. Christchurch's public transportation system is quite effective with two bus networks designed to take you to the major landmarks and suburbs within the city. Alternatively, you can also easily catch a taxi or rent a car for longer day trips to surrounding regions. 

Read more about getting around Christchurch

Christchurch enjoys a temperature climate with fairly even and dry temperatures. Due to Christchurch's location to the equator, Summer isn't very hot and it's unlikely to see extreme heat during the season. On the other hand, Winter's are quite cold in Christchurch with freezes often happening overnight. Despite Christchurch's tendency for cooler weather, the city still enjoys 2,100 hours of sunlight a year. 

Read more about the weather in Christchurch

What to pack for Christchurch largely depends on what time of the year you're traveling in. Due to Christchurch's fairly temperate and dry climate and cooler temperatures, it's a good idea to pack a jumper and some wet weather clothes no matter the season. If you're traveling in Winter or Autumn you should pack appropriate Winter clothes such as pants, thicker shirts, and socks, as well as scarves, beanies, and gloves. While the temperature never gets too hot in Summer, you can still pack t-shirts, shorts, dresses, and hats. 

Christchurch is considered to be a fairly safe city as it has a low level of crime, however various crimes can still happen so it's best to stick to well-populated areas. It's also a good idea to avoid places or situations that make you feel uncomfortable, especially if you're traveling alone or moving around at night. New Zealand is also located on a fault line so theoretically minor shakes and larger earthquakes can happen at any moment so it's always best to be prepared. 

Rebuilding after the Christchurch earthquake in 2011 has been a slow but steady process with the city divided into four distinct sections, categorised by the level of damage sustained. A lot of the buildings that were damaged have been rebuilt with stronger foundations so as to avoid a disaster of this scale happening again, however, there is still more work to be done to get Christchurch back to the level it was before the earthquake. 

Christchurch is a city where you can get many types of cuisines, ensuring there's a little something for everyone. Whether you're after Thai food or you fancy a bit of Italian, Christchurch is packed with the best restaurants to satisfy your hunger. Here are some of our favourites: 

  • Indian Summer, central Christchurch
  • Twenty Seven Step, central Christchurch
  • Arbour Woodfire Pizza, Lyttelton
  • Bacon Brothers, central Christchurch

Intrepid is committed to making travel widely accessible, regardless of ability or disability. That’s why we do our best to help as many people see the world as possible, regardless of any physical or mental limitations they might have. Christchurch has implemented a number of policies to make moving around the city easier including interactive maps for people with hearing disabilities and safer pedestrian crossings for those that are visually impaired. Intrepid Travel is also committed to guiding travellers with disabilities towards the most suitable itinerary for their needs and where possible, make reasonable adjustments to our itineraries.

Learn more about Accessible Travel with Intrepid

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