The gateway to New Zealand’s south island is known as “the garden city”, and its 30-hectare Botanical Gardens is one of its most blooming popular attractions. Next to the gardens, the Avon River winds through the city, overhung with trees and looking like something from the English countryside. Christchurch has been innovative following the devastating earthquakes of 2010 and 2011, with Re:START Mall’s shops and cafes made from brightly coloured shipping containers. Book your Christchurch holiday package with us for cathedrals, culture, greenery and even a trip through Antarctica! “What? You may say. Read on.
Does Christchurch’s name strike you as somewhat religious? It may come as no surprise that the Canterbury Association, who founded Christchurch in 1850, were sponsored by the Church of England. It’s commonly believed that the name Christchurch came from Christ Church College in Oxford. Christchurch became a city by Royal Charter in 1856, and was the first city in New Zealand to do so. With its Gothic architecture, Christchurch has always been known as NZ’s most English city.
Things to do
You may not be able to go to Antarctica, but you can do the next best thing at Christchurch’s International Antarctic Centre. Here you can prepare yourself for an indoor Antarctic storm, strap yourself into the Hagglund and see what it’s like travelling across rough terrain, slide across the slopes in the Polar Room and – of course- meet and greet some new penguin friends.
On a visit to “the Garden City”, you can’t go past Christchurch Botanic Gardens, packed with 10 different gardens: rose and herb gardens, gardens of local NZ plants, gardens with art included (including a brass gnome). If you want more nature on your Christchurch holiday, Orana Wildlife Park is an 80-hectare open-range zoo with lions, giraffes and white rhinos. If you’d like to see the Garden City while floating down the tranquil Avon River, go punting!
That’s when you sit back in a boat as a fellow with a pole steers you under bridges and past gardens and river banks.
For more exciting things to do, visit the Canterbury Museum, the Air Force Museum of New Zealand and the Christchurch Arts Centre. Don’t forget that you can also explore the rest of the Canterbury region, where the mountains are capped with snow in winter and attractions like the stunning Aoraki / Mount Cook National Park await you.
Shopping and dining
In the heart of Christchurch, Re:START Mall’s vibrant village of shipping containers offers a wide variety of fashion boutiques, food options, coffee carts, gift stores and more. You can also find suburban malls, shopping strips like New Regent Street and a Sunday Artisan Market. There are many fine restaurants with delicious food in the Christchurch area, and you won’t have to go far for a great meal, some refreshing wine or a satisfying coffee.
Bundle up your flights and accommodation in the one Christchurch holiday package with us, because the grass is greener in “the Garden City”.