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Visit Christchurch New Zealand Things to do and places to stay

Christchurch is one of the most picturesque cities of New Zealand.  It is a place where you feel at home and welcome at first sight.  It is also a great travel destination for city lovers as well as outdoor enthusiasts.  Let’s explore and start your trip to Christchurch, New Zealand:

Google describes the city as follows:  “Christchurch, known for its English heritage, is located on the east coast of New Zealand’s South Island. Flat-bottomed punts glide on the Avon River, which meanders through the city center. On its banks are cycling paths, the green expanse of Hagley Park and Christchurch Botanic Gardens.” – Google

1st of all:  How would you explore the City?


Exploring the City Centre of Christchurch is easy, as you have the option to do a tour on the beautiful tram which runs through the city.  Or rent a scooter and explore the city in a fun way.  You can also rent a car and include a few road trips while you’re there.  However, our favorite is the tram, as you get a few extra benefets:

Hop-on Hop-off: You can book your tickets online

Travel aboard the City Tramway, and use your ticket to hop-on and hop-off at all the stops. Drivers provide live commentary on the landmarks. Bonus: children up to age 15 travel free.
Things to do

15 Places Worth going to in Christchurch, New Zealand

When walking around the city center you’ll find easy notice boards, so you can’t get lost.  Here are a few must-see destinations according to the city:

  • The Botanical Gardens
  • Canterbury Museum
  • Christchurch Art Gallery
  • Turanga Central Library
  • New Regent Street
  • Margaret Mahy Family Playground
  • Cardboard Transitional Cathedral
  • The Terraces
  • Salt District
  • Riverside Market
  • Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial – ‘The memorial is a place to reflect on the 2010/2011 earthquakes that changed Greater Christchurch forever.’ And Quake City.
  • The Arts Centre
Things to do in Christchurch New Zealand
Day Trip

Must-See destination: lake Pukaki

Now while you’re in Christchurch New Zealand we definitely recommend that you hire a car and get out there to drive somewhere beautiful.  Pukaki Lake is simply one of the most beautiful lakes in New Zealand …well maybe one of the most beautiful lakes in the world

Things to do in Christchurch New Zealand Visit Lake Pukaki
Excellent idea for your trip:

While driving out to this beautiful lake you don’t want to be in a hurry.  Add this to your itinerary and make time for some, maybe well needed, “alone-time” or this can be the perfect outdoor picnic time for the family.

Map and Directions to Lake Pukaki

Can you swim in Lake Pukaki? 

Yes, but it is definitely not advisable as the water comes directly from a glacier.  It is icy. 

What is the reason for the lakes’ color?

At the right time of day, you’ll have the opportunity to take the most stunning photos ever.  This is a spectacular stop for any keen photographer.  The exceptional blue (turquoise) color is due to fine silt particles, or “glacial flour” (as they call it) in the water:  A result of glacial erosion.

Where to stay

Overnight near Lake Pukaki

Mount Cook

From Lake Pukaki you can see Aoraki / Mount Cook (Almost always covered in snow).  This is the highest mountain in New Zealand and a popular tourist destination for mountain climbers loving a challenge.

  • Elevation: 3 724 m
  • First ascent: 25 December 1894
  • First ascenders: Tom Fyfe, George Graham, Jack Clarke

From Christchurch it is approx. a 3 hr 27 min (288,7 km) drive via State Hwy 1 and State Hwy 8, but this drive ends in the most scenic and spectacular location.

Maybe it is worth your while to overnight nearby:

Take advantage of the beautiful mountain and lake views.

Mt Cook Lakeside Retreat

best places to stay near Lake Pukaki New Zealand

Lakestone Lodge

Visit Lake Pukaki in New Zealand must see places near Christchurch

Pukaki Lakeside Getaway NZ

Where to stay near Lake Pukaki Accommodation in Christchurch New Zealand
More options – compare price:
More Travel Guide Tips on Christchurch city

When is the Best time to visit Christchurch?

The best time is during summertime, which is from December to February.  You’ll have plenty of fabulous summer days with limited rainfall:  Perfect for exploring and enjoying a great holiday.

Best things to do in Christchurch New Zealand

Panoramic Views

Take in the beautiful views with a cable car ride from Heathcote Valley, and enjoy the landscapes of Mount Cavendish in the Port Hills.

Christchurch Gondola (See link below to book ahead of time)
10 Bridle Path Rd, Heathcote Valley, Christchurch, New Zealand

Our Experience

The city is beautiful and clean.  It is the perfect basecamp for exploring the Canterbury and West Coast region.

Interesting fact

Christchurch became a city by Royal Charter on 31 July 1856, making it officially the oldest established city in New Zealand.

Getting there

Booking your flights:  You’ll be flying to Christchurch International Airport (CHC).  Remember to book your vehicle online while booking your flights.

More things to do in Christchurch

Where to stay in Christchurch