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*'''Christchurch Casino''', 30 Victoria Street, ''+64 3'' 365 9999, []. Open 24 hours except 25 Dec, Good Friday, ANZAC Day. Dress code (jeans now allowed). You get a free meal (breakfast, lunch or dinner) if it is your birthday (booking essential, e.g. by phone).  
*'''Christchurch Casino''', 30 Victoria Street, ''+64 3'' 365 9999, []. Open 24 hours except 25 Dec, Good Friday, ANZAC Day. Dress code (jeans now allowed). You get a free meal (breakfast, lunch or dinner) if it is your birthday (booking essential, e.g. by phone).  
*'''Christchurch Gondola''', base station 10 Bridle Path Rd (take Best Attractions Express Shuttle from Cathedral Sq, $5, $3 child, or 28 Lyttelton Bus from the Bus Exchange), ''+64 3'' 384 0700 (''+64 3'' 384 0707 for restaurant reservations), []. 10:00-late daily. $18, $8 child (summer), $17, $8 child (winter). Ride in the enclosed gondola car up to the summit of the Port Hills then view the Heritage Time Tunnel, take an outdoor nature walk, or dine at the restaurant. Three-course meal $60 including ride. *currently closed following the 22 February earthquake*
*'''Christchurch Gondola''', base station 10 Bridle Path Rd (take Best Attractions Express Shuttle from Cathedral Sq, $5, $3 child, or 28 Lyttelton Bus from the Bus Exchange), ''+64 3'' 384 0700 (''+64 3'' 384 0707 for restaurant reservations), []. 10:00-late daily. $18, $8 child (summer), $17, $8 child (winter). Ride in the enclosed gondola car up to the summit of the Port Hills then view the Heritage Time Tunnel, take an outdoor nature walk, or dine at the restaurant. Three-course meal $60 including ride. *Newly reopened 25 March 2013 after completion of repairs.*
*'''Creative Workshops''', []. Spend a day with a local artist or craftsman and share his skills and passion.
*'''Creative Workshops''', []. Spend a day with a local artist or craftsman and share his skills and passion.

Revision as of 02:28, 25 March 2013

Travel Warning WARNING: From September 2010 to December 2011, Christchurch was hit by four large earthquakes with magnitudes of 6.0 to 7.2. Services and utilities are largely fixed but a "red zone" in the city centre remains cordoned off. Check the local tourism board pages [18] to see which attractions and accommodations are available.
Christchurch Cathedral, before being damaged by earthquakes in 2011. In 2012 demolition started and was then halted by a high court injunction

Christchurch [19] is the largest city in the South Island of New Zealand with a 2006 population of over 350,000, making it the second largest city in the country after Auckland. It is on the edge of the Canterbury plains and is a major stepping off point for touring the South Island.


Christchurch was established in 1850 by English settlers. Its English heritage shows in the older buildings, especially in the cultural precinct along Worcester Boulevard. The River Avon flows through the central city and disrupts the regular rectangular layout of the city streets.

Christchurch is known as the Garden City, a well-deserved name. Looking from a few floors up, one is struck by the number of trees that grow like a forest throughout the suburbs.

International tourism, especially foreign-student education for the Asian market, was a growing sector of the Christchurch economy, as is electronics and software development. Because of this there is a high concentration of cyber-cafes here.

For on-line visitor information, see the official Christchurch & Canterbury Tourism site [20]

Christchurch city is recovering from major earthquakes. While some of the central business district is currently inaccessible (around 5 blocks), the remainder of the city and region are open for business and it remains the gateway to the rest of the South Island.

Get in

By plane

Christchurch International Airport [21] is a major transit airport for international and domestic travellers.

There are international services to and from Australia, Cook Islands (seasonal winter flights only), Fiji, Japan, Singapore, Thailand and United Arab Emirates.

There are frequent daily flights to and from most New Zealand airports (domestic), with direct flights to and from Auckland, Dunedin, Invercargill, Nelson, Queenstown, Rotorua, Wellington and many more destinations [22]. The domestic airlines that serve Christchurch are Air New Zealand and Jetstar Airways.

Flights to and from McMurdo Station in Antarctica also use the airport. This is one of the few international airports in the world where military and civilian aircraft regularly share the same runways.

There is a regular public bus service to the city centre. The 20-30 minute trip costs $7 and the buses operate half-hourly during the week and at least hourly on weekends. A door to door shuttle bus service to all parts of Christchurch is available from $20 for the first person, $5 per subsequent person. Taxi stands (about $45 to the city centre) and rental car parks are also close to the terminal building.

If you have a few hours to spare and no heavy luggage, you can also walk to the airport. There is a separate footpath alongside Fendalton Road/Memorial Avenue all the way to the airport and the around 8km walk is quite pleasant through residential neighbourhoods.

By car

State Highway One passes around the western edge of the city, past the airport. This is the main north/south arterial road in New Zealand. The stretch from Picton to Christchurch is particularly scenic, including stunning windswept cliffs and seal colonies. State Highway 73 goes to the west, over Arthur's Pass and on to the west coast. From SH73 you can also access Mount Hutt and other regional skifields.

By bus

There are daily bus services north to and from Picton , south to and from Dunedin and west to and from Queenstown West Coast(Greymouth, Hokitika) Mt Cook.

The InterCity Coachlines Travel Centre located at 123 Worcester Street is the main transfer hub for domestic and tourist sightseeing services in and out of Christchurch. Facilities include a ticketing office, waiting room, toilets and luggage storage. National operators InterCity Coachlines [23] and Newmans Coach Lines [24] provide multiple daily connections from this location to destinations throughout the South Island.

The location 123 Worcester Street is in the NO GO Damaged Red Zone of the Christchurch CBD (March 2011) This area has no public access. The Intercity website states "Our Christchurch temporary stop has moved slightly. Services are now arriving and departing at 126 Bealey Avenue (between the Colombo St and Durham St intersections)."

National sightseeing tour operator GreatSights New Zealand [25] also departs from this location with sightseeing tours to Mt Cook, Queenstown, and Christchurch.

There are also a number of smaller shuttle operators who operate from Christchurch.'' [26], a budget no frills bus operator.'Atomic Shuttles' [27] a local operator with services from Christchurch to Greymouth via Arthur's Pass. 'West Coast Shuttle' [28] with services to Greymouth via Arthur's pass (pick up at Christchurch airport on demand).

By train

The TranzAlpine can take you between Christchurch and Greymouth, from the east coast of New Zealand the west. This scenic train journey can be done as a day trip. The train departs from Christchurch daily at 08:15, returning at 18:05. During your trip you’ll see the the fields of the Canterbury Plains, followed by spectacular gorges and river valleys of the Waimakariri River. The train then climbs into the Southern Alps before descending through lush beech rain forest to the West Coast town of Greymouth.

Canterbury Shuttles provides a FREE transfer from all central city accomadation to the Christchurch train station. Pickups for the TranzCoastal are between 6AM to 6:30AM. Pickups for the TranzAlpine are between 7AM to 7:45AM.

The railway station is in Addington adjacent to the large Tower Junction shopping centre and has limited facilities.

By boat

The port town of Lyttelton is separated from Christchurch by the Port Hills. The early settlers had to walk over the Bridle Path - so named because the path was so steep that horses had to be lead by the bridle as they could not be ridden. Today there is a road tunnel that links the port to the city.

Get around

Christchurch is mostly flat, so many people get around on bicycles. Special-purpose bicycle lanes have been recently added to many streets to help promote cycling.

Navigation by car or bicycle is generally simple due to the grid layout, but watch out for one-way streets and bus-and-taxi-only intersections in the central city. Parking in the city uses a pay and display system and costs $2.60/ hour. You can pay with coins, credit card (Visa, MasterCard or Amex) or with a mobile phone text message (the latter two attract a 50c surcharge) then display the ticket with the expiry time visible on the curbside dash.

Renting a car is recommended for ease of transport, although there are public bus services covering the whole city (and the areas of interest for a visitor that may lie outside the central city, such as Sumner and New Brighton Beaches, Lyttelton, Gondola, etc). However in some areas buses may be infrequent, particularly on the weekends when there may only be one or two buses per hour.

The bus service [29] has been greatly improved in recent years. Buses interconnect through the temporary Bus Exchange in Tuam Street. A standard bus fare is $2.90 cash or $2.20 ($4.20 maximum charge per day, $10 minimum initial purchase) with a MetroCard smart card. There is also a free diesel-electric yellow Shuttle that orbits the inner-city area every ten minutes, but often it can be quicker to walk such short distances. It passes two malls and three supermarkets. (Bus shuttle is not currently operating).

The restored Christchurch Tramway [30] (ticket $12.50, valid for two days) also runs in a smaller loop around the inner city, 09:00-21:00 summer, 09:00-18:00 winter. Please note: this is curretnly out of service.


  • Arts Centre, Worcester Boulevard, [31]. Gothic Revival stonework of former University campus. This area was damaged during the 22 Feb 2011 earthquake. While reconstruction work is taking place these buildings are closed to the general public and will be for several years. However, the beauty and historical significance of these building can still be appreciated by viewing them from surrounding streets such as Worcester Boulevard and Hereford Street and the excellent Canterbury

Cheesemongers still operates from a modern building within its precincts.

Christchurch Art Gallery
  • Christchurch Art Gallery, Worcester Boulevard and Montreal Street (one block east of Botanic Gardens). +64 3 941-7300, [32]. Th-Tu 10:00-17:00, W 10:00-21:00. Spectacular new $47 million facility opened in 2003, the largest in the South Island, with over 5000 items and visiting exhibitions. (**Currently closed for repairs**).
  • Air Force Museum, former Wigram Airfield, Main South Road, +64 3 343-9542, [33]. 10:00-17:00 daily. Opened in 1987 before the closure of the Christchurch RNZAF base, this museum has full-size replicas of fighting planes and dramatizes the history of New Zealand's Air Force from World War I to Vietnam and beyond. $15, $5 child.
  • Botanic Gardens, Rolleston Ave, car park entrance Armagh St, +64 3 941 7590, [34]. Gates open 07:00 until one hour before sunset. Conservatories

10.15-16:00. Information centre open 10:15-16:00 daily summer, 11:00-15:00 winter. 30 hectares of exotic and indigenous plants and trees wrapped in a loop of the picturesque Avon River and linking to the 160-hectare Hagley Park. These put the "Garden" in the "Garden City", and the combined total with Hagley Park makes them the second largest inner city park in the world (after New York's Central Park).

  • Canterbury Museum, Rolleston Ave at end of Worcester Blvd (adjoining Botanic Gardens), +64 3 366- 5000, [35]. 09:00-17:30 daily summer, 09:00-17:00 winter. Includes colonial, Maori and natural history sections, Antarctic exploration display, and visiting exhibitions. Admission free to main exhibits (but donation appreciated), $2 for Discovery children's section.
  • Ferrymead Heritage Park, Ferrymead Park Dr (Ferry Rd east from city, or take the 30 Sumner bus from the Bus Exchange and to the Heathcote River Bridge, then first right down Bridle Path Rd), +64 3 384 1970, [36]. 10:00-16:30 daily. A recreated Edwardian township and museum with horse and carriage (daily), tram (weekends and school/public holidays) and train (first and third Sunday) rides. Due to the voluntary nature of the historical societies managing Ferrymead, not all attractions may be running at all times. Special events are often held and the park has been used to film the TV One reality show 'Colonial House'. Admission price is based on whether trams/trains are operating or not, and include unlimited rides if available. $10, $5 child with trams/trains; $6, $3 child without.
  • International Antarctic Centre, Christchurch Airport, +64 3 353 7798 (toll free 0508 736 4846 within NZ), [37]. 09:00-19:00 daily 1 Oct–30 Apr, 09:00-17:30 1 May–30 Sep. A world-class Antarctic experience with simulated polar weather, Hagglund All-Terrain Vehicle ride, penguins, extensive exhibits about Antarctic science missions, cafe and gift shop. $55, $36 child. Unlimited Hagglund all day rides $20, Penguin Backstage Pass $20, $15 child.
  • Orana Wildlife Park, McLeans Island Rd (10 min drive W of airport), +64 3 359 7109, [38]. 10:00-17:00 daily, last entrance 16:30. New Zealand's largest wildlife sanctuary and conservation project featuring endangered animals from around the world. The park's design minimises fences and cages in favor of natural boundaries and habitats. $14 ($12 for 14:30), $6 child. Lion Encounter (limited 20 tickets per day, participants must be above 1.4 metres in height).
  • Willowbank Wildlife Reserve, 60 Hussey Rd (off Gardiners Rd), +64 3 359 6226, [39]. A smaller park than Orana, with a focus on New Zealand species including kiwi in a natural environment. 10:00-22:00 daily, kiwi viewing from 11AM. $16, $8 child.
Riccarton Bush
  • Yaldhurst Museum, Main West Rd (near the airport, first right past Yaldhurst Hotel), +64 3 342 7914, [40]. 10:00-17:00 daily (17:00-21:00 by arrangement for groups of 10 or more). Mostly interesting for its collection of over 150 classic and vintage vehicles. $15, $5 child.
  • Riccarton Bush. The last remaining forest remnant on the Canterbury plains is in Christchurch city. If your time is limited in NZ, this is a great way to experience an example of the country's native forests. The circular track passes under tall Kahikatea trees, and there is a diversity of small trees, shrubs, climbers and ferns. Christchurch's oldest house, Dean's Cottage (built 1843) is adjacent. Five minutes drive from central city and easily accessible by bus.
  • Earthquake Tourism Tours of affected sites both inside and outside the "red zone" are available. Visitors can also make their own way to sites of particular significance such as Christchurch Cathedral (viewed from Gloucester/Colombo St); the Catholic Basilica (South Barbadoes St, just north of Moorhouse Ave) and the construction site of the Cardboard Cathedral (Barbadoes/Hereford). Memorial sites include the 185 white chair memorial (Barbadoes/Cashel) and the site of the CTV building (Barbadoes/Cashel).


  • The Summit Road, drive it or bike it or take a bus then walk it. The road (and the Crater Rim Walkway) traverses the crest of the Port Hills, which separate Christchurch from Lyttelton Harbour. Breathtaking views over Christchurch, the Southern Alps, Pegasus Bay, Lyttelton Harbour and Banks Peninsula - often all from the same vantage point. Lots of sheep on the walkways, some of which traverse working farms. (It is not possible to drive along all of Summit Road because it is closed due to earthquake damage).
  • Lyttelton,the port over the hill from the city, is accessible by car/bus through the tunnel, or by the scenic port hills route via the seaside suburb of Sumner. (The road from Sumner over Evans Pass to Lyttelton is closed because of earthquake damage). Although only about 15 km (9 mi) from the central city, Lyttelton feels like another world entirely, with its cafes bars shops and locals, its ever-busy port, its stunning hilly backdrop and beautiful harbour.
  • Lyttelton Farmers Market is an authentic farmers market in the Lyttelton School grounds every Saturday morning, 10:00-13:00. Not necessarily the cheapest food in town, but always fresh, local, and seasonal. Food available ranges from fruit & veggies to bread, coffee, home-baking, farm eggs, local honey and cheeses, preserves and relishes, etc. There is usually some live music and always a lively collection of marketgoers, great people-watching.
Punting on the Avon
  • Punting on the Avon, punts depart from Antigua Boatsheds, Glide down the river in Cambridge University style with a uniformed boatsman.
  • Antigua Boatsheds, 2 Cambridge Ter, +64 3 366 5885, [41]. Boat hire from historic British boatsheds for a hands-on water experience. 09:30-17:30 daily summer, 09:30-16:30 winter. $7/hr canoe, $12/half-hr rowboat, $14/half-hr paddle boat.
  • Christchurch Casino, 30 Victoria Street, +64 3 365 9999, [42]. Open 24 hours except 25 Dec, Good Friday, ANZAC Day. Dress code (jeans now allowed). You get a free meal (breakfast, lunch or dinner) if it is your birthday (booking essential, e.g. by phone).
  • Christchurch Gondola, base station 10 Bridle Path Rd (take Best Attractions Express Shuttle from Cathedral Sq, $5, $3 child, or 28 Lyttelton Bus from the Bus Exchange), +64 3 384 0700 (+64 3 384 0707 for restaurant reservations), [43]. 10:00-late daily. $18, $8 child (summer), $17, $8 child (winter). Ride in the enclosed gondola car up to the summit of the Port Hills then view the Heritage Time Tunnel, take an outdoor nature walk, or dine at the restaurant. Three-course meal $60 including ride. *Newly reopened 25 March 2013 after completion of repairs.*
  • Creative Workshops, [44]. Spend a day with a local artist or craftsman and share his skills and passion.
  • Adventure Ride (Guided off-road motorcycle tours), +64 274 510 584, [1]. 10 days. All tours include an experienced guide, transport from Christchurch, motorcycle or ATV rental, fuel, insurance, riding gear, lunch and support vehicle.Overnight tours also include twin share accommodation and all meals. 5-10 day tours require a minimum of two riders.


Christchurch has the busiest program of annual festivals of any New Zealand city.

  • Summertimes runs from December through to late February and includes a number of major free events in Hagley Park, which attract audiences of up to 100,000. It consists of music, arts, culture and sporting events.
  • The World Buskers Festival, [45]. Runs for two weeks in January and usually features about 30 comedy, street, and circus acts from around the globe.
  • The Festival of Romance lasts for 10 days leading up to Valentines day and includes a range of romantic activities.
  • The Christchurch Garden Festival takes place in March.
  • Kidsfest is on during the midwinter school holiday.
  • The Christchurch Arts Festival is the largest arts festival on South Island and takes place every second year in mid winter (12 Aug-2 Oct 2 2011). [46]
  • Carnival Week is centered around a number of events taking place in November - Guy Fawkes' night (a major public firework display at New Brighton Pier), the two New Zealand Cup (trotting and galloping) horse racing meetings, and the Canterbury Agricultural and Pastoral show, which is the largest in the country. [47]
  • Carols by Candlelight is a longstanding tradition on Christmas Eve, now held in Victoria Square.


  • Ballantynes, corner of Colombo and Cashel, Tel: +64 3 379 7400, [48]. The major upmarket department store. Adjacent to it is Re:START with a mixture of boutiques cafes and bars.
High Street
Has now re-opened for business and is open seven days a week.
  • High Street is probably the most interesting in the central city, with an intoxicating mixture of historical buildings and spaces inhabited by young cutting edge local designers - clothes, art galleries, cafes & cake shops, furniture and architects.*currently closed following the 22 Feb 2011 earthquake*
  • Re:START is a mall that replaces part of City Mall which was quite badly destroyed in the earthquake. The shops are made out of cargo boxes (shipping containers). Many local and internationally-renowned brands are operating within Re:START.
  • Locals tend to shop at the many suburban malls, the largest of which are Westfield Riccarton, Northlands and The Palms in Shirley (continual expansions see them leapfrogging in the rankings of the country's largest malls).
  • The Warehouse. Common throughout New Zealand, and with several stores in Christchurch, these big red stores contain a variety of bottom-end products including clothing, tools, camping equipment, toys, music, etc. Their motto is "where everyone gets a bargain" and most things are made in China. While you might not find the top quality brands here, prices are cheap.
  • Riccarton Rotary Market. Su 09:00-14:00 - wet or fine. Selling all sorts of things from plants, fruit and vegetables to kiwi souvenirs and cheap Asian wares. Has performances, bouncy castles and food.
  • Christchurch Farmers Market. Meet the growers, farmers, brewers and other artisan producers. A lively affair which takes place every Saturday morning between 09:00 and 12:00 on the grounds of Riccarton House.
  • Christchurch Artisan Market. Takes place at Riccarton House on Sundays between 11:00 and 15:00. In addition to ready to eat foods you will find arts and crafts made locally.



  • Buy from a local supermarket, the yellow coloured Pak'n'Save is probably cheapest if you are prepared to go for whatever brand they have a special on at the time. Locally owned New World have lower prices on average, but do not focus on having extremely cheap specials.
  • Fish'n'chips are still the cheapest meal out. 'Halswell Fish and Chips' offer the best fish and chips in town! Look for their contact details, in the phone books.
  • Fruit and vegetable shops offer locally grown high quality fresh produce for prices often much cheaper than supermarkets. The Funky Pumpkin[49] is one such example.


  • Gingko, Allan Pyatt House, 153 - 157 Hereford St, tel: +64 3 374 2523. Chinese cuisine from the Szcheuan province. (Closed).
  • Perry's Cafe, 145 Madras Street (opposite Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology). M-F 08:00-17:00. Surprisingly good cafeteria-style food with touches of cafe class, gets crowded around lunchtime. $5-7.
  • Shinsengumi - The Sushi Revolution, 169c Wairakei Rd, Bryndwr. Generous "lunch boxes". Does lovely fresh salmon / avo sushi.


  • Holy Smoke, 650 Worcester St +64 3 9432222, Closed Su M nights. Excellent quality restaurant specialising in food that has been manuka smoked in house. The smoked salmon alone is well worth the trip.
  • Dux de Lux, 41 Hereford St, corner Hereford & Montreal Sts, +64 3 366 6919, [50]. Restaurant, bar and boutique brewery with vegetarian options and live bands four nights a week. Can get a bit crowded and noisy. $15-20. *currently closed following the 22 February 2011 earthquake*
  • Strawberry Fare, Hagley Park end of Bealey Ave on Calton Mill Cnr , +64 3 365 4897 [51] In the heart of Christchurch, Strawberry Fare carries an extensive menu of modern interpreted New Zealand dishes as well as many dessert dishes to die for. Reservations are required.
  • Under the Red Verandah, 502 Worcester St, +64 3 381 1109. Closed M. Under the Red Verandah offers a range of food incorporating fair trade coffee, free range eggs and gluten free baked goods.


  • The Santorini, corner Gloucester St & Cambridge Ter, +64 3 379 6975, [52]. T-Sa 18:00-late. A Greek restaurant with live music and dancing. $24. (Closed).
  • Sign of the Takahe, 200 Hackthorne Rd, (top of the Port Hills), +64 3 332 4052. 10:00-late daily. Formal dining in a big Gothic stone castle set on a hilltop. Hosted President Clinton's Christchurch visit for the APEC summit in 1999 and some scenes from Peter Jackson's film 'Heavenly Creatures' were shot here. Reservation essential. $35. (Closed).
  • Rotherhams of Riccarton, 42 Rotherham St (next to Riccarton Mall), +64 3 341 5142, [53]. Tu-Sa. Bookings highly recommended, especially Th-Sa.
  • At Tony's, 85 Riccarton Road, +64 3 341 6608. Good Teppanyaki with special all you can eat deals Tu-Th. (Closed -Ferrymead restaurant still open).


Christchurch's Asian district is mainly in the Riccarton/Upper Riccarton area.

  • Chinese: Church Corner is often considered Christchurch's unofficial 'Chinatown'. It offers many shops, for example, Chinese supermarkets, all kinds of Asian restaurants and more.
  • Korean: There are many Korean restaurants in the (unofficial) Chinatown area, and down in the shopping precient near Westfield Riccarton. KOSCO, a Korean supermarket, has several branches in Christchurch, including one in Riccarton.


  • Bog Irish Pub. Located in The Speights Ale House, 263 Bealey Ave.
  • If you fancy a short drive or bus ride (approx. 15 minutes from city centre), go to The Wunderbar in Lyttelton. It has a small room for gigs and is popular with with artists. The Monster Bar (downstairs, next door) is an excellent Yakitori restaurant and bar though smaller and with more of a focus on DJs.
  • Aikmans Bistro & Bar, an upscale drinking spot in the trendy Merivale area. 154 Aikmans Rd, Merivale.
  • Ivy Cafe & Bar, 150 Aikmans Rd, Merivale.
  • Speights Ale House Tower Junction. A relaxed atmosphere bar, a great place for meals. Tower Junction Mega Centre, 55 Clarence St, Riccarton.
  • The Watershed Restaurant & Bar. Overlooking the waterfront in Ferrymead. 12/23 Humphrey's Drive, Ferrymead.
  • The Craic Irish Bar, 84 Riccarton Rd.
  • The main nightspot for locals are a congregation of bars and clubs on the Oxford Tce by the river, nicknamed "The Strip".*currently closed following the 22 Feb 2011 earthquake*
  • The Dux de Lux brews its own beer and alcoholic ginger beer. Has gigs, usually free, from local bands and beyond. Unfortunately it closes early (around midnight)*currently closed following the 22 Feb 2011 earthquake*
  • George's Swiss Cafe [54] in New Regent St*currently closed following the 22 Feb 2011 earthquake*
  • Hummingbird Coffee of Victoria Street roasts own coffee daily.


Cathedral Square

Backpackers are safe, clean, cheap and cheerful. The cheapest option is a share/dorm room usually costing around $28 per night. Most offer single rooms, twin and double rooms and shared rooms. The standard of backpackers is very good in New Zealand.

Motels are a notch up. Low end around $79 per night. There are also many good quality B&Bs in Christchurch and surrounding district.

Many of Christchurch's major hotels are inside the CBD Red Zone & have no public access. Some are damaged other are not but cannot be accessed due to safety restrictions in the area.

Several of the backpackers hostels and most of the motels in Christchurch are located outside the damaged CBD & are fully open for business, just check their websites for updates.

The most up to date information on open & closed accommodation can be found here:


  • Dorset House Backpackers, 1 Dorset St, +64 3 366-8268 (toll free: 0800 DORSET (0800 367 738), ), [2]. checkin: From 14:00; checkout: 10:00. Charming hostel accommodation in an 1871 heritage home, top-rated. Fully renovated in 2012. Free Wi-Fi, car-parking, spacious rooms, no bunks, all beds fully made. Set among flower gardens and 50 m from Hagley Park. On the airport bus route. Double, twin, multi-share, single and family rooms available. Secure on-line bookings available. Share Rooms from $29, Doubles, Twins, Single rooms from $67.
  • Jailhouse Accommodation, 338 Lincoln Rd, +64 (0)3 982 7777 (toll free: 0800 JAILHOUSE (0800 524 546), ), [3]. checkout: 10:00. Newly renovated heritage backpacker accommodation with a colourful history - the former Addington Prison. The Jailhouse has single, double, twin, dorm and family rooms available. WiFi and Free Parking. Secure online bookings available. Dorms from $23.
  • All Seasons Christchurch, 72 Papanui Rd, +64 3 313-1979 (). checkin: 14:00; checkout: 11:00. Has 74 rooms, all with ensuite bathrooms, air conditioning, and satellite television. There is an on site restaurant and bar, and 24 hour front desk services. Plenty of off street parking even for trucks and buses. $79-109. (""long="",)

Mid range

  • AAA Northlands Motel, 232 Main North Rd, Northcote (On SH 74), +64 3 352 8478 (toll free: Reservations 0800 24 01 22, , fax: +64 3 352 8451), [4]. Close to Northlands Mall and QE2 Park. A Host Accommodation Group member. $95-130.
  • Addington Court Motel, Cnr Lincoln Rd and Twigger St, Addington, +64 3 339 4211 (toll free: Reservations 0800 782 978, , fax: +64 3 339 4233), [5]. Close to Addington Raceway, A&P Showgrounds and Westpac Trust Stadium. A Host Accommodation Group member. $135-270.
  • Airport Christchurch Motel, 55 Roydvale Ave, Burnside (Just off SH1 at the Airport Roundabout. Take first L on Memorial Ave going towards the city), +64 3 977 4970 (toll free: Reservations 0800 800 631, , fax: +64 3 977 4974), [6]. 4 minutes drive to the airport, but not on any flight path. A Host Accommodation Group member. $135-225.
  • Christchurch TOP 10 Holiday Park & Motels, 39 Meadow Street, Papanui, +64 (0)3 352 9176 (toll free: Reservations 0800 396 323), [7]. checkout: 10:00. Christchurch TOP 10 Holiday Park is the premium holiday park in Christchurch, New Zealand, with deluxe motels, cabins and tent site facilities for overnight stays, group trips and longer vacations. 5 minutes walk to Northlands Shopping Centre, supermarkets, restaurants, bars, cinema and bus stop. 10 minutes drive to Christchurch Airport and 5km to city centre.
  • City Central Motel Apartments, 252 Barbadoes St, Central, +64 3 379 0540 (toll free: Reservations 0508 800 888, , fax: +64 3 366 4700), [8]. 5 minutes walk to Litchfield St restaurants and 7 minutes walk to Cathederal Square. A Host Accommodation Group member. $115-235.
  • Classique Lodge Motel, 290 Blenheim Rd, Riccarton, +64 3 348 4977 (toll free: Reservations 0800 45 40 45, , fax: +64 3 348 4977), [9]. 5 minutes to Westfield Riccarton Shopping Mall. A Host Accommodation Group member. $90-150 (2 people).
  • Eliza's Manor on Bealey Bed & Breakfast, 82 Bealey Ave, Central, +64 3 366 8584 (, fax: +64 3 366 4946), [10]. checkin: 13:00; checkout: 10:30. This boutique hotel is comprised of 8 ensuite rooms and is a smoke-free environment. Eliza's Manor is also located close to the airport and public transportation. $185-295 Double including breakfast.
  • Heartland Hotel Cotswold, 88-96 Papanui Rd, Merivale, +64 3 355 3535 (, fax: +64 3 355 6695), [11].
  • Heritage Christchurch, 28 Cathedral Sq, +64 3 377 9722, [12]. Offers four star plus rooms and suites in the modern tower wing as well as in the restored Old Government Building. Maddison's Restaurant and The Font Bar on-site. *currently closed following the 22 Feb 2011 earthquake*
  • Milano Motor Lodge, 87 Papanui Rd, Papanui, +64 3 355 2800 (toll free: Reservations 0800 878 766, , fax: +64 3 355 2800), [13]. 5 minutes walk to Hagley Park or Merivale Shopping Mall, 2-3 minutes walk to restaurants. A Host Accommodation Group member. $125-240.
  • Orpington House Bed and Breakfast, 3 Marion Pl, Lincoln, Canterbury, +64 3 325-7790, [14]. This B&B only has one bedroom and is located 20 minutes drive outside of Christchurch city.
  • Scenic Suites Christchurch, 87-89 Kilmore St, +64 3 366 8444 (, fax: +64 3 372 6000), [15]. *currently closed following the 22 Feb 2011 earthquake*


For travellers who want to stay a month or longer, there are a number of furnished flats for rent advertised in the papers. A local company called "Urban Rooms" [55] has a number of furnished rentals specifically for travelers, ranging from rooms in a shared house to self-contained flats with garages.

  • Red Door Cottage, 115 Merivale Ln (Merivale), +64 274 220764, [16]. checkin: 14:00; checkout: 11:00. Self-catering for up to 4. Close to City Centre, public transport, restaurants, shopping. Sky TV, free WiFi, rate includes continental breakfast first day. King & Queen beds, warm and private, with off-street parking. $130-150.
  • Valley View Cottage, 101 Hillsborough Tce (St.Martins), 0274 220 764, [17]. checkin: 14:00; checkout: 10:30. Self-catering for maximum of 3 - Private, relaxing and peaceful, on lower slopes of Hills with views to City. Sky TV, free WiFi, rate includes continental breakfast provisions for first day. Queen bed, warm and cosy with off-street parking. $105-115.

Stay safe

Christchurch has a problem with smog during the winter. Although, conditions have improved over the years, due to the severe intervention of the city council, take care venturing out on calm frosty evenings if you have a breathing-related medical condition.

While violent crime is relatively rare, some people do have a tendency towards aggression when drunk, as with most cities. Linwood is considered the 'crime' area of Christchurch, but is still considered safe. As in any city, take care late at night, especially on Friday and Saturdays as levels of intoxication can lead to unwanted attention or unprovoked violence. Avoid dark alleyways and confrontations, and if in doubt, make haste to a populated area and call the police (dial 111).

Christchurch witnessed major earthquakes in 2010 and 2011. The city lays in an earthquake-prone area, but aftershocks have been decreasing in numbers and severity as time passess.

Get out

Bring the major gateway to the South Island, Christchurch is often the starting or finishing point for touring the whole South Island.


You might want to visit:

  • Akaroa is beautiful, quaint and packed with good eateries. Try out the "Swim with the Dolphins in the sea" trip.
  • Arthur's Pass National Park for a bush getaway, a fantastic train journey or via the historic Alpine highway by coach or self drive.
  • Banks Peninsula is literally on the edge of the city, and offers a quieter a beauty than the Alps, but quite lovely.
  • Dunedin to cheer the Otago rugby team at Carisbrook, the House of Pain
  • Hanmer Springs to soak in the hot pools
  • Hokitika to catch the Wild Foods Festival
  • Invercargill for Bluff oysters
  • Kaikoura for crayfish and whale watching
  • Blenheim for wine and sun
  • Nelson for sun, wine and art
  • Picton to take the ferry to Wellington
  • Queenstown for high-octane prepackaged adventure tourism
  • Waipara The newest wine region, specializing in some of New Zealand's finest wines
  • The West Coast Gateway to Glacier Rigion, punakaiki (pancake Rocks) Shanty town, Greymouth and Hokitika
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