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Travel Warning WARNING: Christchurch suffered under an earthquake on September 5th 2010 with a 7.1 magnitude. The CBD is closed and approx. 100'000 houses are damaged. Public water supply is inconsistent and roads are severely damaged but international flights are in operation. All non-essentiell traffic is discouraged by authorities at the moment. Check if your accomodation is still in business for future travels.
Christchurch cathedral

Christchurch [22] 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 the Anglican Cathedral in the Square in the very center of the city. 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, is 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, particularly in the Asian tourist-friendly areas around the Square. English-as-a-second-language schools are also in abundance.

The Christchurch & Canterbury Visitor Information centre is in in the Old Chief Post Office, Cathedral Square. For online visitor information, see the official Christchurch & Canterbury Tourism site

Get in

By plane

Christchurch International Airport [23] is a major transit airport for international and domestic travellers. There are international services to and from Australia, Japan and Singapore and frequent daily flights to and from most New Zealand airports, with direct flights to and from Auckland, Rotorua, Wellington, Dunedin, Invercargill, Queenstown and Nelson

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 center. The 20-30 minute trip costs NZ$7 and the buses operate half-hourly during the week and at least hourly on weekends. There is also a privately-run 8-passenger "7 dollar bus" which runs between the Square and airport about every 15-20 minutes during the day. A door to door shuttle bus service to all parts of Christchurch is available from NZ$20 for the first person, $5 per subsequent person. Taxi stands (about NZ$45 to the city centre) and rental car parks are also close to the terminal building.

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. 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 the West Coast ( Greymouth, Hokitika).

  • 'Newmans Coach Lines' [24] operates a premium sightseeing tours to and from Christchurch.
  • 'InterCity Coachlines' [25] is New Zealand's national coach company and operates over 150 services to more than 600 destinations nationwide. There are regular departures in and out of Chirstchurch to all parts of the South Island.
  • '' [26], a budget bus operator which also has daily bus services all over the south island.
  • 'Atomic Shuttles' [27] Christchruch to Greymouth via Arthur's Pass
  • 'West Coast Shuttle' [28] to Greymouth via Arthur's pass (pick up at Ch-ch airport on demand). Coaches equipped with on board toilet.

By train

There is a daily train service to and from Picton timed to meet ferry sailings to and from Wellington. Southbound passengers can spend the morning sailing on the Picton ferry and the afternoon on the train, while northbound passengers can do the opposite.

This is also the terminus of the scenic TranzAlpine train service to Greymouth. This can be done as a day trip. The train departs from Christchurch daily at 8:15AM, returning at 6:05PM.

Canterbury Shuttles provides a FREE transfer from all central city accomadation to the Christchurch train station. Pickups for the TranzCoastal are between 6:00am to 6:30am. Pickups for the TranzAlpine are between 7:00am 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 enclosed airport-style Bus Exchange on the corner of Colombo and Lichfield Streets. 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.

The restored Christchurch Tramway [30] (ticket $12.50, valid for two days) also runs in a smaller loop around the inner city, 9AM-9PM summer, 9AM-6PM winter.


  • Christchurch Cathedral, Cathedral Square, +64 3 366 0046, [31]. Open daily for viewing with regular services during the week. Completed in 1904, the Cathedral is Christchurch's most prominent landmark and the Square to which it gives its name brings colour and life to the heart of downtown. Check out the excellent i-Site visitors' center in the old Post Office building, and keep an eye out for concerts, protesters, eccentric street preachers or Wizard of New Zealand [32] haranguing the lunchtime crowds. During the day food and craft stalls are available. You can climb the bell tower for a fee.
  • Arts Centre, Worcester Boulevard, +64 3 366 0989, [33]. Information center open daily 9:30AM-5PM. Gothic stonework of former University campus converted into complex of over 40 specialty art and craft businesses and performance venues. Recommendations include the weekend craft & produce market 10AM-4PM with live bands noon-2PM, and the improv show Scared Scriptless [34] on Friday nights at 10PM. Ernest Rutherford's den is also well worth a visit (gold coin donation).
Christchurch Art Gallery
  • Art Gallery, Worcester Boulevard and Montreal Street (one block east of Botanic Gardens). +64 3 941 7300, [35]. Daily 10AM-5PM, W 10AM-9PM. Spectacular new $47 million facility opened in 2003, the largest in the South Island, with over 5000 items and visiting exhibitions. Usually free.
  • Air Force Museum, former Wigram Airfield, Main South Road, +64 3 343 9542, [36]. Daily 10AM-5PM. 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 adult, $5 child.
  • Botanic Gardens, Rolleston Avenue, car park entrance Armagh Street, +64 3 941 7590, [37]. Gates open daily 7AM-5:30PM winter, 7AM-9PM summer, check exact posted times on gates or website. Information center open daily 10:15AM-4PM summer, 11AM-3PM 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".
  • Canterbury Museum, Rolleston Avenue at end of Worcester Boulevard (adjoining Botanic Gardens), +64 3 366 5000, [38]. Daily 9AM-5:30PM summer, 9AM-5PM 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 Drive (Ferry Road 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 Road), +64 3 384 1970, [39]. Daily 10AM-4:30PM. 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 adult, $5 child with trams/trains, $6 adult, $3 child without.
  • International Antarctic Centre, Christchurch Airport, +64 3 353 7798 (toll free 0508 736 4846 within NZ), [40]. Daily 9AM-7PM 1 October – 30 April, 9AM-5:30PM 1 May – 30 September. 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 adult, $36 child. Unlimited Hagglund all day rides $20, Penguin Backstage Pass $20 adult, $15 child.
  • Orana Wildlife Park, McLeans Island Road (10 minutes' drive west of airport), +64 3 359 7109, [41]. Daily 10AM-5PM, last entrance 4:30PM. 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 adult ($12 for 2:30PM), $6 child. Lion Encounter (limited 20 tickets per day, participants must be above 1.4 metres in height).
  • Science Alive, 394 Moorhouse Road (former Railway Station building, shares lobby with Hoyts 8 cinema), +64 3 365 5199, [42]. Daily 10AM-5PM. An interactive science education center with gift shop. Themed exhibitions are on display and change three times a year. $10 adult, $7 child 5-16yrs, $4 child 2-4yrs.
  • Southern Encounter Aquarium & Kiwi House (formerly Aquarium of Discovery), Cathedral Square (adjoins the i-Site visitors' center), +64 3 359 0581, [43]. Daily 9AM-4:30PM. Walk-through aquarium showcasing native fish and sea creatures. There is an interactive rock-pool for kids and viewing of nocturnal brown kiwis. $11 adult, $5 child.
  • Willowbank Wildlife Reserve, 60 Hussey Road (off Gardiners Road), +64 3 359 6226, [44]. A smaller park than Orana, with a focus on New Zealand species including kiwi in a natural environment. Daily 10AM-10PM, kiwi viewing from 11AM. $16 adult, $8 child.
Riccarton Bush
  • Yaldhurst Museum, Main West Road (near the airport, first right past Yaldhurst Hotel), +64 3 342 7914, [45]. Daily 10AM-5PM (5PM-9PM by arrangement for groups of 10 or more). Mostly interesting for its collection of over 150 classic and vintage vehicles. $15 adult, $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.


  • 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.
  • 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. Although only about 15km 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, 10AM-1PM. 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.
  • Christchurch City Bike Tour, make bookings at the i-Site visitors' center in Cathedral Square, +64 3 379 9629. Stretch your legs on New Zealand's ONLY guided City bike tour. Visit Mona Vale, Hagley Park, Riccarton Bush, Antigua Boat Sheds, Deans Cottage, The Arts Centre and Cathedral Square. (
Punting on the Avon
  • Punting on the Avon, punts depart from corner of Worcester Street and Oxford Tce, make bookings at the i-Site visitors' center in Cathedral Square, +64 3 379 9629. Glide down the river in Cambridge University style with a uniformed boatsman.
  • Antigua Boatsheds, 2 Cambridge Terrace, +64 3 366 5885, [46]. Boat hire from historic British boatsheds for a hands-on water experience. Daily 9:30AM-5:30PM summer, 9:30AM-4PM winter. $7/hr canoe, $12/half-hr rowboat, $14/half-hr paddle boat.
  • Christchurch Casino, 30 Victoria Street, +64 3 365 9999, [47]. Open 24 hours except Christmas, 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 Road (take Best Attractions Express Shuttle from Cathedral Square, $5 adult, $3 child, or 28 Lyttelton Bus from the Bus Exchange), +64 3 384 0700 (+64 3 384 0707 for restaurant reservations), [48]. Daily 10AM-late. $18 adult, $8 child (summer), $17 adult, $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.
  • Creative Workshops, [49]. 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]. -10days 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, [50]. 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 (23 July - 9 August 2009). [51]
  • 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. [52]
  • 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, [53]. The major upmarket department store. Adjacent to it is Cashel Mall with a mixture of boutiques cafes and bars. Closer to Cathedral Square you will mostly find duty-free and tourist shopping.
High Street
  • 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.
  • Manchester Street (which is the nearest Christchurch gets to a red-light district) has an interesting collection of antique shops including second hand book shop 'Smith's Bookshop'.
  • 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. (9AM-1PM) Sundays, selling all sorts of things from plants, fruit and vegetables to kiwi souvenirs and cheap Asian wares. Has performances, bouncy castles and food.
  • Ellerslie international Flower Show, North Hagley Park, [2].



  • Buy from a local supermarket, the yellow colored Pak'n'Save is probably cheapest if you are prepared to go for whatever brand they have a special on at the time.
  • Fish'n'chips are still the cheapest meal out.
  • Fruit and vegetable shops offer locally grown high quality fresh produce for prices often much cheaper than supermarkets. The Funky Pumpkin[54] is one such example.
  • In Cathedral Square there are vendors selling meals such as fish and chips, kebabs and Chinese food.
  • On Sundays, near the market which is in the car park near the Arts Centre there is a good stall selling hot and cold drinks as well as things such as a ham, lettuce and mustard baguette ($5) and a turkey, brie and cranberry sauce panini ($7).


  • Gingko, Allan Pyatt House, 153 - 157 Hereford St, tel: +64 3 374 2523. Chinese cuisine from the Szcheuan province.
  • Perry's Cafe, 145 Madras Street (opposite Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology). M-F 8AM-5PM. 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.
  • Osaka inside The Gloucester arcade (Gloucester Street) is a Japanese diner. Most menu items are $9, come with miso soup and rice, and can be upgraded to a large serving.
  • East on High Street. Asian food court, lots of options from $6-$10 for lunch/dinner.
  • Queebler's Cafe. Affordable in the middle of the city centre. $3-6
  • Samurai Bowl, 140 Gloucester Street (Between Colombo & Manchester Streets), +64 3 379 6752. This restaurant serves authentic Japanese food.


  • Dux de Lux, 41 Hereford Street, corner Hereford & Montreal Sts, +64 3 366 6919, [55]. Restaurant, bar and boutique brewery with vegetarian options and live bands four nights a week. Can get a bit crowded and noisy. $15-$20.
  • The Bodhi Tree, 808 Colombo St. +64 3 377 6808. [56] NZ's only Burmese restaurant. $8-$12. Dishes are all entree sized for sharing.
  • Strawberry Fare, 114 Peterborough Street, +64 3 365 4897 [57] In the heart of Christchurch, Strawberry Fare carries an extensive menu of modern interpreted New Zealand dishes. It is open 7 days a week. Reservations are required.
  • MegaWatt Kitchen, 218 Manchester Street, +64 3 363 9680. Lunch only with German food, salads and desserts. $8-$14.
  • Under the Red Verandah, 502 Worcester Street, +64 3 381 1109. Under the Red Verandah offers a range of food incorporating fair trade coffee, free range eggs and gluten free baked goods. This restaurant is closed on Mondays.
  • Tommy's Russian restaurant, 133 Worcester St 64 3 3667679 Authenic Russian restuarant great food, desert and coffee


  • The Santorini, corner Gloucester Street & Cambridge Terrace, +64 3 379 6975, [58]. T-Sa 6PM-late. A Greek restaurant with live music and dancing. $24.
  • Sign of the Takahe, 200 Hackthorne Road, (top of the Port Hills), +64 3 332 4052. Daily 10AM-late. 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.
  • Rotherhams of Riccarton, 42 Rotherham Street (next to Riccarton Mall), +64 3 341 5142, [59]. Tu-Sa. Bookings highly recommended, especially Thursday to Saturday.
  • Aiki in the city, 599 Colombo St. +64 3 3661178. Japanese cuisine at a reasonable price. Lunch $10-15, Dinner $25+. If you are not too short of money, their set banquets (kaiseki) are well worth the money at the starting price of about $50.
  • At Tony's, 85 Riccarton Road, +64 3 341 6608. Good Teppanyaki with special all you can eat deals Tuesday-Thursday.


  • Dose, 90 hereford st. Cafe serving a great coffee and a full breakfast. (-43.53239911,172.63279718)
  • The main nightspot for locals are a congregation of bars and clubs on the Oxford Tce by the river, nicknamed "The Strip".
  • The recently developed South of Lichfield (SOL) lane has also become popular. The lane is dotted with excellent bars, cafes and clothing boutiques, and leads to a small square which becomes lively at night.
  • The Dux de Lux brews its own beer and alcoholic ginger beer. Has gigs, soemtimes free, from local bands and beyond.
  • George's Swiss Cafe [60] in New Regent St
  • Hummingbird Coffee of Victoria Street roasts own coffee daily.
  • C1 Cafe on High Street roasts its own coffee beans.
  • Bog Irish Pub. Right in the end of the Cashel Street pedestrian mall that goes near the arch. Tables outside, Guinness and a Irish influenced music session on Tuesdays.
  • Fancy cheering like a local rugby fan? The Holy Grail Sports bar [61], near the Cathedral.
  • The Grumpy Mole Saloon was a wild west-themed bar. It is now closed.
  • 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,


Backpackers are safe, cheap and cheerful. The cheapest option is a share/dorm room usually costing around $25 per night. Most offer single rooms, double rooms and group rooms.

  • Charlie B's, 268 Madras Street, Christchurch., +64 3 379-8429 (), [3]. has been a staple hostel for many years, and is reasonably central. Online bookings available.
  • Dorset House Backpackers, 1 Dorset Street, Christchurch City. (in the northern end of the central city, right next to Hagley Park.), +64 3 366 8268 (), [4]. Located in a lovely 1871 historic character house. Warm, quiet and comfortable, free WiFi access. Secure On-line booking available. $25 - $74..

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

Cathederal Square
  • AAA Northlands Motel, 232 Main North Road, Northcote (On SH 74), +64 3 352 8478 (toll free: Reservations 0800 24 01 22, , fax: +64 3 352 8451), [5]. Close to Northlands Mall and QE2 Park. A Host Accommodation Group member. $95 - $130.
  • Addington Court Motel, Cnr Lincoln Road and Twigger Street, Addington, +64 3 339 4211 (toll free: Reservations 0800 782 978, , fax: +64 3 339 4233), [6]. 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 the first left on Memorial Ave going towards the city.), +64 3 977 4970 (toll free: Reservations 0800 800 631, , fax: +64 3 977 4974), [7]. 4 minutes drive to the airport, but not on any flight path. A Host Accommodation Group member. $135 - $225.
  • All Seasons Christchurch, 72 Papanui Road, +64 3 3131979 (). checkin: 2PM; checkout: 11AM. 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 NZ $79-109. (""long="",)
  • City Central Motel Apartments, 252 Barbadoes Street, Christchurch 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 Road, 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 Avenue, Christchurch Central, +64 3 366 8584 (, fax: +64 3 366 4946), [10]. checkin: 1PM; checkout: 10:30AM. 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. NZ$185-295 Double including breakfast.
  • Heartland Hotel Cotswold, 88-96 Papanui Road, Merivale, PO Box 29369, Christchurch, 8540, +64 3 355 3535 (, fax: +64 3 355 6695), [11].
  • Hotel Off The Square, Cathedral Junction, 115 Worcester Street, PO Box 13196, Christchurch, +64 3 374 9980 (, fax: +64 3 374 9987), [12]. checkin: 2PM; checkout: 11AM. This 38-room hotel offers its guests free broadband internet and minibars in each room. Hotel Off the Square is in the lively Inner City district. NZ $140-350.
  • Hotel SO, 165 Cashel Street, +64 3 968 5050 (toll free: in NZ call 0508 165 165, , fax: +64 3 968 5051), [13]. $69 Single to $169 Family.
  • Milano Motor Lodge, 87 Papanui Road, Papanui, +64 3 355 2800 (toll free: Reservations 0800 878 766, , fax: +64 3 355 2800), [14]. 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 Place, Lincoln, Canterbury, +64 3 325-7790, [15]. This B&B only has one bedroom and is located 20 minutes drive outside of Christchurch city.
  • Quest Christchurch, Cathedral Junction, 113 Worcester Street, PO Box 204, Christchurch, +64 3 964 6200 (, fax: +64 3 964 6204), [16]. checkin: 2PM; checkout: 11AM. 1 or 2 bedroom apartments NZ$140-400.
  • Scenic Suites Christchurch, 87-89 Kilmore Street, OP Box 25261, Christchurch, 8144, +64 3 366 8444 (, fax: +64 3 372 6000), [17].
  • Windsor Bed & Breakfast Hotel, 52 Armagh Street Christchurch Central, +64 3 366 1503 (, fax: +64 3 366 9796), [18]. Rates include an English-style breakfast. It is located 5 minutes away from the city centre. NZ$140.
  • Heritage Christchurch, 28 Cathedral Square, +64 3 377 9722, [19]. 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.

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" [62] 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 Lane (Merivale), +64 274 220764, [20]. checkin: 2pm; checkout: 11am. 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, [21]. checkin: 2pm; checkout: 10.30am. 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. 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. 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).

Get out

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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