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 Located in the Canterbury region, Christchurch — the largest city on the South Island — is a compact city, easy enough to explore on foot or bicycle, with stunning nature never more than a stone's throw away. In the wake of the 2010-2011 earthquakes, Christchurch has re-emerged brighter and livelier than ever. It's a city where creativity and innovation run wild, and the hospitality and arts scenes are buzzing with energy. Truly, it's a unique destination that's positively thriving.


New Zealand Dollar (NZD) = 100 cents


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Most shops are normally open from 9 am to 5 pm with bigger malls staying open till 6 pm Saturday to Wednesday and 9 pm on Thursday and Friday.


377,900 (2022)


A sunny autumn day in Christchurch, New Zealand, with the Ferrier Fountain, the Avon River, tourists chatting and feeding ducks in background, and trees in autumn colours. travellight/

Christchurch City

Māori oral history and archaeological evidence suggests that people first inhabited the Canterbury area about a thousand years ago. These first inhabitants were moa-hunting tribes and this migration continued until about 1830. The first European landed in Canterbury in 1815 and Christchurch became a city by Royal Charter on 31 July 1856, making it the oldest city in New Zealand. Many of the city's original Gothic buildings dated from this period.

Christchurch, Known traditionally as “The Garden City”, is the largest city in the South Island of New Zealand, and one of the world’s most unique destinations. Bordered by the Port Hills and the Pacific Ocean, it is situated on the Canterbury Plains with the Southern Alps as a majestic backdrop, allowing for a huge array of experiences all within just a few hours’ drive.

The serene Avon River flows through the centre of the city (its banks now largely forming an urban park), and through the award winning Christchurch Botanic Gardens which are 150 years old this year. The gardens feature one of the finest collections of exotic and native plants found in New Zealand, and are home to one of Christchurch’s most iconic activities, Punting on the Avon.

More recently, however, Christchurch rebuilt and revitalised itself following the Canterbury Earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 and making way for some of the most innovative and creative projects in the world. With a huge emphasis on sustainability and environmental issues, Christchurch embraces its new future, and is excited about the possibilities of having a chance to reinvent itself with modern buildings and bright urban events. This is a chance to visit a city on the brink of reimagining itself with world class technology and innovation alongside history and heritage.

It is important not to forget about Christchurch’s backyard of Canterbury. You can ski at a world-class alpine resort, play golf, bungy jump, raft, mountain bike, hot-air balloon, wind surf, whale watch and visit internationally-acclaimed wineries and gardens — all within a short drive of the city. And that is just the beginning!

Famous symbol of Christchurch, New Zealand. Heritage tramway. Tourist attraction. Tupungato/

Do & See

New Zealand’s garden city, and capital of the South Island, acts as the perfect gateway to discovering some of the country’s most spectacular scenery and National Parks. There is also plenty to explore in the city itself, with acres of parks and gardens, stunning Gothic architecture and a wide choice of restaurants and bars.


Canterbury Museum

Bernard Spragg/public domain/Flickr

Punting on the Avon River


International Antarctic Centre

Sergey Tarasenko/

Christchurch Gondola

Ludmila Ruzickova/

Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise

Brayden Gray/unsplash

Christchurch Tramway


Christchurch Botanic Gardens

Marcin Balcerzak/

Adrenalin Forest


The Court Theatre

Tobin Akehurst/

Hiking & Cycling the Port Hills

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Air Force Museum of New Zealand

Alisha Newton/

Willowbank Wildlife Reserve

Molly NZ/

Orana Wildlife Park


Christchurch Double Decker City Tour

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Quake City


Caterpillar Garden Tours

Casey Horner/unsplash

Transitional 'Cardboard' Cathedral

Millward Shoults/

Oi Manawa — Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial

Steve Heap/

TranzAlpine Train Ride

Two men sit on the top of hill and look at harbour, New Zealand Kira Volkov/

Day & Multi-Day Trips in the Canterbury Region

From the Pacific Ocean, ancient volcanic peninsula and wondrous marine life, across patchwork plains, home to adrenalin pumping activities, lush vineyards and braided rivers rising to pristine glacial lakes and the majestic Southern Alps presided over by Aoraki/Mount Cook. You will find something special in Canterbury. Most destinations are possible in a day trip from Christchurch, but Canterbury is best enjoyed as a multi-day trip, with time spent in each unique destination.

C J Design/

Mid Canterbury


Akaroa & Banks Peninsula

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Arthur’s Pass & Selwyn


Hanmer Springs & Hurunui District

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Kaikoura District

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Waimakariri District


Mackenzie District

leisure, food, drinks, people and holidays concept - happy friends eating and drinking at restaurant Syda Productions/


Once known mainly for its superb lamb, Canterbury and Christchurch are now gaining a reputation for a wide range of food and wine. Local meat produce includes venison, emu and ostrich. There is fresh seafood readily available including scallops, crayfish and Mount Cook Salmon, all which are recommended. Canterbury is also a large wine producing region, specialising in Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.


Curators House Restaurant


Cook 'N' With Gas

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Kinji Japanese Restaurant

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Costas Taverna


Strawberry Fare


Spice Paragon


Winnie Bagoes City


King of Snake

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Burgers & Beers

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Fiddlesticks Restaurant & Bar

Portrait of cheerful young friends having fun while talking in a cafe. Group of young people meeting in a cafe. Jacob Lund/


There is no shortage of great cafes in Christchurch and the inner city is bustling with good places to have a relaxing break with a cup of coffee or tea. Many new outlets have emerged alongside old favourites, many of which are used as social hubs for the Christchurch locals.


Underground Coffee

Neil Bates/

Boat Shed Café

BlueOrange Studio/

Under the Red Verandah

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Cafe Metro

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Black Betty Cafe


Addington Coffee Co-op

Marian Weyo/

Crafted Coffee Company




Joe's Garage Sumner


Passengers & Co


Local at Riccarton House


Untouched World Kitchen


The Raspberry Cafe

Barbara Dudzinska/

Dunsandel Café & Store

Happy Together/

She Chocolaterie

tongcom photographer/

Nor'Wester Cafe


C1 Espresso

Group of young people having fun dancing at party ESB Professional/

Bars & Nightlife

Visitors to this evolving city are spoiled for choice! From refurbished shipping containers to casino and music venues, Christchurch has a great range of bars and an exciting nightlife. Enjoy a quiet cocktail or dance the night away, you will for sure find your favourite place in the CBD or in the surrounding suburbs.

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Belgian Beer Café Torenhof



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Christchurch Casino

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No.4 Bar

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Carlton Bar & Steakhouse

King of Snake

King of Snake


Aikmans Bar & Eatery


The Fox — Riccarton

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The Fox & Ferret — The Palms

Lyudvig Aristarhovich/

Pomeroy's Historic Brewery Inn

Monkey Business Images/

Morrell & Co.


The Pedal Pusher

Syda Productions/

The Craic Irish Bar



Talita Nicolielo/

Darkroom Bar

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Bailies Bar


The Last Word

Group Of People Shopping Concept


Pedestrianised streets, outdoor markets and indoor shopping malls mean Christchurch is an ideal shopping destination, where you can find everything from traditional New Zealand arts and crafts to the latest designer fashions.

Innovative and modern shopping hubs like The Tannery and The Colombo are Christchuch's main shopping centres. The cobbled street of New Regent is also home to a great mix of boutique shops.

Individual shopping highlights include Ballantynes Department Store. This historic store dates from 1854, and is still a popular one-stop shopping destination for designer fashions and luxury goods. The Artisan Market is a weekly highlight held every Sunday at Riccarton Bush, you'll find a range of jewellery, arts, crafts and culinary delights.

The large, indoor shopping malls are located in the city suburbs, and are all connected with the Orbiter and Metro bus services. Westfield Mall, in Riccarton, is the largest mall in the South Island with 200 stores, and Merivale Mall is home to a range of excellent boutique shops with high-quality jewellery and gifts.



Blend Images/

Andrea Biani




Infinite Definite


Scorpio Books


Simply New Zealand


Africa Studio/

Contemporary Lounge

George Rudy/


Nejron Photo/


The Ian/unsplash

Photo & Video International


Ballantynes Department Store

Woman Hiker Ascending Castle Rock. Port Hills, Christchurch, New Zealand. Tobin Akehurst/

Tourist Information

Christchurch Airport (CHC)

Christchurch Airport is New Zealand's second largest airport. Christchurch city is a short 15 minutes' drive (9.4 km) from the airport and several transport options are available from outside the terminal including rental cars, taxis, shuttles and buses.

Regular Metro Red Bus services connect the airport to the city centre such as the Purple Line and the number 29 buses. You can buy tickets from the driver when boarding the bus. You can catch the bus from the northern end of the International Arrivals Hall (between the terminal and the long-term car park). The Purple Line and number 29 runs seven days a week.

Taxis and rental cars are also available at the airport. The major rental car brands are all situated within the International Arrivals Hall (close to the domestic baggage reclaim).

Address: Christchurch International Airport




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Citizens of Australia and the UK, as well as visa waiver countries, do not need to apply for a visa for short visitor stays, but may need to produce documented proof of onward travel.

Visa waiver countries include the USA and multiple countries across Europe and Asia, Andorra, Argentina, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Kuwait, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macau, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, and Vatican City.

Since 2019, travellers that are visa waiver must request a New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA) prior to travel. It is mandatory for all sea and air arrivals, including transit. The issued authorisation is valid for two years.

Citizens of other countries will need to apply for a visa in advance, which can be done online for solo travellers and in paper format for those travelling with a partner or as a group. The applicant’s passport validity in this case will need to last 3 months after the planned departure date.





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Best Time to Visit

Christchurch is an all-year destination. During the summer season, December to February, Christchurch can get high temperatures with an average temperature of 21–23°C (70°F). The daylight can last up until 9:30 pm during this period. December, February and March is the peak season, it is also in December and January many domestic travellers have their holiday since the schools are closed. If you decide to visit Christchurch during this season, you probably need to book in advance since it is not easy to find accommodation.

If you prefer the winter season, then June to August are good months to visit. Winter in Canterbury is beautiful and it becomes a true winter wonderland. With good ski areas and a wide range of après activities, you will find yourself busy during this season.





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Public Transport

Public transport in Christchurch consists of bus services operated by two bus companies supported by a ferry, all jointly marketed as Metro.

The Orbiter service travels past all the major suburban shopping centres in Christchurch and other services can take you to the city arriving at Central Station and onto the seaside village of Sumner, surf beach at New Brighton, Sign of the Takahe in Cashmere and into the country to Lincoln and Rangiora as well as many other areas around Christchurch city.

Most hotels in the city also offer free rental bicycles for guests.





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Numerous taxi companies operate throughout Christchurch. Zoomy, Ola NZ and Uber rideshare apps are a convenient way to find a ride, too.

Address: Blue Star Taxis


Phone: +64 3 3799 799


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Post offices in Christchurch are run by NZ Post, providing several services throughout the town. The offices have a red sign on the outside, with New Zealand Post written on.

One of the post offices in the city is South City PostShop where you can post parcels, letters and purchase postage.

Address: NZ Post Centre Sydenham, 359 Colombo Street, Christchurch


Phone: +64 3 983 1425


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Pharmacies, often referred to as 'chemists' in New Zealand, are typically open during standard retail hours, generally 9 am to 5:30 pm on weekdays. However, hours can extend to late evenings and weekends in larger cities and shopping centres.

New Zealand's largest pharmacy chains are Unichem and Life Pharmacy, with stores spread nationwide. These pharmacies stock a wide range of over-the-counter medicines, healthcare products, and often provide additional services like flu vaccinations.

Address: Unichem, 3/111 Cashel Street, Christchurch


Phone: +46 3 595 1289


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Country code: +64
Area code: 03





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New Zealand operates on a 230/240V supply voltage and 50Hz frequency. The country uses Type I power plugs, which feature two flat pins forming a 'V' shape, along with a grounding pin. This standard is also commonly used in Australia, Argentina, China, and several Pacific island nations. Remember to pack a universal adapter if your devices use a different plug type to ensure hassle-free charging.





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