30 Best Things to Do in Christchurch, New Zealand in 2024


30 Best Things to Do in Christchurch


Christchurch, the largest city in the South Island of New Zealand, is a vibrant hub of culture, history, and natural beauty. With its stunning landscapes, rich heritage, and many activities, this charming city has something for everyone. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, an art lover, or a history buff, Christchurch offers many experiences that enchant you. Here, we’ve compiled a list of the 30 best things to do in Christchurch City to help you make the most of your visit.

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What to do in Christchurch?

Before delving into the specifics, it’s essential to understand what makes Christchurch such a unique destination. Known as the “Garden City,” Christchurch boasts many parks, gardens, and green spaces, making it a haven for nature lovers. The city’s rich Maori and European heritage is evident in its architecture, museums, and cultural attractions. From exploring historic sites to indulging in culinary delights, Christchurch offers diverse activities that cater to all interests.


Best Things to Do in Christchurch

Christchurch, a city on the east coast of New Zealand’s South Island, is a vibrant hub of culture, history, and natural beauty. With its picturesque landscapes, rich heritage, and many attractions, Christchurch offers abundant experiences for visitors of all ages and interests. Whether you’re an avid explorer, a nature enthusiast, or a culture buff, there’s something for everyone in this charming city. From exploring the serene Botanic Gardens to immersing yourself in the vibrant arts scene, experiences in Christchurch are diverse and captivating, ensuring an unforgettable journey in this captivating destination. Let’s delve into the best things to do in Chch, ensuring an unforgettable journey in this captivating destination.


Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial

A poignant reminder of Christchurch’s resilience in the face of adversity, the Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial honors the victims of the devastating earthquakes that struck the city in 2010 and 2011. Located in the tranquil setting of the Ōtākaro/Avon River Precinct, the memorial features interconnected elements, including a reflective pool, a wall of remembrance, and a dramatic sculpture symbolizing hope and rebirth. Visitors can pay their respects, contemplate the city’s recovery, and gain insight into the seismic events that shaped Christchurch’s landscape.


Visit the Viewpoints on Summit Road

A drive along Summit Road is a must-do experience for breathtaking panoramic views of Christchurch and its surroundings. Winding its way through the picturesque hills of the Port Hills, Summit Road offers numerous vantage points where visitors can marvel at the beauty of the Canterbury Plains, the Southern Alps, and the sparkling waters of Pegasus Bay. Whether you hike, cycle, or drive leisurely, the vistas from Summit Road provide a stunning backdrop for memorable moments and spectacular photo opportunities.


Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū

Art enthusiasts won’t want to miss a visit to the Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū, the South Island’s largest and most prestigious art institution. Situated in the city’s heart, this award-winning gallery showcases an extensive collection of New Zealand and international art, spanning centuries and encompassing diverse styles and mediums, making it one of the essential places to visit in Christchurch. The gallery’s exhibitions offer a captivating journey through Aotearoa’s cultural heritage and artistic innovation from contemporary masterpieces to traditional Maori and Pacific Island artifacts.


Take a punt ride on the Avon River

Embark on a tranquil journey along the Avon River and experience the beauty of Christchurch from a unique perspective. Punting, a traditional English pastime, involves gliding along the river in a flat-bottomed boat propelled by a punt pole. Relax as your knowledgeable guide navigates the serene waterways, pointing out notable landmarks and sharing insights into the city’s history.


Canterbury Museum

Immerse yourself in Canterbury’s rich cultural heritage at the Canterbury Museum. Located in the heart of Christchurch, this renowned institution showcases diverse exhibits, including Maori artifacts, natural history displays, and interactive galleries. Explore the museum’s extensive collections and better understand New Zealand’s past, present, and future.


Christchurch Botanic Gardens

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and retreat to the tranquil oasis of the Christchurch Botanic Gardens. Spanning over 21 hectares, these meticulously landscaped gardens are home to a stunning array of plant species worldwide. The Botanic Gardens is the main place to visit in Christchurch. Stroll through lush greenery, admire vibrant floral displays, and unwind amidst the beauty of nature.


International Antarctic Centre

Journey to the southernmost continent without leaving Christchurch at the International Antarctic Centre. This immersive attraction offers visitors a glimpse into the icy wonders of Antarctica through interactive exhibits, thrilling simulations, and up-close encounters with Antarctic wildlife. Experience the chill of an Antarctic storm, meet adorable penguins, and learn about the groundbreaking research conducted on the frozen continent.


Discover the Unique Architecture of Cardboard Cathedral

One of Christchurch’s most distinctive landmarks is the Cardboard Cathedral. Designed as a temporary replacement for the city’s earthquake-damaged Anglican cathedral, this innovative structure is made primarily of cardboard tubes, offering a fascinating glimpse into the city’s architectural resilience and adding to the array of things to do in Christchurch free.


Experience the Christchurch Tramway

One of Christchurch’s quintessential experiences is riding on the historic Christchurch Tramway. Dating back to the late 19th century, these beautifully restored heritage trams offer a delightful way to explore the city’s top attractions. Hop on and off at various stops around the central city, including Cathedral Square, Canterbury Museum, and the Botanic Gardens. Along the way, knowledgeable guides provide insightful commentary, giving you a glimpse into Christchurch’s rich history and culture.


Visit Sumner Beach

For a relaxing day by the sea, head to Sumner Beach, just a short drive from Christchurch city center. This picturesque coastal suburb boasts golden sands, sparkling blue waters, and stunning views of the surrounding hills. Looking for unique things to do in Christchurch? Whether you’re sunbathing, swimming, or strolling along the promenade, Sumner Beach offers a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Afterward, grab a bite to eat at one of the local cafes or restaurants or explore the nearby shops and galleries.


Willowbank Wildlife Reserve

Imagine New Zealand’s unique flora and fauna at Willowbank Wildlife Reserve. Situated in the tranquil surroundings of Christchurch’s McLeans Island, this award-winning reserve is home to diverse native wildlife, including kiwi birds, tuatara, and kea parrots. Take a guided tour to learn about conservation efforts and indigenous Maori culture, or explore the reserve at your own pace on one of the self-guided walking trails. Take advantage of the opportunity to see kiwi birds up close in the nocturnal house, where they roam freely in their natural habitat, among the many things to see in Christchurch.


Travis Wetland Nature Heritage Park

Travis Wetland Nature Heritage Park is a tranquil oasis 10 minutes from the city center. Spread across 116 hectares, this protected reserve is home to a diverse array of flora and fauna, including wetland birds, native plants, and walking tracks. Visitors can enjoy strolls, birdwatching, and picnics amidst serene surroundings.


Air Force Museum of New Zealand

For history enthusiasts, the Air Force Museum of New Zealand offers a fascinating journey through the country’s aviation heritage. Situated on the former site of an operational air base, the museum features an extensive collection of aircraft, interactive exhibits, and immersive displays detailing New Zealand’s military aviation history. Highlights include vintage planes, wartime memorabilia, and engaging activities for visitors of all ages.


Riccarton Sunday Market

Experience the vibrant atmosphere of the Riccarton Sunday Market, where locals and tourists alike converge to browse an eclectic mix of stalls. From fresh produce and artisanal crafts to clothing and souvenirs, there’s something for everyone at this bustling market. Sample delicious street food, soak up the live music, and immerse yourself in the lively ambiance of this popular weekend destination.


Fun Things to Do in Christchurch

Are you looking for excitement, adventure, and memorable experiences? Christchurch has you covered. From thrilling outdoor activities to immersive cultural experiences, this dynamic city has no shortage of fun-filled adventures, including unique fun activities in Christchurch for adults. Get ready to embark on a journey of discovery as we explore the most entertaining and enjoyable things to do in Christchurch New Zealand, promising laughter, excitement, and lasting memories for all who visit.


Visit “Escape Rooms” for a Puzzle Room Experience

Visiting “Escape Rooms” in Christchurch is a must-do activity for those who love a good challenge. Test your problem-solving skills as you and your friends work together to decipher clues, solve puzzles, and escape from themed rooms within a set time limit. Escape Rooms offer an immersive and thrilling experience for all ages with multiple scenarios, including mystery, adventure, and horror themes.


Attend a Performance at the Festival Theatre

Immerse yourself in Christchurch’s vibrant arts scene by attending a performance at the Festival Theatre. From world-class musicals to thought-provoking dramas, the Festival Theatre hosts a diverse range of shows throughout the year, ensuring there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Sit back, relax, and be entertained by talented performers in this iconic venue in the city’s heart.


Have a Blast at the Fantasy Park Amusement Park

For a day of family-friendly fun, head to Fantasy Park, Christchurch’s premier amusement park. Fantasy Park promises an unforgettable experience for visitors of all ages with thrilling rides, interactive attractions in Christchurch, and exciting entertainment options. Whether you’re zooming down roller coasters, testing your skills at carnival games, or enjoying a stroll through the park, this beloved attraction has no shortage of excitement.


Play a Relaxing Round of Mini-Golf at “Mini Golf”

Were you looking for a more laid-back activity? Spend a leisurely afternoon playing mini-golf at “Mini Golf,” Christchurch’s premier destination. Nestled amidst lush greenery and scenic landscapes, this charming course offers a delightful setting for a friendly game with family and friends. Put your way through challenging obstacles and tricky holes as you enjoy a fun and relaxing day in the city.


Visit the Adrenalin Forest for an adventure course in the forest

Embark on an adrenaline-fueled adventure at the Adrenalin Forest, where you can test your limits on an exhilarating high ropes course. Swing, climb, and zip-line your way through the forest canopy while enjoying stunning views of the surrounding landscape. With courses designed for varying skill levels, it’s an exciting activity for thrill-seekers of all ages.


Things to Do Around Christchurch

Beyond Christchurch’s city limits lies a world of natural wonders, charming towns, and captivating attractions waiting to be explored. From scenic drives to quaint villages, from pristine beaches to rugged mountains, the surrounding areas of Christchurch offer diverse experiences for travelers seeking adventure and tranquility. Join us as we venture beyond the city and discover the myriad places to visit near Christchurch, uncovering hidden gems and breathtaking landscapes that beckon exploration.


Watch Dolphins at Kaikoura

Kaikoura, located about two hours north of Christchurch, is renowned for its stunning coastal scenery and abundant marine life, making it one of the most beautiful places in Christchurch. One of the most popular activities here is dolphin watching. Join a boat tour and cruise along the coast to encounter playful, dusky dolphins in their natural habitat. These intelligent creatures often swim alongside the boats, providing an unforgettable experience for visitors of all ages.


Visit Wineries in the Waipara Valley

Just a short drive from Christchurch lies the picturesque Waipara Valley, a region known for its world-class wineries and vineyards. Take a leisurely drive through the countryside and stop by boutique wineries to sample award-winning wines, including Pinot Noir, Riesling, and Chardonnay. Many wineries offer tastings and cellar door experiences, allowing visitors to learn about the winemaking process while enjoying panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes.


Spend a Day at Arthur’s Pass National Park

Visiting Arthur’s Pass National Park is a must for outdoor enthusiasts. Located in the heart of the Southern Alps, this rugged wilderness area boasts spectacular alpine scenery, towering peaks, and pristine rivers. Explore a network of hiking trails ranging from easy walks to challenging treks, suitable for all fitness levels. Keep an eye out for native wildlife, including kea parrots, mountain goats, and the elusive kiwi bird, as you immerse yourself in the natural beauty of this iconic national park.


See Penguins at the Shore in Oamaru

A visit to the charming town of Oamaru offers the opportunity to observe one of New Zealand’s most adorable residents – the little blue penguin. Known as the smallest penguin species in the world, these cute creatures return to the shores of Oamaru at dusk after a day of fishing at sea. Join a guided tour of the Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony and watch as the penguins waddle ashore in groups, providing a delightful and heartwarming experience for visitors of all ages.


Hike the Walking Trails at Torlesse Ranges

Nestled just outside Christchurch, the Torlesse Ranges offer breathtaking hiking trails suitable for all skill levels. From strolls to challenging treks, these trails provide stunning views of the surrounding countryside, native flora, and fauna. Pack a picnic and plenty of water to maximize your outdoor adventure.


Visit Lake Tekapo and Its Hot Springs

A scenic drive from Christchurch will lead you to Lake Tekapo, renowned for its mesmerizing turquoise waters and stunning mountain backdrop. After soaking in the picturesque views, unwind at the Tekapo Springs, where you can indulge in a rejuvenating soak in the hot pools, offering relaxation amidst nature’s beauty.


Go Fishing in Banks Peninsula

For fishing enthusiasts, a trip to the Banks Peninsula is a must. Embark on a fishing charter and explore the rich waters teeming with marine life. Whether you’re after a trophy catch or simply enjoying the serenity of the ocean, Banks Peninsula offers an unforgettable fishing experience.


Embark on a Lord of the Rings Tour

Step into the magical world of Middle-earth with a Lord of the Rings tour from Christchurch. Visit iconic filming locations featured in the renowned movie series and immerse yourself in the fantastical landscapes that inspired Tolkien’s epic tale. Whether you’re a die-hard fan or appreciate the stunning scenery, this tour promises an unforgettable journey.


Visit Quail Island

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city with a visit to Quail Island. Just a short ferry ride from Christchurch, this tranquil sanctuary offers pristine beaches, scenic walking trails, and rich historical sites. Explore the island’s rugged beauty, learn about its fascinating history, and enjoy a peaceful day immersed in nature.


Enjoy a Day Trip to the Banks Peninsula

Discover the Banks Peninsula’s natural beauty and charming towns on a day trip from Christchurch. Marvel at the dramatic coastal scenery, visit picturesque villages like Akaroa, and indulge in delicious local cuisine. Whether exploring rugged coastlines, spotting wildlife, or simply enjoying the laid-back atmosphere, a day trip to the Banks Peninsula will surely be a highlight of your Christchurch experience.


Bungy Jumping

For the ultimate adrenaline rush, why not try bungy jumping in Christchurch? Feel the thrill of free-falling from a towering bridge or platform surrounded by stunning scenery. Several bungy jumping operators offer various jump heights and styles, so you can tailor your experience to suit your adrenaline tolerance level.


Explore Christchurch carefree with Travel Insurance

While embarking on your adventures in Christchurch, ensuring peace of mind with comprehensive travel insurance is essential. Whether hiking in the mountains, exploring the city streets, or indulging in adrenaline-pumping activities, travel insurance covers unforeseen circumstances such as medical emergencies, trip cancellations, and lost luggage. With the right travel insurance policy, you can explore Christchurch carefree, knowing you’re protected against unexpected events.


Final Thoughts

Christchurch is a city with diversity, natural beauty, and cultural richness. From exploring historic landmarks to immersing yourself in outdoor adventures, this vibrant city has no shortage of things to do. Whether you’re a solo traveler, a couple seeking a romantic getaway, or a family looking for fun-filled activities in Christchurch, there’s something for everyone. So pack your bags, embark on an unforgettable journey, and discover the 30 top things to do in Christchurch.