Things to Do in Christchurch, New Zealand. Discover vibrant city
The best Christchurch New Zealand travel tips. Discover vibrant city
Divided into two large islands, New Zealand brings together an immensity of landscapes and attractions that impress any tourist, places to visit: Lago Pukaki, Twizel, golfinho Hector, Parque Nacional Mount Cook, vulcões, gêiseres, lagos multicoloridos, Milford Sound, Doubtful Sound, entre outros.
- – Where is located Christchurch?
- – New Zealand Travel Guide: How to explore the south island in and around Christchurch?
- – # 1 Dia – Arrival in Christchurch, New Zealand
- – # 2 Day – Things to Do in Akaroa and Route to Twizel (lake region) New Zealand
- – # 3 Dia – Things to Do in Aoraki / Mount Cook National Park, Lavender Farm and High Country Salmon Farm<
- – # 4 Dia – Travel tips: The Lakes, Mount John Observatory e estrada panorâmica para Arthur’s Pass, New Zealand
- – # 5 dia – Discover vibrant city: Things to Do in Christchurch?
On the North Island, where most of the population lives, the summer is relatively hot and there are very interesting beaches (such as those located on the Coromandel Peninsula).
However, the main attractions of the northern part are revealed in its interior: volcanoes, geysers, multicolored lakes and other unusual geological formations form scenarios that look like from another planet.
Already on the less populated South Island, a land where the winter is more severe and the summer mild, the main attractions are the snowy peaks, the glaciers, the coast populated by seals and whales and some of the most beautiful fjords on the planet – Milford Sound, Doubtful Sound, among others.
All these natural resources together with the presence of vibrant cities like Auckland, Queenstown and Christchurch, Hopital people and an exemplary tourism infrastructure, make New Zealand one of the most complete and seductive destinations on this beautiful planet.
If you want to know more aspects of the north island, check out the post about the trip we made to Auckland and its surroundings.
And speaking of the south island, let’s go to a little bit of what represents Christchurch, the oldest city in this country.
In February 2011, Christchurch was hit by a strong earthquake, and part of the city center was destroyed. Since then, it is rising and growing full of innovations.
Christchurch is suitable for those who like to ride a bike, stay in good hotels and enjoy a sophisticated dinner. A city with varied landscapes, where you can do extreme sports just 15 minutes from the center.
Our first day on the south island of New Zealand was filled only with the arrival at Christchurch airport and the journey to the hotel.
We left Sydney at 7:30 pm / 8:00 pm and landed in NZ’s oldest city after midnight.
We collect our car at the rental store and drive to the hotel – it takes approximately 15 minutes. The schedule was just an overnight stay at this stage of the trip.
Review de Hotel: BreakFree on Cashel
This is a simple hotel with a very compact structure. We can compare it to an Ibis Budget. Very small room, capsule bathroom and simple structure on the premises. We paid NZ $ 94 for the couple with breakfast
As our trip to the south of the island was focused on getting to know the region of the Tekapo and Pukaki lakes, for our second day we only booked a visit to Akaroa and then we followed the road to this little part of New Zealand.
We left Christchurch at 9:30 am and continued on towards Akaroa. The trip between these two cities is 1h30 long.
The Banks Peninsula (where Akaroa is housed) is made up of two extinct volcanoes with inlets and bays offering a variety of adventure activities.
Akaroa is a charming village inspired by French molds and is considered a haven for couples or families. This place is the route for transatlantic and cruises.
In this French style villa located in the heart of New Zealand, we stayed for about 2 hours enjoying the local climate and strolling around the center.
At around 12 noon we headed towards Twizel, our dormitory city for the next two nights.
We travel approximately 350 / 400km towards the south of the map. We arrived in the Mackenzie region around 5:30 pm (our check in was until 6:00 pm).
Once properly located and with guaranteed accommodation, we take the car again and look for the nearest supermarket. We stock up, prepare a quick meal in the room and go on to enjoy the end of the day on the shores of Lago Pukaki.
We left the hotel and drove a little to the edge of the lake. We stopped our car near a trail and sat down for a while to enjoy the end of the day.
Some good photos, a jaw-dropping scenario and after we were satisfied, we returned to the hotel to close our day.
Review de Hotel: High Country Lodge, Motel and Backpackers
The hotel / motel is very well located in the small town of Twizel. It is next to the market and restaurants. The room dependencies are great (it has a kitchen and utensils in case the guest wants to make their food inside the hotel) and the external space is large and with individual parking for each apartment. We paid NZ $ 295 for the couple for two nights.
Our summary for the second day was:
- Christchurch to Akaroa route (1h30min)
- Akaroa to Twizel route (4 hours)
Some highlights of what to see and do in Akaroa indicated by the Official Guide to Christchurch & Canterbury:
- Visit the Barrys Bay Cheese Factory;
- Take a cruise at the local port and see the wildlife or rent a kayak or paddle boat;
- Swim with New Zealand’s smallest dolphin, the Hector dolphin;;
- Take a tour of New Zealand’s largest little penguin colony;
- Do some trail, be it small or multi-day;
- Visit The Guants House Mosaic & Sculpture Garden;
- On the route to Banks Peninsula, cycle the Little River Rail, where visitors can find delicious cafes and a beautiful art gallery;
- Explore the Akaroa Museum and learn about the fascinating local history and visit the Okans Bay Maori & Colonial Museum in the Bay of Okains.
Our third day was dedicated to Mount Cook National Park and the surrounding area. We left the hotel early, to make the most of the day, and headed towards the park entrance.
We put the coordinates of the National Park parking lot on the gps and on arrival we found ourselves by the signs. As we had already researched the best trails in the area, we looked for the signs for the Hooker Valley Trail. This is the most famous and most accessed by tourists.
We started the hike at around 10am, passed through several scenarios, suspension bridges, rivers, and at approximately 1:30 am we were at the meeting point in Hooker Valley, right under Mount Cook.
We arrived at the place, settled on some rocks and started with the various photos to keep as souvenirs. We explored the place a little, more and more photos and videos, and enjoyed some more good moments contemplating the place and the mountain that was in front of us. We stayed in the valley for about an hour and a half.
Once satisfied, we headed for the return. Another hour or so and we were back in the park’s main parking lot again.
We drive to the other point of the day, the Tasman Glacier. The entrance to the site is just before the main parking lot of Mount Cook National Park, and the traveler passes when heading towards the trail. So, just go back a few kilometers and you already identify the sign with the glacier entrance.
We stopped the car in the local parking lot and headed for the small trail leading to the top to admire the Tasman glacier. The trail takes just over 20 minutes and at the end the visitor can see the lake and the beautiful scenery that the mountains of the region present.
As we went in the summer the lake was not frozen and the mountains did not have so much ice, but still a beautiful place to contemplate and visit.
After a while at the Tasman Glacier, we return to the car and head to our next point of interest for the day: Alpine Lavender Farm.
The site is on the main road that leads to National Park and on our return, through this road, we located the farm and entered it. Another very easy point to find, as it is on the side of the road and in front of Lake Pukaki.
We went in, got to know the place and went to the next point. An important detail of this tourist spot is that in order to access and take pictures in the middle of the plantation, it is necessary to pay a fee of NZ $ 5. If you just want to enter, park and see from the outside is very possible because the place is open.
After seeing the lavender fields, we continue our route to the next point: High Country Salmon – Fish Farm. This is a point of interest that houses a salmon farm and breeding grounds and also has a restaurant. There, tourists find live fish and also fish to buy and make at home. In addition, as we said earlier, a restaurant with dishes made with the local specialty: salmon
We stayed there for about an hour, enjoyed a typical dish and went to the last point of the day: Lake Ruataniwha. This is a lake right next to the Fish Farm and has a very interesting setting. We passed by the place quickly and soon we were satisfied. Closing our day there.
Our summary for the third day was:
- Twizel route to Mount Cook National Park (40 minutes)
- Hooker Valley Trail (3-hour hike – round trip)
- Tasman Glacier Trail (30 minutes – Blue Lake Trail)
- Alpine Lavender Farm
- High Country Salmon – Fish Farm
- Lake Ruataniwha
Some highlights of what to see and do in the Mackenzie Region indicated by the Official Christchurch & Canterbury Guide:
- Visit the four main cities in the region: Fairlie, Lake Tekapo, Twizel and Mount Cook;
- Visit the Aoraki / Mount Cook National Park;
- The region is home to the title of the largest “Gold Status International Dark Sky Reserve” in the world, so be sure to take one of the tours to see the stars in that region
- Eat salmon at a local salmon farm;
- Ride your bike on the “Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail” (starting at Aoraki / Mount Cook National Park or the section that best suits you);
- Discover New Zealand’s largest glacier, the Tasman Glacier – by plane, trail or boat;
- Choose and enjoy one of the many trails and short walks in the region and enjoy
- Enjoy the scenery in a hot water pool or enjoy the ski locations.
The last day in the lake region and the fourth of this trip was reserved to visit Lake Pukaki / surroundings and take the return road to Christchurch.
We started the day with our check out of the hotel in Twizel. Then we headed for our first two stops of the day, Lake Alexandrina and Lake McGregor. From the hotel in Twizel to these two lakes, we drove approximately 40/50 minutes.
Arriving at the place, we stopped the car and took some pictures. We stayed there for a while admiring the view, and soon we returned to the car to go to the next destination, the Astro-Café..
The road to the lakes Alexandrina and McGregor is the same that leads to the entrance to Mount John Observatory, home to the famous Astro-Café. Therefore, we only return the route and enter the place.
Astro-Café is located at the top of Mount John and has a 360 degree panoramic view of the Mackenzie Basin, including a view of Aoraki / Mount Cook. The fee to enter the observatory is NZ $ 8 per car.
We went up to the top where the Café is and stopped our car in the main parking lot. We drove to Astro-Café and stayed there for about an hour. We take the opportunity to admire the view of Lake Tekapo and to try the famous carrot cake at this Café.
After we were satisfied with the photos and the cake, we went back to the car and drove to the next stop, Lake Tekapo and some attractions that are in this place.
At the Tekapo center, we stopped the car and walked a few meters on foot. We cross the bridge that leads to the lake and stop at the Church of Good Shepherd, a very famous church in this region that is on the banks of the beautiful New Zealand lake.
We went through these spots, sat on the lake for a while to get our feet wet, took lots of photos and were satisfied. After almost 2 hours visiting the site, we decided to follow the road. It was almost one in the afternoon and we still had to make the journey to Arthur’s Passa and return to Christchurch.
We left Lake Tekapo and went on the road! The journey from Lake Tekapo to Arthur’s Pass was very interesting and full of good surprises. We passed the scenic route – 72 (Scenic Route 72), we covered many scenarios, we passed through small towns, we passed places like Rakaia Gorge – Rakaia River, Castle Hill and Lake Pearson, and finally, after almost 4 hours, we arrived at Arthur’s Pass .
When we arrived in the region we stopped at Arthur’s Pass Village. There, visitors can find the historic Otira railway tunnel – an epic engineering feat through 8.5 kilometers of rock. The village has some choices for accommodation, cafes and shops. And it was here that we decided to have our lunch / dinner, almost 5 pm.
We stop at a small local restaurant, eat, stretch our legs, breathe a little, and after we have remade we continue on the road towards Christchurch, our initial and final destination of this tour on the south island.
The ride from Arthur’s Pass to Christchurch lasted approximately 1 ½ hours, and around 7/8 pm we were checking in at our hotel. We ended the intense day at that moment.
Review de Hotel: BreakFree on Cashel
This is a simple hotel with a very compact structure. We can compare it to an Ibis Budget. Very small room, capsule bathroom and simple structure on the premises. We paid NZ $ 144 for the couple for two nights.
Our summary of the fourth day was:
- Lake Alexandrina and Lake McGregor
- Astro Cafe and Mount John Observatory ($ 8 per car)
- Lake Tekapo – Church of Good Shepherd
- Arthur’s Pass to Christchurch (passing Scenic Route 72, Rakaia Gorge and 77 Inland Scenic Route)
Air Safaris – Scenic Airplane or Helicopter Tours
A tour that we were unable to do in the Mount Cook region, due to the weather conditions of the day, was the flight by plane through Mount Cook National Park and Glaciers (the tour is called The Grand Traverse ), but I recommend it for those visiting the region. I found several very good reviews of this tour / company and I believe it must be something very special. The scenery on land is already wonderful, we were imagining it from the air.
Some highlights of what to see and do in the Arthur’s Pass and Selwyn Region indicated by the Official Christchurch & Canterbury:
- Check out the Selwyn Food & Wine Trail to discover delicious wineries, restaurants, mecados and bed & breakfast botiques;
- Castle Hill is a very special cultural, spiritual and historical area for the Ngāi Tahu – the main Māori iwi (tribe) of the southern region of New Zealand. Have a picnic, get lost in the huge rocks / stones and admire the spectacular scenery;
- Visit Arthur’s Pass National Park, which is located in the Southern Alps and has short, medium or full day trails of varying difficulty;
- Check out Lake Ellesmere / Te Waihora – this is New Zealand’s largest shore lake. The place is an important leisure spot in the country and is home to 167 species of birds;
- Selwyn houses 6 park-boutiques for skiing with unique characteristics. If snow and skiing appeal to you, this is the place for a winter road trip;
- Visit the Lake Coleridge area for some adventure activities: jet boating, ballooning, farm tours, and more;
- Hike to one of New Zealand’s most beautiful waterfalls, Devil’s punchbowl.
For the last day, we separated the urban attractions of Christchurch and went to explore another city in beautiful New Zealand.
We woke up relatively early and went on to see the attractions of this city. First stop was at the cafe and then we went to a small local outlet. When it was past noon, we drove to the first tourist attraction: Christchurch Gondola . To access the site, we paid NZ $ 30 per person, which gave us the right to take the cable car up to a very high point and visit the space. There we find a beautiful view of the city, the Southern Alps, the Banks Peninsula and the Port of Lyttelton.
We stayed in place for approximately 1 ½ hours, and after we were satisfied, we proceeded to the next attraction: Cave Rock, Sumner Beach . We drove to the coastal region and took some pictures on the spot.
After getting to know this part of the city, we went on for another lookout: Sign of the Takahe – Cashmere Hill Lookout . In this space we find a building dating from the 50s and another view of the city. A few minutes there, and we were ready to go back to downtown Christuchurch and for our lunch. The walking tour was still waiting for us.
We stopped at a local pub, had lunch and got together. After lunch, we head back to the hotel to leave our belongings and start the walking tour through the center.
As we stayed right in the heart of Christchurch, it was enough to walk a little as we were already facing all the central attractions of this city.
We did a Walking Tour , and these are some of the points we passed and that are indicated by the Official Guide (the route of the Tram Tour):
- Cathedral Junction
- Cathedral Square
- Mill Island & The Terrace
- Bridge of Remembrance
- The Crossing
- Manchester Street
- High Street
- City Punting
- Art Gallery
- Christchurch i-SITE
- Museum & Botanic Gardens
- Hangley Park Corner
- Cranner Square
- Quake City
- Victoria Square
- New Regent Street
After walking through some of the main points and the end of the day approaching (at 6 pm the shops and the main shops start to close), we were satisfied. We then decided to return to the hotel and end our schedule.
That same day we would still have to catch our return flight to Syndey at dawn. For this reason, too, we ended activities early. So we closed our trip around the south island and around Christuchurch.
Our summary of the fifth day was:
- Christchurch Gondola
- Cave Rock, Sumner Beach
- Cashmere Hill Lookout
- Walking Tour of Christchurch
To get to know the city center of Christchirch there are some options: on foot, as we did, with the Tram tour or another Tram-Restaurant tour. We believe that in all these ways it is very interesting. Our option on this day was walking, but we saw that the Tram is also very interesting. See more information about these services by visiting the site oficial.
Confira viagens pelo Brasil e pelo mundo.
Você escolhe o destino e a gente te guia.
Separamos algumas dicas e passo a passo para você planjar sua próxima viagem. Uma vez que você começar, não vai mais parar.
Não deixe de viajar porque esta sem tempo de planejar. Nós do Soul Viajero criamos o seu roteiro e você se preocupa em fazer as malas, viajar e relaxar.