Christchurch - your gateway to New Zealand's South Island
Christchurch - your gateway to New Zealand's South Island
Christchurch - your gateway to New Zealand's South Island

Explore the wonders of Christchurch

Not only is Ōtautahi Christchurch your gateway to the spectacular South Island, New Zealand's "garden city" is an unmissable destination itself. 

Christchurch International Airport hosts airlines from all over the world including Qantas, Emirates, China Southern Airlines, United Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines and Virgin Australia.

Jump on a tram if you've just landed and you're looking to get your bearings in one of the world's most laid-back cities. The beautifully restored tramcars of the Christchurch Tram take you on an inner-city circuit with stops at Christchurch's historic Arts Centre, the Canterbury Museum, Botanic Gardens and Cathedral Square in the heart of the city. One of the tramcars also doubles as a restaurant for a luxe urban sight-seeing and dining experience. 

Busy cafes and rooftop bars line the lanes along the banks of the Avon River as it curves around the city centre. Swap the railway for this waterway and journey upstream in an English-style punt into Christchurch's picture-perfect Botanic Gardens — you'll feel like you're drifting into a Jane Austen novel. 

Family of three hikers looking at lakeside towns in New Zealand
Family of three hikers looking at lakeside towns in New Zealand
Family of three hikers looking at lakeside towns in New Zealand
Walkway under long rows of pink flowering trees in Christchurch
Walkway under long rows of pink flowering trees in Christchurch
Walkway under long rows of pink flowering trees in Christchurch

Further afield, a gondola ride to the top of the Port Hills flanking nearby Banks Peninsula offers you breath-taking views of the city, the snow-capped Southern Alps, Christchurch's port town of Lyttleton and its dramatic harbour. Aside from the panoramic vistas, the Christchurch Gondola Summit Station invites you to stay a while with a cafe and gift shop. 

Banks Peninsula itself implores you to explore a network of hiking tracks across the Port Hills and countless hidden bays and beaches of Whakaraupo-Lyttleton Harbour. For an off-the-beaten track experience head out to Akaroa Harbour. The village of Akaroa is steeped in French settler and Māori history, and the rugged harbour is home to native birds, fur seals and New Zealand's rare Hector's dolphins.

Christchurch's central location on the east coast of the South Island makes it an ideal launchpad for activities and attractions that draw travellers to New Zealand year after year. Head north to sample the Waipara Valley wine region, the thermal pools and spas of Hanmer Springs and whale-watching encounters in Kaikōura. In winter, head westward and hit the slopes of Mt Hutt, Ōhau and Mt Dobson ski areas. The Craigieburn Trails and Arthurs Pass National Park deep in the Southern Alps are also well worth a visit for alpine hiking and bucket-list mountain vistas. 

Check out our travel guide to Christchurch
Check out our travel guide to Christchurch
Check out our travel guide to Christchurch
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