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Top 10 Things To Do In Christchurch

Sunday, March 22nd, 2020

Read about 'Top 10 Things To Do In Christchurch' on USAVE, the place for all things car rental.

From stunning windswept beaches and rocky coastlines to large green spaces filled with ancient trees and beautiful gardens and the picturesque elegance of snow-capped mountain ranges, Christchurch has it all.

Take your time and explore the city and beyond, whether its mountain biking in the Port Hills, a stroll through Hagley Park or Punting on the Avon there is something for everyone. Need some inspiration take a look below for our top ten things to do while in Christchurch.

Christchurch Port Hills at Sunset

1. Punting On The Avon

An iconic activity in Christchurch, Punting on the Avon is one of those things you simply have to tick off before leaving the city. Enjoy Christchurch from a different perspective as you glide leisurely along the Avon River in an authentic handcrafted Edwardian Punt boat propelled along but your very own ‘Punter’ and pole.

  • Punting on the Avon costs around $30 for adults and $15 for children.
  • Grab ‘The Christchurch Pass’ combo and get Punting, a Tram Tour, Gondola ride and Botanic Gardens Tour for $90.
  • Departure is from the historic Antigua Boat sheds, 2 Cambridge Terrace, Christchurch.

Punting on the Avon River, Christchurch

2. The Airforce Museum

Visiting this national treasure is the perfect way to spend a wet afternoon in Christchurch. The Airforce Museum houses an excellent selection of the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) and New Zealand military aviation memorabilia, artefacts and aircraft. Make you own way around the museum or join a free museum tour, or take the kids on a Museum Hunt and see if you can find all of the treasures on the list!

  • Entry to the Museum is free (donations greatly appreciated!).
  • The Museum Hunt costs $6.
  • Operating the flight simulator also costs $6 for a 5 minute flight.
  • Museum Tours are free – tours run daily at 11.00am, 1.30pm and 3.00pm.
  • The Airforce Museum is located at 45 Harvard Ave, Wigram, Christchurch.

3. The Isaac Theatre Royal

This wonderful 106 year old theatre is worth a look even if you don’t intend to catch one of the many shows and performances on offer. The Isaac Theatre Royal’s elaborate interiors, lavish furnishings and exceptional staff take you back in time to an age where live performances were the norm, and a night out meant dressing up in your finest.

  • The Theatre is located at 145 Gloucester Street, Christchurch.
  • The Isaac Theatre Royal entry costs vary depending on the chosen seating and different performances.
  • The onsite Box Office is open Monday to Friday 10am to 5pm, or tickets are available online.
  • Bar facilities are available onsite.

4. The Christchurch Tram

See the sights of Christchurch in style on the lovingly restored heritage Tram. Purchase an all-day ticket and jump on and off as much as you like from the 15+ stops around the city. Or for a dining option not quite like any other, try the Tramway Restaurant (bookings are essential) and enjoy a delicious meal as you make your way around the city on the Tram.

  • Tram Tours cost $25 per adult and children ride for free. Annual passes are also available which allow unlimited tram (and Gondola) rides, for 12 months from the date of purchase, plus discounts on other Christchurch attraction admission prices.
  • Trams run every 15 to 20 minutes.
  • The Tramway Restaurant departs at 7:00pm daily from the Cathedral Junction at Cathedral Square.
  • Bookings on the Tramway restaurant cost a minimum of $109 per person.

Christchurch Tramway

5. The Arts Centre

Home to one of New Zealand’s most significant collections of heritage buildings, the Arts Centre is now more than 50% restored after the Christchurch earthquakes. Visitors will find an eclectic mix of retailers, businesses, historic buildings, places to eat and public spaces along with an ever changing calendar of concerts, performances and events.

  • Entry to the Arts Centre is free.
  • Individual events and performances may incur an additional charge.
  • See here for what’s on at the Christchurch Arts Centre.
  • The Arts Centre is located on Worcester Boulevard in the heart of the city.

Christchurch Arts Centre

6. The Christchurch Adventure Park

The place to be for enthusiast mountain bikers (and those of us that wish we were). The slopes of Christchurch’s Port Hills are home to the Christchurch Adventure Park – the southern hemispheres largest mountain bike park. Chill out at the Village Café and Bar, hit the trails, take a nature walk and ride the chair lift. Or if looking for a somewhat less strenuous way to explore the park, why not take a spin on the epic dual-lined Zipline.

  • Lifts and trails are open from 12 – 7pm.
  • The gates and café are open from 11 am to 8pm.
  • The Port Hills adventure park is located at 225 Worsleys Road, Cracroft, Christchurch.
  • Zipline tours cost $130 per adult and $90 per child.
  • Sightseeing passes are $20 per adult and $10 per child.
  • Day lift passes are $75 per adult, $40 per child.

7. The Margaret Mahy Playground

Whether passing through, looking for something free to do in Christchurch or just want to burn off some energy, the Margaret Mahy Playground is the place to be. The massive four metre wide slide is a highlight for many, the water cannons are great on a hot day, a sandpit, climbing web and flying fox all add to the fun. Bring a picnic, fire up the BBQ or just grab an ice cream from the onsite vendors.

  • The Margaret Mahy Playground is located at 177 Armagh Street, Christchurch Central.
  • Entry is free!
  • There is plenty of parking onsite and in the nearby streets.

8. New Regent Street Precinct

Described as “New Zealand’s most beautiful street”, New Regent Street in central Christchurch is home to boutique shopping at its best. The perfect place for a long lunch, visitors can choose from the long list of cafes, bars and restaurants or just indulge in one of the famous ‘Mrs Higgins Oven Fresh Cookies’. After lunch stroll along the streets and soak up the New Regent Street vibe.

  • Entry to New Regent Street is free of course.
  • Visitors can find New Regent Street precinct in the centre of the city between Armagh and Gloucester Streets.
  • The majority of shops will be open from 9am to 5 pm, the restaurants will be open till late.

9. Hot Air Ballooning

Transported just outside of the city limits, Ballooning Canterbury offers early morning hot air ballooning out over the expansive Canterbury Plains. With the Southern Alps as an impressive backdrop, ballooning is a great way to see and experience the wider Canterbury region, getting a better feel for what Christchurch is like outside of the city.

  • Balloon rides start from around $395 for adults and $320 for children.
  • Booking in advance is essential.
  • Ballooning Canterbury do offer pickups from the central city – please inquire upon making your booking.

10. Christchurch Art Gallery

Situated on the corner of Worcester Boulevard and Montreal Street the Christchurch Art Gallery is a great one to combine with a visit to the Arts Centre as it is just down the road. Open 10am until 5pm daily, entry to the Art Gallery is free. Wander the peaceful halls and enjoy an ever changing selection of displays, exhibits and interactive delights at your leisure.

  • The Gallery has an onsite café.
  • Free guided tours are available, these last around 45 minutes, booking is not required.
  • The Art Gallery is open late Wednesdays (until 9pm).
  • The Christchurch Tram stops right out front of the Gallery on Worcester Boulevard.

Get the best out of Christchurch with our top ten things to do and have a great time exploring the Garden City on your next holiday. Need transport to make getting around affordable and hassle free? Hire a car in Christchurch from USAVE Car Rental.

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