Christchurch Airport Car Rental

Christchurch International Airport is New Zealand’s second largest airport, receiving over 6.5 million domestic and international passengers per year. The Airport is an integral feature not only of Christchurch city but the wider Canterbury region and beyond. 

Christchurch Arrivals And Departures

The recently upgraded Airport Terminal Building provides passengers with comfortable waiting areas, an onsite Food Court, toilets and plenty of short term and long term parking options. If parking for less than an hour, the Express Parking Building is the way to go, for longer stays choose from the Short Term car park (at $12 for two hours) or the Long Term carpark at $25 for an entire day.

View a detailed route map showing where you can fly to from the Christchurch International Airport. Or see up to date Christchurch Airport Arrival and Departure information here. (All prices quoted are current at the time of printing please see the Christchurch Airport website for further details).

Airport Transport Options

Christchurch Airport offers all the usual forms of transport for passengers upon arrival, for a seamless transfer it does pay to book ahead, which also guarantees availability and a greater selection.

Car Hire

While the Christchurch Airport has a good selection of car rental companies onsite for the convenience of passengers, however often doing a bit of research and seeking reliable car hire off-site will mean the same reliable car rental but at much more affordable rates. Plus most car hire companies like USAVE Car Rental will even provide free pick up and drop off services upon request.

Public Bus 

Local bus operators Metro provide regular bus services connecting the Christchurch Airport with locations within the city and its surrounds. The departure point for buses is at the northern end of the International Arrivals Hall, tickets are around $9 one way.

Taxi Services

Passengers will find the Taxi rank located outside Exit Door number 7 in the International Arrivals Hall. There are various Taxi companies providing this service, prices will vary but expect to pay around $60 for a fare into the central city.


Usually a small minivan or similar, Airport shuttles carry a number of passengers and will therefore have a number of stops, potentially adding to the amount of time spent travelling to your destination. A shuttle service is generally cheaper than a taxi.

Christchurch Airport Airlines

The following airlines currently operate at Christchurch Airport:

Activities Near Christchurch Airport

Car hire from Christchurch Airport gives you the freedom to explore the South Island’s largest city at your leisure. Make the most of your NZ self-drive holiday with a rental car from Christchurch Airport and take to the road to explore, experience and enjoy the very best of the South Island.

Top 5 Christchurch Activities

Sticking around in Christchurch for a while? Below are just some of the activities to enjoy in and around the city limits.

1. Christchurch Tram

Take in the magnificent sights of Christchurch City while on board the restored historic Trams. Learn about the landmarks, history and interesting earthquake facts from the Conductors and even enjoy a meal on the iconic Tramway Restaurant.

2. Gondola

Rise up 500 metres above sea level with the Christchurch Gondola and enjoy spectacular 360 degree views out over the city, the Canterbury Plains and the ocean. Enjoy a light meal, variety of snacks or something from the kitchen menu at the Red Rock Café or take a stroll along one of the walking tracks before heading back down to the bottom in the Gondola.

3. Botanic Gardens

Definitely not to be missed, the Christchurch Botanic Gardens are the perfect place to unwind, relax and get some fresh air after a long flight or journey. Stroll through the 21 hectares of exotic and local flora and fauna any time between 7am through to 6.30pm daily, entry is free.

4. Antarctic Centre

Right next door to the Christchurch Airport is the International Antarctic Centre. Home to an assortment of Little Blue Penguins who are happy to strut their stuff (particularly at feeding time!) and the opportunity to experience the full force of an artic storm as well as the famous Hagglund Ride – this one is perfect for the whole family.

5. Orana Wildlife Park

Set over a sprawling 80 hectares, the Orana Wildlife Park is home to over 400 animals. Get up close with a towering Giraffe, help feed the Lemurs or take a personal guided tour, don’t miss the Lion feeding at 2.30 pm every day.

Road Trips From Christchurch Airport

Looking to go a little further afield? There is so much to do within just a few of hour’s drive from Christchurch Airport. Whether renting a car and exploring lush rain forest, taking a relaxing dip in some thermal springs, sampling some world class wines at nearby vineyards or going trekking through towering mountain ranges – Christchurch is an excellent starting point for many trips destinations, activities and attractions in the South Island. 

Christchurch Road Trip Ideas

Having sorted out your car rental, next you will be looking for the best road trip ideas and interesting destinations within easy driving distance. Below are just a few of the places easily reached within a day from Christchurch Airport.

  • Milford Sound. Visit the iconic Milford Sound deep in the Fiordland National Park by rental car and explore the famous fiord by boat cruise, kayak or on foot. A Must-Do for all visitors to New Zealand’s rugged South Island – buckle up for the most scenic 9 hour drive you’ll ever experience.
  • Abel Tasman National Park. Visit the glowing golden beaches and stunningly beautiful bays of the Able Tasman National Park in the Nelson Tasman region. Explore Kaiteriteri Beach, take a cruise, or jump in a sea kayak and get out on the water. The township of Marahau at the edge of the National Park is roughly a 6 hour drive from Christchurch.
  • Hanmer Springs. Only a short two hour drive from Christchurch, Hanmer Springs is the perfect destination for an action packed day trip or cruisy overnighter. Soak in the world class hot pools, take a leisurely stroll around the township or hire a mountain bike and explore the many bush clad trails.
  • Lake Tekapo. Visiting Tekapo by rental car is an easy 3 hour drive from Christchurch making it the perfect overnight destination or pit stop for travellers heading further south to Queenstown. Tekapo is a small town that ‘packs a punch’ when it comes to catering for tourists and out of towners with hot pools, stargazing, skiing, ice skating, cycling, hunting and fishing  just some of the activities on offer.
  • The West Coast. Greymouth, Hokitika, the Pancake Rocks at Punakaiki, Fox Glacier, Franz Joseph Glacier, Arthurs Pass… the list goes on and on. The wonders of the South Island’s ruggedly beautiful West Coast wilderness are not to be missed, and its only 3 and a half hours away!
  • Queenstown. Whether it’s the splendid atmosphere, the breath taking views or the multitude of adventure activities that brings you to Queenstown you will not be disappointed. Definitely more than an overnight destination, with most visitors spending at least 3 to 4 days here, Queenstown certainly has something for everyone. Only seven hours drive from Christchurch, getting there is no problem – however you may never want to leave!
  • Dunedin. Just 5 hours drive southwards from Christchurch lays the vibrant City of Dunedin. Known for its Edwardian architecture, rare wildlife and colourful student population. Dunedin offers visitors the chance to indulge in some classic New Zealand sightseeing, savour the delights of the deep south and immerse in a little culture along the way.
  • Kaikoura. This South Island coastal township is always full of surprises. Enjoy a spot of fishing, a scenic flight, one of the many leisurely walks, kayaking or surfing, all just 3 hours drive from Christchurch. The trip to Kaikoura is easily done in a day, however in light of the Kaikoura earthquakes experienced in recent times, it pays to check road closure information before heading to Kaikoura.

If you need help finding your way around any of the great destinations in and around Christchurch and across the South Island, the car hire team at USAVE Car Rentals has an abundance of local knowledge and are always happy to help you plan your road trip. Save time and hassle when you arrive at the Christchurch Airport by booking your car rental in advance, book your rental car online today.

Choose easy and convenient Christchurch airport car rental from USAVE Rental Cars.

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