New Zealand’s second-largest city is also one of its most beautiful, known for its parks and gardens, and placid rivers bordered by green lawns. Many of its famous Gothic revival stone buildings were damaged in the Christchurch earthquake of 22 February 2011, but the city remains a worthwhile visitor destination and a great base for experiencing the diversity of the Canterbury region and the South Island.

Highlights

Gardens and heritage Christchurch’s beautiful Botanic Gardens are the heart of the city. See the city’s heritage at Canterbury Museum and experience history in the making as the city rebuilds. Akaroa The quaint village of Akaroa – New Zealand’s one and only French settlement – sits on the edge of Akaroa Harbour in a beautiful landscape of rugged hills and sparkling water. Methven This small town buzzes in winter and is also known as Mount Hutt Village for its proximity to one of New Zealand’s most popular ski areas. It’s the perfect base for experiencing a myriad of adventure activities. TranzAlpine rail journey Departing from Christchurch, the TranzAlpine is a spectacular rail journey across the Canterbury Plains, through the Southern Alps, to the rainforest-clad valleys of the West Coast. Café culture Christchurch and Canterbury still offer numerous excellent cafés, restaurants and bars, perfect for relaxing after exploring the shops.

Destinations

Christchurch The ‘Garden City’ is New Zealand’s second-largest centre. Akaroa Pretty French settlement on Banks Peninsula. Arthur’s Pass Mountain village on the doorstep of Arthur’s Pass National Park. Ashburton Relaxed rural service centre. Methven Outdoor adventures abound at this wintertime ski resort. Timaru Historic main centre of South Canterbury. Geraldine Country town famous for crafts and delicious gourmet foods. Waimate Charming, tiny outpost famous for its wallabies and strawberries. Oxford Village Charming country village in the foothills.

Getting There and Around

Air Christchurch International Airport offers flights to numerous domestic destinations, as well as Australia, the Pacific Islands and Asia. Road Christchurch is a 6-hour, 20-minute drive from Picton (via the inland route that is currently necessary as repairs are completed on State Highway 1 north of Kaikoura) and a 5-hour drive from Dunedin. There are regular coach and shuttle services, and there is a comprehensive metropolitan bus service. Picton to Christchurch [479 km; 6 hrs, 20 min] Dunedin to Christchurch [362 km; 5 hrs] Queenstown to Christchurch [486 km; 6 hrs, 55 min] Christchurch to Akaroa [84 km; 1 hr, 10 min] Christchurch to Methven [123 km; 1 hr, 45 min] Christchurch to Timaru [163 km; 2 hrs, 20 min] Rail KiwiRail operates the TranzAlpine service to Greymouth. The Coastal Pacific train to Picton is currently not running while repairs are conducted on the line following the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake.

Directory

The Arts Centre

Visit the Arts Centre and immerse yourself in a beautiful historic precinct that features a growing range of artisan food outlets, galleries, independent retailers and education spaces. The former university…

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Chic Restaurant

Specialising in cuisine from the culinary melting pot of Iran, Chic Restaurant showcases the traditional fare of ancient Persia, where delicious meals such as succulent lamb stew, flavoursome kebabs, marinated…

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Belgian Beer Café Torenhof

Belgium’s best craft beers on tap – matched with New Zealand’s best produce – in a Belgian flavour. With 250 carparks at The Colombo, Belgian Beer Café Torenhof is the…

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Little Neighbourhood

Little Neighbourhood at  relaxed central city garden bar and hangout-zone that offers great craft beers, live bands & DJs, and Christchurch's best hand-crafted pizzas! Drop by for after-work drinks, arrange…

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Boo Radley's Food & Liquor

Boo Radley’s Food & Liquor is an award winning southern-USA styled bar and restaurant with a distinctly New Zealand twist. It’s a relaxed late night venue with a speakeasy vibe;…

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Baretta

Beyond Baretta’s impressive main bar is a breathtaking exterior terracotta paved courtyard – piazza style – with wrought iron and awnings, umbrellas and canopies. Beyond that again is the Veto…

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Thai Chef's Restaurant

Part of a nationwide chain of Thai restaurants awarded as Thai Select Premium standard by the Prime Minister of Thailand, Thai Chef’s new Christchurch location offers authentic Thai tastes and…

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The Dirty Land

A suitably dark and broody lounge bar with an edge brought to you by the creator of King of Snake and Mexicano's, The Dirty Land offers exquisite cocktails and fun.…

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JDV

JDV promises to cater for all taste buds. Mix the delectable food with exceptional service and a relaxing environment and you may never want to leave! A spectacular dining experience,…

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Persian Kitchen

At the Persian Kitchen, they welcome all cultures to come dine in and experience their take on Turkish and Persian Culture. They are situated off Stanmore Road on Avalon Street.…

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The Mohair Store

Experience the warmth-without-weight feeling that luxurious New Zealand-made Mohair and Alpaca throws provide. Snuggle up in the new Alpacas scarf range, keep warm with Possum/Merino Ponchos, or treat your feet…

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Mona Vale Homestead & Pantry

It’s hard to imagine a more perfect setting than Mona Vale to feed the soul and the taste buds, with its heady combination of stunning gardens, historic homestead and a…

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Kum Pun Thai Restaurant

Now re-open after spectacular renovations, Kum Pun Thai offers intimate dining and the traditional tastes of Thailand in a relaxed environment. With chefs from a number of different regions in…

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Zanzibar

Christchurch meets the Amalfi coast ...tasty authentic pizzas crafted in the Italian Valoriani oven. Find them in the Merivale Mall courtyard off Aikmans road or on Facebook first!

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Issimo

Issimo is an owner-operated boutique with a select range of men’s and women’s footwear and fashion accessories, sourced globally and locally. They are stockists of LK Bennett, Accatino, Mara Bini,…

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Headspace

Headspace are dedicated to hairdressing excellence. Their contemporary, inner-city salon offers a full range of professional hairdressing services within a stylish environment. Clients enjoy a comfortable atmosphere, with sophisticated decor…

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Francesca's Italian Kitchen

Situated right next door to the Isaac Theatre Royal, Francesca’s Italian Kitchen provides the perfect spot to enjoy a cosy dinner for two, a group event or a quick lunch.…

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Empire Bar & Izakaya

Empire Bar and Izakaya is dark and cavernous, with nods to Japanese refinement through well-appointed artefacts. A series of intimate booths flank the wall, jewelled with an inferno of glistening…

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Dux Central

The Dux is a Christchurch hospitality legend. Whether you experienced good times at the original site in the Arts Centre or are new to the Dux Family, you’ll feel instantly…

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Christchurch Casino

Christchurch's Premier Entertainment Destination! Upon entering Christchurch Casino, you are visiting the largest and most diverse gaming and entertainment destination in Christchurch. Christchurch Casino is a magnificent complex featuring 500…

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Champs-Elysees Day Spa

The exclusive Champs-Elysées Day Spa is Christchurch’s premier destination for all things beautiful, luxurious and pampering, including glorious couples packages, massage, facials, restorative body treatments and all beauty essentials. With…

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Bryce Gallery

The space and pace of life in the South Island are natural drivers of art appreciation, which have given Cantabrians defined tastes and a respect for beauty uncommon in many…

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Ancestral

Established in 2000, Ancestral is an authentic and tasty Chinese café and restaurant, but it also features some of the city’s best private karaoke rooms. Specialising in traditional Sichuan and…

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Aikmans

Aikmans is a stylish local favourite. The great ambience and delicious food make it an ideal venue for a relaxed catch up with friends, or a delicious meal with someone…

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Trevino's Restaurant & Bar

Get into Trevinos to try their tempting menu, filled with traditional favourites and a range of mains based on a Mediterranean fusion theme. Enjoy great food, a relaxed atmosphere, and…

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Bloody Mary's

A popular New York-style steakhouse renowned by locals for premium and local produce, seasonally focussed menus and delicious uncomplicated cuisine. The whisky lounge is perfect for a post dinner night cap, but the sundrenched…

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The Nook

Nestled in historic New Regent Street in the city’s heart, The Nook is a little Thai place that packs a powerful punch. Drop by for an awesome (and great value!)…

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Muffin Break

Muffin Break New Zealand’s award-winning signature blend coffee and freshly baked and diverse range of sweet and savoury muffins have proved such a hit that you can find them all…

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Kumo Japanese Cuisine

Kumo is located in the heart of Addington, central to business centres and trendy bars, and a short hop from the CBD. Choose to eat sushi straight from the (city’s only!) sushi train or have…

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Dux Dine

Situated in a historic turn-of-the-century villa, Dux Dine provides a variety of welcoming, comfortable spaces in which to enjoy their vegetarian and seafood fare, the excellence of which saw them…

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DUO Dining Room & Bar

DUO Dining Room & Bar is centrally located by Christchurch’s Botanical Gardens and the Arts Centre. Their internationally experienced team focuses on a shared dining experience of innovative Asian and…

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Coriander's Ethnic Indian Restaurants

Take a journey with Coriander’s Ethnic Indian Restaurant and immerse yourself in a truly unique culinary experience. With an extensive and varied menu, customers can expect to enjoy only the…

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Charming Souvenir

Charming Souvenir is a locally-based, contemporary souvenir shop. It was opened in 2015 by David Yu, whose aim is to provide customers with a variety of local premium products and…

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The Beer Library

The Beer Library is Christchurch’s only craft beer bottle store. A relaxed atmosphere, outstanding selection, and knowledgeable staff make it the perfect place for everyone from the biggest ‘hop-head’ to…

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Alvarado's Mexican Cantina

Alvarado’s Mexican Cantina provides a destination environment for the complete Mexican experience. Their a la carte restaurant is open daily from 5pm and serves the very best Mexican food, freshly…

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The Riccarton Market

Renowned as a place to find something different. An excellent range of craft, jewellery, clothing, woodware, soaps, art and collectibles from over 250 stalls, plus 40 stalls providing local and…

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Air Force Museum

Discover one of the world’s premier military aviation collections. Step back in time in a replica 1940s home and fly the Mosquito Flight Simulator! Take the behind-the-scenes tour to see…

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Sudima Hotel Christchurch Airport

Next to Christchurch International Airport, offering 208 rooms, including family rooms, suites and 50 bureau rooms with desks. Interview rooms, meeting rooms and conference facilities for two to 300 people.…

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Copthorne Hotel Commodore

From the moment you touch down you’ll experience the comfort and convenience that makes us perfect for business and recreational visitors. Our hotel offers the sophistication and friendliness that is…

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Christchurch Top 10 Holiday Park – Meadow Park

Motels, self-contained family units, deluxe standard units and power/tent sites located close to Northlands Mall, supermarkets, restaurants, bars, bus stop. Ten minutes’ drive from airport and five kilometres from city…

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Aigantighe Art Gallery

The Aigantighe Art Museum (Gaelic for ‘at home’ and pronounced ‘egg and tie’) in Timaru is renowned internationally for its collection and innovative exhibition and education programmes. Holding the South Island’s…

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Village Lake Apartments

Excellent village location. 13 luxury units, all with beautifully appointed designer kitchens and spacious living and dining areas with recessed/wall-mounted LCD TVs and gas fires. Bathrooms have double spa baths…

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Hanmer Springs Scenic Views Motel

Fully equipped motel apartments. Studio, two- and three-bedroom units. On-site parking, underfloor heating, air conditioning, laundry. Wireless internet. All apartments capture magnificent views of the mountains and forests. Close to…

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Orana Wildlife Park

Experience the ultimate animal adventure at Orana Wildlife Park, New Zealand’s only open range zoo. Orana specialises in providing amazing wildlife experiences – see New Zealand’s only gorillas, hand-feed giraffe, meet rhino up close,…

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