Christchurch is a resilient, vibrant, and creative city in New Zealand's South Island. Despite experiencing two tragic earthquakes in the past ten years, Christchurch has turned adversity into innovation and is now leading the world in the field of urban regeneration. The ever-evolving city assures that there is always something new to discover. What will you find?
You can fly direct to Christchurch from Perth, Melbourne, Sydney, the Gold Coast, and Brisbane. Flights departing from Adelaide and other cities require a stopover. Jetstar offers the most competitive return airfares, followed closely by Virgin Australia and Air New Zealand. You can fly to Christchurch from Australia with these Airlines:
Jetstar: Departing Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, the Gold Coast, and Brisbane.
Air New Zealand: Departing Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, the Gold Coast, and Brisbane.
Qantas: Departing Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, the Gold Coast, and Brisbane.
Virgin Australia: Departing Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, the Gold Coast, and Brisbane.
Christchurch airport is located 12km north-west of the city centre. There are several services proving transfers from the airport.
Bus: The airport bus is the most affordable way to reach downtown Christchurch, as fares are only $8.50 for adults. The trip takes about 35 minutes.
Shuttle: The airport shuttle is a cost-effective option for those travelling in a larger group. Tickets are $19 for one person, $24 for two people, and $5 for each additional person after that. The shuttle will take you directly to your accommodation.
Taxi: Christchurch is a 15 to 20-minute ride from the airport by taxi. Expect to pay from $40-60NZD, depending on your destination.
Rideshare: You can take an Uber from Christchurch Airport. The trip time and price is comparable to taking a taxi.
Car Rental: Several major car rental companies operate from the airport terminal. Book online in advance to ensure a vehicle is waiting for you on arrival.
An affordable way to get around Christchurch is by bus. You can easily visit most places in the Christchurch area using the local bus. A single zone bus fare is about $4AUD.
Renting a car is the best way to make the most of your time in the South Island, as there is an abundance of picturesque towns and natural attractions within easy driving distance from Christchurch.
Street Art: During the aftermath of the 2011 earthquake, the installation of large-scale artworks brought the community together with their messages of hope and resilience. Now the murals attract visitors from around the globe. Take a stroll around the city to see how many murals you can discover.
Canterbury Museum: This Christchurch museum has a wonderful collection of temporary and permanent exhibits. Don't miss Quake City, the latest permanent installation, that uses personal narratives to tell the story of living in the aftermath of a catastrophic natural disaster.
Christchurch Botanic Gardens: Did you know Christchurch is nicknamed the 'garden city'? You'll soon understand the reason behind the moniker at these lush botanic gardens. Wander through the diverse collection of plants and flowers, enjoy a picnic, or take a scenic punt ride along the Avon River to see Christchurch from a unique perspective.
Cardboard Cathedral: Designed by Japanese architect, Shigeru Ban, this makeshift cathedral was constructed entirely by cardboard tubes and polycarbonate sheeting. Originally designed to be a temporary replacement for the 19th Century Christ Church Cathedral, the cardboard cathedral has now become a permanent fixture in the hearts of Christchurch's population. It's a symbol of endurance and resilience in the face of calamity.
Banks Peninsula: Banks Peninsula is home to the world's smallest (and rarest) dolphin, Hector's dolphin. Endemic to New Zealand, your best chance of seeing this adorable dolphin is on an Akaroa Harbor boat cruise. You'll also encounter fur seals, penguins, sea birds, and phenomenal volcanic cliffs.
Christchurch Gondola: You won't believe the magnificent views from the Christchurch Gondola. The gondola carries you a kilometre to the 500 metre high Port Hills crater rim, where you can enjoy 360-degree views of the Canterbury Plains, the Southern Alps, the city, and beyond.
OGB: This speakeasy-style bar and restaurant is right at home in the historic Old Government Building (hence the name, OGB). It has 1920s glamour, classic cocktails and delectable meals showcasing New Zealand's sublime seafood.
Roots: This award-winning restaurant is THE place in Christchurch to come for a sublime degustation menu. The focus is on fresh and seasonal ingredients, some grown on-site, some foraged, and the rest supplied by the finest organic growers New Zealand has to offer.
Addington Coffee Co-op: This buzzing little cafe is a favourite local brunch spot. The menu focuses on local produce, with free-range eggs from their property, and ethically farmed bacon and house-roasted coffee.
Strawberry Fare: This restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but if there's one meal you can't miss from Strawberry Fare, it's dessert. With over 16 desserts to try, this restaurant warrants multiple visits. Thankfully they have a Chefs tasting plate so that you can try three desserts for the price of one!