Your Complete Guide to Christchurch
Dubbed the Garden City, Christchurch is a fascinating city and a must see for your travels in New Zealand’s South Island. After a city flattening earthquake in 2011, Christchurch has fought its way out of the rubble to rebuild a resilient city, creating a stunning juxtaposed mix of old and new. It bursts with character and offers its many tourists touching memorials, wonderful dining, excellent shopping and high quality, sometimes quirky, accommodation.
Take your rental car for a spin in Christchurch’s downtown core and you’ll see that it is being rebuilt with the future in mind. It’s a world class city with a buzz which is well balanced by the oasis created by the Avon River snaking its way through the city. Spend a few days in Christchurch and you won’t be able to deny the charm of NZ’s third biggest city.
A trip to the Garden City isn’t complete without a stroll through the stunning Christchurch Botanic Gardens. Established in 1863, the centrally located Gardens will turn anyone into a nature lover with its impressive collection of native and foreign plants.
An iconic fixture within the city is the Christchurch Tram. Hop out of your car hire and onto the tram to hear from a local how the city has grown, developed and adapted over the years. The trams go past popular spots like New Regent Street and the innovative Cardboard Cathedral.
Take a half hour punting trip down the Avon River and get transported to Christchurch’s Old English ancestry. This relaxing central city tour will put you at ease while teaching you about the city’s past while letting you take in the sights.
Dining Out in Christchurch
For a delicious and intimate dinner, drive your rental car to Twenty Seven Steps on New Regent Street – but be sure to book ahead. Passionate about good food, good wine and good service, the team at serves European fare with a Kiwi flare every day of the week.
Fiddlesticks Restaurant and Bar gives diners the chance to relax, dine and people-watch within the city’s Arts Precinct. Between the beautiful courtyard, outdoor fire and the well plated, flavourful dishes, this restaurant is the perfect place to slow down and enjoy good food in the company of friends.
For lunch or dinner on the go, drive that car hire past the famous Dimitris Greek Food. Locals and tourists alike have discovered their delicious and hearty souvlaki, available on both Riccarton Road and in Restart Mall on Cashel Street.
Accommodation in Christchurch
With plenty of tourists to cater for each year, Christchurch has a wide range of accommodation options often with a parking space for your rental car. Major hotel chains and independent motels, quaint BnBs and quirky hostels are among the many choices available when booking a place to stay.
If you are after inner city luxury, try The George on Park Terrace. The George is an indulgent boutique hotel that boasts a one-to-one ratio between guests and staff. It has wonderful facilities, views of Hagley Park and the Avon River and two award-winning onsite restaurants.
For an affordable and distinctive hotel right in the city try BreakFree on Cashel. This innovative hotel boasts good prices, funky rooms and an unbelievable location right in the heart of the city.
Backpackers looking for something a little different can stay in the Jailhouse Backpackers – an actual prison converted into a hostel. If you have a car rental to get into town, this award-winning hostel situated in Addington offers a unique experience.
Interested in hearing more about the 2011 earthquake that changed the lives of all Cantabrians for good? Visit one of many touching memorials around the city, like the Memorial Wall on Oxford Street next to the Avon River, with the names of every lost life inscribed on the wall. Another touching tribute is 185 Empty White Chairs on the corner of Cashel and Madras Street. Visit the Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial to learn more about the tragic event.