Ōtautahi Christchurch is the city of exploration, a refreshing urban centre full of new secrets to discover. And if you haven’t visited in a while, you’re in for a surprise.
The city, regarded as ‘the newest city in the world’, has been through some massive changes in the past few years.
Now New Zealand has thrown open its doors to all visitors, it’s time to discover Christchurch’s secrets for yourself.
So let’s take a look at why you should put your discovery hat on and hop across the Tasman to check out this epic destination. Don’t forget New Zealand is ideal for campervan (motorhome: R.V.) travel. See our campervan touring stories.
- You’ll find where the old and new worlds meet
Christchurch is a destination that is constantly evolving, always giving locals and visitors something new to explore.
The central city is filled with modern, cutting-edge architecture alongside some of the oldest buildings in New Zealand. The Avon River intersects the city, bringing a natural landscape to the urban environment.
Expect street art and innovative projects, a bustling hospitality scene and established green spaces. This is a thriving metropolis that delivers on the best of modern and ye olde times.
- It’s the basecamp for exploration of the Central South Island
When it comes to New Zealand’s South Island, Queenstown often hogs the limelight.
But Christchurch deserves its own spotlight – as it’s the Everest base camp equivalent for exploring the diverse and vibrant Canterbury and West Coast regions.
From the snow-capped mountains of Mt Hutt to Kaikoura, New Zealand’s leading eco-tourism destination with an amazing variety of marine and birdlife set along a dramatic coastline, through to the towering mountains and crashing seas of the rugged West Coast, Christchurch has you covered.
- Love the snow? Award-winning Mt Hutt is waiting
Ready to hit the slopes? We’ve got good news… Mt Hutt has been voted New Zealand’s best ski resort seven years running at the World Ski Awards.
A true alpine experience, with wide-open terrain, leg-burning runs, monster snowfalls, and spectacular views.
The quality of skiing is world-class and the prices are attractive. The closest town to the mountain is Methven, and it’s considerably more affordable than some of the other more popular South Island ski resorts.
We’re not lying when we say you’ve not skied in New Zealand until you’ve skied
- A taste of France is nearby
Dreaming of the tastes of Europe? A sucker for historic buildings and magnificent harbours? Jump in the car and head south-east of Christchurch. You’ll soon find Akaroa, the most French town in New Zealand.
The quaint town sits on the Banks Peninsula, located on the southeast side of the deep, sheltered Akaroa Harbour.
Visit local restaurants with their focus on French cuisine and head along to Barrys Bay Cheese, where they’ve persevered with original methods for over a century. Or take a self-guided walk to see historic cottages.
Sound good? Oui oui!
- Spectacular wildlife is abundant
Three hours north of Christchurch is Kaikōura, one of New Zealand’s leading eco-tourism destinations. This is a place where rugged mountains meet the sea, wildlife is accessible and abundant, and adventures await.
Kaikōura’s environment is truly spectacular – the village is caught between the rugged Seaward Kaikōura Range and the Pacific Ocean.
This environment makes Kaikōura the perfect base for wildlife experiences of all kinds and is also a great place to eat crayfish (in the Māori language ‘kai’ means food, ‘kōura’ means crayfish).
Kaikōura’s special talent is marine mammal encounters – whales, fur seals and dolphins live permanently in the coastal waters. Whale watching trips leave the town several times a day and the local seal colony is always entertaining.
So, are you ready to pack your bags and head to Christchurch?