Things to do in Christchurch

There are plenty of things to do in the local area.  Park up your campervan and make this your base for adventuring around Christchurch and Greater Canterbury area.  You'll be amazed at what the area has to offer

Our top things to do in Christchurch

Christchurch Adventure Park

If adventure is your thing then a visit to the Christchurch Adventure Park is a must. It has the highest and longest ziplines in New Zealand.  Not only does the chairlift take you to the top to zipline back down, but it also transports mountain bikers up the hill so they can descend and tackle the various mountain bike trails that the park has to offer - from green runs for beginners through to double black runs for experts.

The park is not just for adrenalin junkies but great for relaxing, the cafe serves great food and drink for lunch and evening meals.  And for those that want to burn off a few calories there are walking trails too - and if you walk all the way to the top of the park you can get a free ride down the chairlift to the base.

Sumner Beach

Sumner is a funky beach side suburb about 20 minutes east of the central city.  It's a great beach for a stroll, or if the weather is warm, a swim!  There is a surf club at Sumner that provides lifeguards, so if you go for a dip make sure you stay safe and swim between the flags.

There are plenty of cafes and restaurants in the area as well, a great spot to grab a coffee on the go, or stay longer for a meal in one of the local eateries.

TranzAlpine Train from Christchurch to the West Coast of New Zealand

TranzAlpine Train

Embark on a breathtaking odyssey through New Zealand's South Island aboard the TranzAlpine train. Traverse majestic landscapes of snow-capped mountains, lush forests, and serene lakes as the train winds its way from Christchurch to Greymouth.

The journey covers 223 kilometres and takes just under 5 hours each way returning the same day.

The train departs from Christchurch Railway Station, Troupe Drive, Addington, 8011.

Read our guide on campervan parking for the TranzAlpine train

Walking at Godley Head

Further on from the suburb of Sumner and up Evans Pass you'll find Godley Head, a large headland area that has a range of walking tracks to explore.  As well as walkers the area appeals to paragliders who use the large hillside area to take off.

The area also features old military gun embankments that date back to the 2nd World War.

City Tram Tour

Why not sight see your way around the city by tram!  Christchurch tram tours depart from Cathedral Junction not far from Cathedral Square.  The tour lasts about 50 minutes and takes in the key sights of the city.

The drivers provide commentary throughout the journey helping you to get to know Christchurch a bit better.  There is also an evening dining option available. 

Punting on the Avon

If you thought the sound of a tram tour was relaxing wait until you check out Punting on the Avon.

The Avon River runs through central Christchurch and is your host for your punting experience.  The punts accomodate a whole family and kids under 5 are free, so this is a pretty good value excursion. 

Christchurch Botanical Gardens

Just to the west of the city centre are the Christchurch Botanic Gardens, a haven for both native and exotic plants and flora.  There is a visitor centre on site which is a great starting point to explore what the gardens have to offer.

There are vartious walking routes through the gardens that allow you to take in the many species housed at the gardens.  The gardens also hosts a number of events and family activities throughout the year.  Visit the Botanic Gardens website for more information and to plan your visit 

Quake City

Rock and Roll!!! A truely unique attraction Christchurch's Quake City is an interactive experience that explores and brings to life New Zealand's unique geological make up and the impact on the city and it's residents that the 2010-2011 Canterbury earthquakes had.

It's a sobering encounter that will give you thought to those impacted by the quakes and a strong understanding of the power that mother nature unleshed on Canterbury residents.  A must do for those of all ages. 

Riverside Market

Riverside is a relatively new development.  It's an indoor market consisting of market stalls but linked to restaurants, cafes, bars and retail outlets.

Riverside is a great place to discover some of the artisan vendors of Christchurch and what they have to offer.  Be prepared to spend more time here than you think as you explore the corridors of the market and what it has to offer. 

Christchurch Gondola

Just outtside of the city at the Heathcote Valley is the Christchurch Gondola.  The Gondola will transport you to the top of the Port Hills for uninterupted stunning views of the city, Lyttleton Harbour and beyond.

At the top of the gondola are a number of walking tracks that allow you to explore further.  And if you work up an apetite you can also grab a bite to eat at the Red Rock Cafe.

International Antarctic Centre

Did you know that Christchurch is the primary departure point for Antarctica?  Christchurch really is a Forward Operating Base for the international Antarctic community, it's also home to the Inernational Antarctic Centre.

Located by the airport the IAC allows you to get a taste for the Antarctic without making the arduous trip south!  You can take a ride in a Hagglund all terrain vehicle and experience Antarctic weather conditions inside the storm dome.  Great fun and really educational.