Photo Credit: Daniel Pietzsch

Known as the ‘Land of the Long White Cloud’, New Zealand is a wonderful place to holiday – and the city of Christchurch is your gateway to an amazing Kiwi experience!

1. Ride the Christchurch Tramway

This historical Tramway is one of Christchurch’s prime attractions and a ride will take you through some of the city’s most notable glorious spots, like the Avon River and the Botanic Gardens. From 2014, the Tram Restaurant  will also be back in operation and offers travellers the opportunity to enjoy an exquisite dinner while journeying through the nighttime Christchurch streets.

2. Have a Punt on the Avon

Punting on the Avon is a luxurious must for any traveller keen on making the most of Christchurch. A small fee will have you relaxing back on your own boat with your own hat-wearing punter as you are taken on a picturesque tour along the iconic Avon River.

3. Eat at the Farmer’s Market

The Christchurch Farmer’s market at Riccarton House is held every Saturday morning and is a fantastic way to indulge in some of the freshest produce in the region. You can buy breads, fruit, honey, jams, pastries, meats, chocolate, pasta and wine – just to name a few!

4. Go Whale or Dolphin Watching

Whales and dolphins love hanging out in the southern New Zealand waters and there are a range of daytime and overnight cruises available from or near Christchurch (such as at Lyttleton) that allow you to get up close and personal with these incredible marine mammals. Fancy a swim? Swimming with dolphins is also possible a little further south (about 1 hour) at Akaroa Harbour.

5. Soar High On a Gondola

A wonderful tourist attraction, the Gondola (also known as a Cable Car) will take you to extreme heights above the city, where you’ll be able to enjoy spectacular views of Christchurch and its surrounding mountains and waterscapes. At the Summit station, travellers can also take a tour through the history of Christchurch in the ‘Time Tunnel’ and even indulge in a spot of souvenir shopping.

6. Visit the Christchurch Botanic Gardens

It’s been around since 1863 and it is beautiful! Set in the heart of the city, the Botanic Gardens draw more than 1.1 million visitors each year and make for a tranquil day of relaxing and wandering. You are welcome to take yourself on a walking tour here or you can indulge in a guided tour or a tour on the electric Caterpillar shuttle! Learn more here – http://www.ccc.govt.nz

7. Experience Maori Culture at Ko Tane

The Ko Tane Living Maori Village is situated in the Willowbank Wildlife Reserve, right at the northern end of Christchurch. Visitors to Ko Tane will be given an amazing glimpse into the Maori story, culture and way of life: you can participate in a Haka or Poi dance performance, enjoy a traditional Hangi meal and visit a replica Maori village. If you’ve got some extra time, don’t forget to check out the infamous New Zealand kiwi birds in the surrounding wildlife park!

8. Chug Away on the TranzAlpine

Stretching from Christchurch to Greymouth, the New Zealand TranzAlpine is one of the most captivating train journeys in the world. The ride will take you through the gorgeous Canterbury wilderness, where you’ll be able to view the Waimakariri River and the snow-capped Southern Alps. If you are visiting Christchurch, this is definitely a train experience you won’t want to miss!

Further Tips for a Great Christchurch Holiday

  • Grab a Metrocard when you arrive; this can make travelling around the city much easier and more affordabl
  • Pack warm clothes, particularly if you’re embarking on a cruise or planning to take a trip up high, such as on the Christchurch Gondola
  • Don’t forget to organise travel insurance that covers you for any activities/sports you’ll be indulging in. Some travel insurance companies automatically include cover for a range of sports and activities. So checkout providers like www.insureandgo.com.au to see if your activity is included or simply compare different options to find the one that suits you.
  • Almost everyone in Christchurch is friendly and welcoming, so if you get stuck or need some tourist-ish advice, just ask!