Christchurch Arts Festival 2019

The Christchurch Arts Festival is another great reason to visit the Garden City, running from July 26 – August 4.

This event happens every second year, and this year gets to take advantage of the increased number of venues around the city as locations like our beautiful Christchurch Town Hall have re-opened.

Experience art, music, light, food and performance, as these extraordinary artists ‘return home’ to honour their connections to this unique place, and inspire us to explore who we are, where we have come from and our bold new path as a city of transformation and change.

From the free opening extravaganza, to shows, talks, workshops and performances, there’s something for everyone… so don’t miss the chance to find out what’s on and get amongst it!

Tickets for some events have already sold out, so we have included below some of the Festival highlights that still have tickets remaining or don’t require tickets.

Opening Event – Free! A Winter’s Tale and Powhiri

Running across two nights, on Friday July 26 and Saturday July 27, this will be an event not to miss.

From 5pm on Friday 26th the opening pōwhiri (welcoming ceremony), features the traditional call of a kaikaranga – the first voice to be heard will be Matapopore’s very own Aroha Reriti-Crofts – followed by kapa haka group Te Pao a Tahu, who will explore traditional Ngāi Tahu narratives through song.

Then from 6pm on both nights, Oxford Terrace will be transformed as lively Shakespearean scenes are presented by giant puppets, against a backdrop of colour, movement and skyscraping video projections.

The event will be book-ended by two stages, one near the Bridge of Remembrance and the other by the new Riverside complex where six different musical acts will perform throughout the evening.

Along the riverside, roaming amongst the audience and from the balconies of the bars and restaurants lining The Terrace, masked NASDA actors and over-sized puppets will parody scenes from the classic Shakespearean films being projected onto the former Rydges Hotel.

Find out more about this free event via the Facebook Event page. 

Below is a map of the Avon Promenade which is the location for this event. to work out places to park, we suggest you visit the dynamic map on the City Council website here.

Christchurch Promenade map

Wild Dogs Under my Skirt, Tusiata Avia, July 25 – 27

The first night of this compelling show by Christchurch based poet Tusiata Avia is being held at Haeata Community Campus in Aranui, with the remaining two performances at The Piano which is located in Armagh Street (very close to the New Regent Street corner).

This deeply personal, multi-award winning work has delighted, shocked and seduced audiences all around the world.

Based on Avia’s provocative and unapologetic poetry, Wild Dogs is a play that explores power, politics, racism, love, sex, abuse and life between cultures. It’s a celebration of island life, the femininity of a Samoan woman and all its wonderful complexities.

With the support of NZ theatre taonga Victor Rodger as producer and award-winning director Anapela Polata’ivao, this stunning piece has transformed into an all-powerful six-woman show, winning Best Director, Best Production and Best Lighting Design at the recent Wellington Theatre Awards.

Tusiata Avia is a poet, performer and children’s book writer. She has held prestigious writers residencies both here and abroad, and was the 2013 recipient of the Janet Frame Literary Trust Award.

Tickets are $45 (concession) or $50 full price. Book online. 

Manaaki Marketplace, Town Hall Foyer, August 3, free admission

From 10:00am, stalls will offer locally made toi Māori (Māori arts and crafts) including woven kete, pounamu pendants, jewellery and poi. Locally made preserves and delicacies will also be available for purchase – not to mention traditional Māori kai!

Another highlight will be the rongoā (traditional Māori healing) area where two practitioners will be offering mirimiri (traditional Māori massage) and rongoā cosmetics such as balms, creams and oils, crafted from extracts from native plants.

In the rear of the foyer, you’ll find an exhibition of Ngāi Tahu artworks, which includes raranga, jewellery, paintings, carving, prints and sculpture.

The market day will be followed by a hangi which will be cooked through the day and served at 5.30pm and 6.00pm.

 

Wonderful Indoor Winter Activities in Christchurch

We are heading into the winter months, so what is there to do in Christchurch with your family (or without) when the days are shorter and the weather cooler?

Turns out, the answer is plenty!

Movies

EntX movies

Whether you are a local or visiting the city, movies are always a classic for cooler (or wetter days) and the city has some great options. If you are in the central city, head to the mega theatre at EntX (right opposite the Bus Exchange so you can grab a bus right outside the motel and head right into the city without having to find a park). The bottom floor is full of great eateries, so plan to grab lunch or dinner with your movie. See some pics and find out more about this great complex here. 

And of course there are other options for movies too – Northlands Mall, Riccarton Mall, Palms Shopping Centre, Alice’s, The Colombo, The Tannery and Sumner all have options to choose from.

If you are visiting NZ in the winter months, it is worth downloading the Flicks app  for your phone and then you can see all the cinemas and movies currently running, plus book online.

Turanga/Imagination Station

turanga library chch

Christchurch’s new public library is a place to not only make sure you visit, but also somewhere you can return to over and over again with your kids. If they love Lego, they will love the Imagination Station area that will keep them occupied for hours. Plus there’s a giant electronic gaming wall, computers, 3D printing facilities, music recording studios – and of course, books! And onsite are a couple of cafes to keep everyone going while they are full immersed.

Swimming and Gymming

Chch swimming pools

The city has plenty of options to take the kids swimming including the brand new, rebuilt Taiora QEII pool. Currently under construction is the new Metro Sports Facility in the central city which will have full size pool options, but you can also choose from Jellie Park (just down the road from us at Airport Gateway), Pioneer Stadium which has both gym and pool facilities, and the Graham Condon Pool and recreation complex in Papanui (near Northlands Mall).

Bouldering aka Indoor Rock Climbing

One of the popular indoor activities for locals and visitors alike, is indoor rock climbing and these days the two best places in town to get your bouldering skills on are the YMCA and Uprise aka the Bouldering Gym in Woolston.

bouldering at Uprise gym chch

At the Y you can choose between Clip n Climb and their Climbing Wall – either way its a lot of fun and a great way to spend your time.

You can even book the space for a birthday party. Make sure you book ahead.

Trampolining

mega air trampolining

Trampolining is a great way to get the blood pumping and tire out the kids while having lots of fun and Christchurch now has a couple of options to choose from.

Check out Mega Air trampolining arena in Carmen Road and Flip Out Christchurch in Maces Road.

Shopping

The city is full of great places to shop, from the suburban malls (which are all linked by the Orbiter bus route in case you want to visit a few) and the many new shopping locations and brand stores that are springing up within the Christchurch CBD.

The malls closest to us at Airport Gateway are Riccarton’s Westfield Mall in Riccarton Road, and Northlands Mall on Papanui Road (as you head towards the Main North Road).

merivale shopping centre chch

For more boutique options, check out the Tannery in Woolston – worth a visit and you can do lunch and a movie while you are there; Merivale – not just the Mall but up to about 50 shops within easy reach of the mall itself including lots of fashion and a great recycled boutique; Sumner – a pretty seaside suburb with great cafes and bars and an eclectic range of shops to enjoy browsing.

the tannery chch

 

 

Autumn and Winter 2019 Events in Christchurch

As the weather is starting to cool down and a few more rainy days appear on the radar, its time to look ahead at what’s happening in the Garden City over the next few months.

While the recent tragedy has had a serious impact on locals and visitors alike, the Christchurch community is still finding ways to come together and enjoy each other’s company and forms of entertainment that lift spirits all around.

We Will Rock You, 29 March 2019 to 7 April 2019,  Isaac Theatre Royal

we will rock you chch

In the last few decades there has been a trend towards movies and stage musicals based around some of our favourite rock bands and performers, linked into a narrative – Mama Mia, Across the Universe (the Beatles) and mostly recently, NZ’s own Daffodil all come to mind.

And We Will Rock You is of course based on the music of rock super band, Queen.

Imagine a world without rock music under the control of an all-powerful global company and its tyrannical boss, Killer Queen.

Scaramouche and Galileo, two young outsiders, cannot come to terms with this bleak conformist reality. They join rock rebels the Bohemians and embark on the search to find the unlimited power and freedom of rock music.

Since 2002 over 16 million theatre-goers in 28 countries have rocked out to this unique musical based on the songs of Queen. Written by Ben Elton (The Young Ones, Blackadder) this futuristic comedy is based around more than 24 of Queen’s biggest hits including:

We Are The Champions, Radio Ga Ga, I Want To Break Free, Somebody To Love, Killer Queen, Don’t Stop Me Now, Under Pressure, Bohemian Rhapsody and We Will Rock You. This is a night to remember, performed by the talented cast of Showbiz Christchurch. Book your tickets here. 

The Christchurch Food Show, 05 – 07 April 2019, Horncastle Arena

chch food show 2019

The perfect venue for all Christchurch food lovers, The Food Show is where you can try and buy the very best local and international food, wine, beer and so much more! If you love to cook and entertain, The Food Show is the perfect spot to gather inspiration.

Discover recipes and hot tips from top celebrity chefs in the NEFF Cooking Theatre or if you’re looking to find the best deals, don’t look past the incredible show only offers from over 120 exhibitors.

Don’t miss  show features, with something for everyone including Street Food Alley, Cheese Alley, Artisan Village and the Healthy Hub. All demonstrations and feature zones are included free with your entry ticket.

Culinary guest speakers this year include all the favourites – Annabel Langbein and Annabel White, Josh Emmett, Jax Hamilton, Giulio Sturla and Luke Hines.

You can book tickets online right here. And while you’re booking you can also contribute $2 to this year’s charity which is the Christchurch City Mission.

You Are Us Concert, Christchurch Stadium, April 17th

you are us concert christchurch

On Wednesday April 17 in Christchurch the New Zealand music industry comes together to present YOU ARE US/AROHA NUI to raise funds and donate all proceeds from ticket sales to the Our People, Our City fund which was set up by the Christchurch Foundation helping those affected by the Christchurch mosque attacks.

Performers include Lorde, Anika Moa, The Adults, Bailey Wiley, Bic Runga, Dave Dobbyn, The Exponents, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Hollie Smith, Marlon Williams, Shihad, Shapeshifter and Stan Walker, along with many more.

Ticket prices are Adults $79.00 Children (12 years old and under) $39.00.

Tickets are available from Ticketek.

Norah Jones in Concert, April 29, Christchurch Town Hall Auditorium

norah jones

The ‘Come Away With Me’ singer will perform in Christchurch on April 29. This tour will be the pianist/vocalist’s first performances in New Zealand in 14 years.

Jones’ 2002 debut album, Come Away With Me, was a massive global phenomenon, selling over one million copies in Australia alone and 27 million globally.

To date, she has sold over 50 million albums worldwide. From jazz to country, folk, rock and soul, Jones is a singular talent whose work crosses all the boundaries of American music – as evidenced on her chart-topping solo releases.

Tickets to the Christchurch concert are still available here. 

Christchurch Marathon, Queen’s Birthday Weekend, Sunday 2nd June 2019, Christchurch Town Hall

chch marathon

2019 marks the 39th running of the South Island’s favourite foot race.

Inspired by the 1974 Commonwealth Games marathon, the Christchurch Marathon event is renowned as one of the fastest courses in the world and for the first time since 2010, it will be returning to the Town Hall as the location the Start/Finish line, prizegiving and venue for picking up race packs and more.

The Christchurch Marathon is also one of the most scenic and supportive, welcoming all age & ability for a flat, fast and scenic tour around iconic Christchurch landmarks such as Cathedral Square, Hagley Park, the Avon River & the Red Zone.

With a Full Marathon, Half Marathon, 10k & Kids’ Mara’Fun available, there is something for everyone.

You can now submit your race entry online here, and find out more about the event and the course through the website here.

Rewind the Future, Dr Jane Goodall, May 30, Christchurch Town Hall

jane goodall chch 2019

The Jane Goodall Institute New Zealand & Loop  welcome Dr. Jane Goodall back to New Zealand to help us Rewind The Future. Discover how Dr. Goodall and her Institute are helping to rewind the future for planet earth.

Dr. Goodall will speak about devoting her life to making a difference for all, and the power of individual action to enable us to change the course of time.

Through her work and that of her Institute, Dr. Goodall has seen the mounting global crises that we currently face first hand, such as climate change, environmental degradation, poverty, and global conflict. These talks will touch on Dr. Goodall’s incredible life story, along with solutions to these problems to help turn back the clock and create a future where people, animals and the environment live in balance.

Dr. Goodall will be joined by very special guests to be announced, and a presentation from Dr. Goodall herself. Proceeds from each event will go directly to the Jane Goodall Institute New Zealand, assisting the important work they do to help create a better world for people, other animals and our shared planet.

Buy tickets for Dr Goodall talk here.

 

Discovering The Terrace, Christchurch Central

Pre-2011, one of the most popular socialising locations in the inner city was known as The Strip, the row of restaurants, bars and nightclubs that fronted onto the Avon River between Hereford and Cashel Streets.

The Strip, pre 2011

Then of course, the earthquakes happened, and the rebuild of this city block took some time to get underway, based on the vision of local developer Anthony Gough, who was inspired by Melbourne’s laneways to build something more than just a row of concrete boxes.

Fast forward to 2019 and the replacement for The Strip, known as The Terrace is pumping every weekend and evenings throughout the week.

One of the best additions to this riverfront spot post-quake are the deep and wide steps down in front of the The Terrace so people can grab lunch and sit watching the river – and the punts, going by.

On the far side of the river, a perfect location has been created for bands to play, using the river bank as a mini-ampitheatre, and also providing a great hub for the Busker’s Festival currently on in the city.

So what’s on The Terrace?

Kong bar

Claiming to be the best place in Christchurch for cocktails, Kong is on the ground floor in the same building as Fat Eddies on the corner of Oxford Terrace and Hereford St. And alongside the extensive cocktail menu, of course there are plenty of delicious bites to keep you going.

This opulent bar has been designed to reflect the glamour of the 1930’s. They open daily at 5:00pm and stay open till 3:00am.

Kong Bar chch

Terrace Tavern

Another outstanding restaurant/bar from the owners of former Christchurch institution, the Dux De Lux, The Terrace Tavern is the latest Dux adventure on The Terrace – Christchurch’s most exciting hospitality strip.

Terrace Tavern is a relaxed, casual place where you can come to meet your friends, family and colleagues to enjoy drinks and eat together.

As you would expect from any good Taven that lives up to its name, the Terrace Tavern menu includes many robust meals for meat eaters – which is a step outside the norm given the vegetarian/seafood only menus of the old Dux and the Dux Dine restaurant in Riccarton Road.

Like Dux Central and Dux Dine, Terrace Tavern features the Dux beers alongside some more well-known options, while the wine list has a proudly biased Kiwi line-up.

terrace tavern christchurch

Fat Eddies

Fat Eddies is Christchurch’s premiere jazz club with a mighty proud history – and one of the few spots on The Terraces offering live music on a regular basis.

Plus a menu of pizza and bar snacks and an extensive wine list, beer options and a selection of cocktails to keep you going through the night.

This place really gets busy, so get in early to claim your spot if you are planning to spend some time, or simply add it to the list of places to check out in an evening spent on The Terrace.

Fat Eddies The Terrace Christchurch

The Craft Embassy

The Craft Embassy bar christchurch

The Craft Embassy is an award winning bar and restaurant situated on level one of The Terrace at the heart of Christchurch’s hospitality precinct. Their specialty is thirty taps of independent craft beer, plus a wine list including local, New Zealand and international wines and an plenty of food options.

Botanic

Botanic’s unique space brings groups together – a warm balcony overlooking the Avon, a long, clean interior with pockets of bench seating, and a rear rooftop garden bar sheltered by a modern glasshouse.

The menu was inspired by an escape from the heavy pub-fare of yesterday to a selection that is light and healthy yet provides plenty of flavour options.

Botanic’s menu is complemented by the list of refreshing summer cocktails developed by renowned mixologist James Crinson. Or you can pick a glass of vino from their wine list curated by Australian winemaker, David Messum.

The diverse menu and beverages provide the perfect setting for business lunches that could continue into post-work drinks.

botanic christchurch The Terrace

Original Sin

Original Sin is a premium restaurant in the heart of Christchurch City. Guests are invited to indulge in a unique dining experience surrounded by decor designed to capture the Adam and Eve era.

With dark woods, velvet seating and lush interiors this is the perfect venue for dinner bookings, large or small.

Original Sin restaurant christchurch

 

 

What’s New on the Streets of Christchurch?

Electric Scooters (download the iOS app here)

lime scooters chch nz

Over the next three months, anyone moving around Christchurch will have the chance to pick up an electric scooter from Lime and use it to ride to their next destination.

The location of individual scooter is easy to find on the Lime app, and once you have used the scooter you can take a photo of it at the location you have parked and upload back to the app again, ready for the next user. there are hundreds of scooters all over the city during the trial, so look out for them and enjoy a trying a different way to get around the city for a change! They are for use on footpaths only at this stage, so keep a good eye out for pedestrians and ride safely.

Giant Video Games

space raiders arcade game chch
Space Raiders arcade game High Street Christchurch

One of many awesome Gapfiller initiatives around the central city, the Street Arcade on the corner of High Street and Tuam Street (just across the street from Little High Eatery) has been a highlight for many visitors to the city – and locals alike. For a totally unique experience, head on down for a game with a friend or two – use the human size controllers to play a game of Space Raiders, inspired by the original Space Invaders video arcade game.

Gapfiller say this installation won’t be here for ever, so make sure you get down to High Street and try it out – you won’t regret it!

Kahikatea Common

One of the very newest space filler initiatives to open in the city is Kahikatea Common, part of the South Frame and located between the one way streets of Durham and Montreal. The site includes a roofed area, a community pizza oven available for anyone to use, and a Monarch butterfly hatchery.

Creators of this space hope it will encourage groups to use the area and that the community in general will find it somewhere they can connect with others in the central city. And of course, visitors to the city are most welcome!

Kahikatea Common Christchurch
Kahikatea Common Christchurch

Good Spot car parking

good spot carparking chch

If you are planning to drive into the CBD, you might want to try out a different sort of car parking for your visit. You can of course use any of the brand new parking buildings, or you can support the “good sort” car parks run by the Gapfiller team which has their own volunteer parking attendants happy to hold an umbrella while you pay for your parking, always has a happy greeting to share, and you also know that your parking fees go directly towards supporting community group initiatives.

You can find the two car parks right here (set your GPS):

GOOD SPOT Bedford – 107 Lichfield St, Christchurch
GOOD SPOT Civic – 192 Gloucester St, Christchurch

 

Events in Christchurch November and December 2018

Festa 2016

As we head into the warmer months, the events and activities on around Christchurch start to rapidly grow in number, kicking off with the upcoming Labour Weekend festivities.

FESTA events, Labour Weekend

This year will be the third FESTA event and the focus this year is on food and family.

Architecture and design students from around New Zealand and Australia have been working on interactive installations that will be located around the central city and there’s also a programme of events running from Friday October 19th through to Monday 22nd (Labour Day).

The highlight of the event will be held on Saturday night (postponed to Sunday if it rains) and is called FEASTA! A giant free street party for people of all ages including the lit up installations, food stalls, entertainment and much more.

Check out the FESTA website for more details about the Saturday night event and the other 50+ events and activities happening over the long weekend.

Guy Fawkes, 2 November, New Brighton

Guy-Fawkes-2018 Chch

Produced by the Christchurch City Council, this year’s event will deliver a pyrotechnic display set to Anthems of Rock.

So make tracks with your whole family to New Brighton Mall from 6pm for local food options and then to your choice of viewing location.  Most of all, open your eyes and look up to the skies from 9pm for a spectacular fireworks finale on the Pier!

This is always a busy event so plan your travel in advance – parking options are limited so if aim to share a ride, use public transport, or park at a friend’s place. Road closure information is right here on the CCC website.

Viewing locations

  • Central New Brighton either side of the Pier through our sound system.
  • North Beach Surf Life Saving Club.
  • South Beach Surf Life Saving Club.
  • The hills around Pegasus Bay.  Don’t forget to listen to the More FM broadcast by Lana and JMac on 92.1FM!

Note that this event is an alcohol-free zone.

SCAPE Public Art 20 Years, ending November 17

It’s been 20 years  since SCAPE Public Art began to revolutionise the open spaces of Ōtautahi Christchurch.

The Season 2018 is a chance to celebrate the 216 temporary artworks that have popped up during our Seasons and the 14 permanent artworks contributed to Christchurch over the years.

Managing Curator, Heather Galbraith has developed a programme that draws together different strands from SCAPE’s history, integrating past works, and looks toward the future with new and existing works contemplating our relationships to land, sea, language, cultural and political agency and expression, how histories are told and retold, the built environment, and even the cosmos – Our Braided Future being the theme for the Season.

If you’re interested in checking out what the SCAPE event has in store for 2018, check out the programme here.

Cup and Show Week, 10 – 17 November

Running from 10-17 November 2018, this popular annual event brings together Addington Raceway’s Christchurch Casino New Zealand Trotting Cup Day, the New Zealand Cup Meeting at Riccarton Park and the New Zealand Agricultural Show.

Highlights this year will include a new spring garden experience in the surrounds of Riccarton Park, fashion and entertainment at Addington Raceway and the opportunity to combine family fun with innovative agribusiness at the NZ Agricultural Show.

And  if all of the above isn’t enough inspiration – check out these incredible sheep that will be on show for the first time! the Valais Blacknose will be a highlight for lots of families at this year’s event.

South Island Wine and Food Festival, Hagley Park, 1 December 2018 

Celebrate with 80 of the South Island’s leading winemakers and food producers in the picturesque North Hagley Park.

40 wineries are joined by the region’s biggest names in food – local restaurateurs, gourmet food producers and street food stalls complement the range of wines on show.

This popular annual Festival includes interactive wine seminars & workshops hosted by Masters of Wine and sommeliers from New Zealand and overseas.

Don’t miss the Cooking Theatre, where you’ll be treated to live demonstrations from Kiwi chefs – or kick back and enjoy live music talent onstage amongst the trees.

It’s usually a beautiful sunny day for this event, so be well prepared (and well hydrated) with hats, sunscreen and something to sit and relax on.

Tickets are still available for the various options and start from $53 per person plus booking fees for entry. General Admission on the day at the gate is $55.00 but numbers may be limited depending on pre-sales.

 

The Breeze Walking Festival – Saturday September 29 – Sunday 14 October 2018

Perfectly timed for the school holidays and with lots of family and kid friendly options included, the annual Breeze Walking Festival kicks off very soon.

With over 50 walks to choose from there is something for all ages and abilities.

From child-friendly strolls and energetic treks, to informative ambles through the central city, the organisers have catered for all interests and ages.

The various events cover Christchurch, Waimakariri and Selwyn District, so no matter where you are or where you would like to explore, there are plenty of options. The walks have been designed to appeal to those wanting to embrace nature, culture, the arts, history and new developments around our city.

If you don’t live in Christchurch, check out in particular the inner city walks that will give you some insights into the new CBD – exploring the changes that have taken place over the last eight years.

The full programme of events can be found here but we have included some of the highlights below to give you a taste of what’s on offer.

Most of the events are free and they are also marked to indicate if they are child or family friendly. Note that some of the events do require you to book in advance that you will be participating.

Discover Your Emerging South Frame on Foot, 29 September, 11am to 12.30pm

Explore the newly emerging South Frame on foot, including all four of the new gathering places dotted along Te Ara Pū Hā: The South Frame.

From Kahikatea Common at the Health Precinct end. Take away a scavenger hunt created by kids for kids, which you can use to help share your newly learned stories about this walk.

Meet on footpath near Wilsons Carpark, 96 Tuam Street, Christchurch Central

Postponement date: Sunday 30 September 2018.

Grade: Easy – flat terrain 30 to 60 minutes.

Suitable for: Children in pushchairs/buggies and people using wheelchairs.

Can cater for dogs (on a leash at all times).

Bookings required: Call 03 357 6300.

Dogs Day Out, Ferrymead Heritage Park, 30 September, 10.30am – 2.30pm 

This will be a great day for families, children and the household dog/s! Combine a guided scenic walk with all the fun activities Ferrymead has to offer, including tram rides, free micro chipping for Christchurch registered dogs, and lots of treats for dog lovers of all ages.

Bring your own picnic, and light refreshments will also be for sale.

Dogs must be on a leash at all times.

Meet at the Ferrymead car park (first right off Ferrymead Park Drive, off Bridle Path Road, Heathcote).

Grade: Easy to flat terrain, 30 to 60 minutes.

Pre-schoolers are free. Children aged 16 years and under $2, adults $5 (please bring cash, no eftpos available). No bookings required.

Cancelled if wet.

Hidden Gems – Discover Otautahi City Centre, 30 September, 1 October, 6 October

This is a great one to enjoy, especially if you haven’t spent a lot of time exploring the new inner city of Christchurch.

Travelling by foot, weave through the central city exploring and learning as you go. We will share tales of the old, the new and the bold and bring to life many of our hometown’s hidden secrets.

Time of day: 1pm – 2.30pm on Sunday September 30, 9.30am – 11am on October 1 and 6.

Postponement: Cancelled if raining.

Grade: Easy – flat terrain 30 to 60 minutes.

Suitable for: Children in pushchairs/buggies and people using wheelchairs.

Starts from the Godley Statue in Cathedral Square.

Going on a Bear Hunt, October 2, 1 – 2pm and 2 – 3pm, Walter Park Playground, Hills Road, Mairehau

Bring the children down to the park for a swishy swashy, splashy, sploshy, squelchy, muddy, experience. Great outing for the younger walkers and their families. Gumboots essential.

Grade: Easy – flat terrain 30 to 60 minutes.

Suitable for: Children in pushchairs/buggies and people using wheelchairs.

Cancelled if wet.

Dunes at Dawn October 6, 6.30am – 7.30am

Join your fellow walkers for a stunning walk watching the sunrise over New Brighton Beach.

Heading north along the dunes and back along the beach, watch the sunrise over the sea with stunning views of the Kaikoura ranges, Brighton Pier and the Port Hills!

Why not arrange to finish your walk with brunch at the Beach Cafe or Salt cafe at the Pier.

Postponement date: Cancelled if raining.

Grade: Easy – medium, mixed terrain one to two hours.

Can cater for dogs (on a leash at all times).

Meet at New Brighton Clock Tower, Marine Parade.

 

What’s Happening in Christchurch Spring 2018?

With the next set of school holidays not much more than a month away, Spring weather inspiring us to get outdoors and enjoy the sunshine and spring blossoms, what’s in store around Christchurch in terms of events and happenings over the next two or three months?

Plenty it seems! We’ve included a selection of events in this blog for you to mark in your calendar and plan a trip to the city around, or simply enjoy attending if you happen to already be living in Christchurch.

Bill Bailey, Horncastle Arena, Addington Saturday 22 September

After his 2016 sell-out tour, Larks in Transit, the UK’s very own straggle-haired polymath, Bill Bailey, returns to New Zealand with his new comedy and music extravaganza, Earl of Whimsy.

It has Bill’s trademark blend of satire and surrealism, stories and dismantled jokes, crowd sing-alongs, weird instruments and musical showstoppers.

But there’s a distinctly historical feel to this show. With its tales of Britain’s fortunes past and present, of ancient Viking battles, of Shakespeare’s contribution to comedy, and Bill’s own ancestry, this is both a mockery and a celebration of national identity.

If you are a Bill Bailey fan and you haven’t already booked for this show, there are still tickets left so it’s not too late!

bill bailey tour

New Zealand Theatre Month – September 2018

New Zealand Theatre Month is for everyone who loves theatre, for audiences and supporters as well as theatre makers, educators and other creatives.

With the generous support of both Christchurch City Council and ASB the Isaac Theatre Royal has put together a full programme of events within the festival, as well as developing a city-wide brochure highlighting the multitude of NZ Theatre Month shows and events being presented throughout Christchurch.

Check out the Isaac Theatre Royal website for information about the shows and events that are happening across September as part of NZ Theatre Month.

nz theatre month

Les Miserables, Isaac Theatre Royal, September 14 – October 6 2018

This is a new production of Boublil and Schönberg’s Les Misérables at the Isaac Theatre Royal – the perfect setting for this classic musical based on the book by Victor Hugo.

The epic tale of broken dreams, passion and redemption set against a nation in the throes of revolution.

Winner of over 100 international awards and seen by over 65 million people worldwide, Les Misérables is an epic and uplifting story about the survival of the human spirit.

This Showbiz production will be directed by Stephen Robertson with musical direction by Richard Marrett.

Tickets start from $60 (includes GST, Ticketek Service Fee and a $2.50 ITR Heritage Levy)

Ferrymead Heritage Park Night Market, October 6, 5pm – 9pm

This night market runs monthly on the first Saturday of each month and is a great evening for all ages. Entry is by a gold coin at the door.

Take the night off cooking and come a get something delicious to eat at one of the food vendors. Craft stalls, bouncy castle – candy floss and snow cones, face painting and music.

Have a Twilight ride on the Vulcan railcar or a ride on the tram – only $2 a ride. It will run from 5pm to 9pm October to May and 4pm to 8pm April to September.

Check out the Ferrymead Night Market Facebook page for updates.

Ferrymead night market

FESTA 2018: A Public Festival of Architecture, Design and Food, Labour Weekend (October 19 – 22), Central City, St Asaph Street

The biennial FESTA event has been happening since post quake Christchurch started getting back on its feet and brings life into the central city, intertwining entertainment with art and interactive architectural installations.

This year’s theme explores the connections between food and the city through workshops, talks, pop-up projects, meals, family events, tours, live performance, artworks and more.

These take place at various venues across the city over the course of the weekend, beginning on Friday morning (19 October) and ending Monday night (22 October).

FEASTA! is this year’s headline event – Christchurch’s biggest and brightest street party. This public feast of architecture, community and food is free and open to all.

On Saturday 20 October artists, musicians, community groups, businesses, over one hundred architecture students from across Australasia, and design and architecture professionals will come together to create a spectacular celebration of food and city-making, live for one night only (rain date 21 October).

Check the festa website for more information on all the events and activities happening across Labour Weekend. This event is really worth planning a trip to Christchurch around!

Festa 2014

Cup and Show Week, 10 – 17 November 2018

Of course one of the big drawcards bringing people to Christchurch is the annual Cup and Show week, which is focused around Canterbury’s Show Weekend public holiday.

If you are planning to get into the city to enjoy the events from the annual New Zealand Agricultural Show (formerly the A & P Show), through to the horse and greyhound races at Addington and Riccarton Racecourse, and Fashion in the Field, check out what’s in store this year right here.

We recommend you get onto our site to book your accommodation well ahead of time, as Cup and Show Week is always very busy.

cup and show week 2018

 

Things to Do with Kids in Christchurch

Finding affordable ways to keep your family entertained during a trip to Christchurch can make or break a holiday to the Garden City, so we have put together some of the things we recommend you do with your children around Christchurch.

We also love having families come to stay with us at the Airport Gateway, so don’t hesitate to talk to our friendly reception team about the best options for your stay – we have spacious rooms and plenty of multi bedroom options with self-catering kitchens to fit the whole gang.

Christchurch City Library, aka Turanga

Due to open on October 19, 2018 this is going to be a pretty extraordinary library. Of course it will be the most modern in the Southern Hemisphere and one of the largest in the country as well. Lots of things to do and explore in addition to the books.

The entire library is a digital hub supported by a variety of high-tech features including virtual reality headsets, gaming consoles, laser cutters, digital walls, 3D printers and an interactive touchscreen sharing the history of Canterbury.

Taiora QEII Pool and Hydroslide

(backed up by Pioneer Stadium and Jellie Park if you want something on our side of town)

If your family enjoy spending time in the water, check out the brand new QEII pool and hydroslide built on the old site on Travis Road out towards New Brighton. Not quite as big as its predecessor, this is still a great place to spend time with the family. Note the hydroslide is only open for children over 5 years and taller than 107cm.

The complex includes –

  • 25×25 metre lap pool, two-metre deep with movable floor
  • 25×10 metre learn to swim pool
  • 130-metre-long hydroslide, suitable for double and single rafts
  • Leisure pool including a lazy river
  • Splash deck with water adventure playground
  • Spa pool, sauna and steam room (access only for ages 16+)
  • 8×8 metre toddler pool
  • 19×6.5 metre hydrotherapy pool.
Imagination Station

This is always a great option if your kids (and you) enjoy Lego. You can make any kind of creation you can imagine at the Imagination Station, which is located behind Christchurch Cathedral in Cathedral Junction. Which is right alongside the Tram Track, so for a double whammy catch the tram and do a few circuits around the city, then jump off at Imagination Station for some fun.

They have some classes coming up just in time for the October School Holidays too, so get online and book if you are planning to be in the city.

Nearby there are plenty of places to eat and drink in case the team gets hungry.

Margaret Mahy Playground

margaret mahy playground christchurch nz

The Margaret Mahy Family playground is proving popular with kids of all ages – and at all times of day and night it seems, with plenty of the activities suitable for anyone from the very small to the fully grown!

Again this is free and you can stay and play as long as you like. There are usually several food and drink vendors located at the side of the park, and  you are also an easy walk from New Regent Street which has a number of great cafes and restaurants if you want to sit down and enjoy a meal or a coffee (or some Rollicking Gelato!)

New Brighton Beach Pier and Playground

The Pier has recently been fully restored following the earthquakes so is a great place to go for a wander to enjoy the views or take your kids fishing if they are keen.

The New Brighton Library building is your entry point so you can always combine a library visit with a walk on the pier, and there are cafes built into the Library as well, so all your needs are covered.

Nearby is the Brighton Playground which has also been given a new lease of life, including the famous whale paddling pool. There’s a large carpark right next door and of course you can also get access to Brighton Beach to go exploring or enjoy a swim when the weather is warmer.

If you are around the city over the summer months, look out for the Kite Day down at New Brighton Beach as this is always worth heading along to. Some amazing kites of all sizes will be flying, plus there is food and entertainment on offer.

Bike Riding Parks for Kids

These are a cool creation and a wonderful safe way to take your children out riding their bikes and learning some onroad skills – without actually being on the road. Even better, these parks are completely free!

Westburn Reserve is just a few blocks away from us in Burnside and the new Knights Stream bike skills park is in Richmond Ave, Halswell.

Right next to the bike area in Knight’s Stream is a skate park, and a half basketball court, so there are lots of options to keep the family occupied.

Roll With It Pump Track, and the Kyle Park BMX Track

For more skateboarding and biking fun, check out the Roll with It pump track in the centre of Christchurch, which is perfect for younger kids who want a manageable amount of adventure. This is a GapFiller project and is right in the heart of the city. Head to Mollet Street, between St Asaph and Tuam (just a block away from the bus exchange). And did we mention it is free?

Kyle Park is a bigger BMX track located in Hornby, with all the facilities you would expect from a city BMX club. There is a membership fee to join and use the track, although the first few visits are usually free. Get in touch with the club through their website to find out more.

 

What’s New in Christchurch?

As the city continues to rebuild, new projects, buildings and businesses are popping up all over the place.

Christchurch Central Library, Turanga

Very close to completion now are the brand new Christchurch Central Library, called Turanga which is located on the edge of Cathedral Square opposite the now under construction Convention Centre.

The five storey library will be the largest in the South Island and is due to open in October 2018. It will feature up to 100 computers, an innovation zone for trialling new technology, 3D and laser printers, music, film and video editing studios, two roof terraces and accessible balconies, a playground, a cafe and more than 175,000 books.

Hoyts Central, Colombo Street opposite the Bus Interchange

Right in the heart of the city, the newest and most innovative movie theatre complex in the South Island is also nearing completion, and has a September completion date. It marks the return of the cinema chain to central Christchurch following the demolition of their 8 screen Moorhouse Avenue complex in 2012.

The seven-screen complex will have a food precinct on the ground floor with 17 dining outlets, two very large cinema screens and two screens featuring luxury seating and food-and-drink service. Every seat will have a recliner style chair.

Nando’s, Joe’s Garage and Auckland gastropub Cleaver & Co will be among the restaurants in the emporium area of the complex. The food offering would be similar to the popular Little High eatery on St Asaph St, which has a variety of food outlets opening out onto a central indoor seating area.

Te Ara Ōtākaro Avon River Trail

For those who are interested in exploring the city and like to get in some exercise at the same time, the new Te Ara Otakaro Avon River trail has recently been completed. This is a pathway that is suitable for pedestrians or cyclists and winds from the central city through the residential Red Zone and out to Pages Road, which isn’t far from the coast.

More info and a map are on the Christchurch City Council site here.

The Arts Centre of Christchurch

The Arts Centre of Christchurch has been a wonderful drawcard for Christchurch over the years and has now had more than half it’s buildings brought back to life in an extensive post-quake restoration project. Among other things it is home to numerous retailers, restaurants/cafes, the University of Canterbury’s School of Music and Teece Museum of Antiquities, Rutherford’s Den and much more.

Check out what events and activities are on year round through the Arts Centre website.

One of the highlights coming up very soon is the Botanic Garden D’Lights which this year will be including part of the Arts Centre in the interactive displays. Find out more here.

 

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