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.


Mountainbiking in the Garden City

Christchurch Adventure Park

One of the outdoor activities Christchurch has become well known for is mountainbiking, especially since the opening of the spectacular Christchurch Adventure Park.

The unfortunate fire on Christchurch’s Port Hills last year meant the Park had to close for a while to rebuild, but it’s back up and running again now and attracting mountainbikers from around the globe.

If you’re keen to visit Christchurch and make the most of the trails around the Port Hills and within the Park itself, we can pick you and your bike up from the Airport (we’re just 5 minutes drive away), store your gear and even organise a shuttle up to the Park itself if you need it.

The trails in the park on the whole are not for the fainthearted, and the chair lift to the top makes sure you get the best experience – plus the best views on your way down.

Despite that, you can also take the younger bikers in your family up there and know they will be well catered for.

Views from the 1.8km long chairlift across the Canterbury Plains to the Southern Alps and the coast are simply spectacular and there is really no better vantage point on a sunny day, any time of year. (If you’re not a mountainbiker you can simply buy the sightseeing pass and enjoy the ride and the views).

Elsewhere on the Port Hills, there are plenty of additional tracks that you can ride at no cost – apart from a few spare parts and tyres perhaps!

Check out some of these while you are in town:

Mountainbike tracks on the Port Hills – different grades 

Ratings for mountain bike trails in Christchurch 

Canterbury Adventure Park



NZ Ski Season 2019 is at hand!

One of the wonderful things about Christchurch in the winter is our close proximity to New Zealand’s best ski areas – including Mt Hutt which has the longest ski season in Australasia and is the largest ski area in New Zealand.

And even better, from right here at the Airport Gateway, you are just 1 hour and 43 minutes drive away from our doorstep to being on the ski field, ready to go!

As well as the stunning vista of the Canterbury Plains you can enjoy on a good day at Hutt, there’s also a great selection of runs to choose from – from the challenging to the beginner and everything in between.

This video of Mt Hutt from the 2017 season (Filmed by Blackbird NZ) shows some of the most stunning experiences you can have on this mountain.

Season passes are still available at great prices and the mountain is due to open on June 8th, 2018.

As well as Hutt, you can also use Christchurch as your base to head off to Porters Pass (just 1 hour 16 minutes from here), Mt Cheeseman and if you want to venture a little further afield, Round Hill at Lake Tekapo, Mt Dobson just past Fairlie and Fox Peak this side of Fairlie are all options.

Cheeseman and Fox are both club fields, so would suit more experienced skiers who don’t mind using  an old school nutcracker tow to get up the mountain.

In the meantime, get your flights and Christchurch accommodation booked in good time to make sure you don’t miss out!



10 Great Reasons to Holiday in Christchurch, New Zealand

You might have taken Christchurch off your holiday destination list for a while –  and yes, since the quakes things have been a little messed up, that’s for sure.

But it’s been more than six years since the worst of that happened, and the city has been rebuilding and recreating itself throughout that time.

With the exception of a few standouts where nothing appears to have happened (sssh Cathedral), progress throughout the city has been great and brand new buildings plus innovative places to relax, eat, shop and be entertained are right there waiting for you to visit and enjoy!

We’ve pulled together a mega blog post with a summary of 10 great reasons to come and visit and stay for a while – even if it’s when you are heading out of the country for a break, or when you are arriving back in the city from overseas. One day’s stay just isn’t enough – trust us!

1.    The Rebuild!

Manchester Street Christchurch

As mentioned above, despite reports to the contrary, the rebuild of Christchurch has progressed at some pace. If you haven’t visited for a year or two, you will see dramatic changes to the central city in particular, with many new buildings complete and many more very close to completion.

Government departments have moved back into the central city, along with new retail complexes, the bus exchange, plenty of brand new parking buildings and all the supporting places to eat and drink coffee etc that central city workers need to keep them going.

2.    CBD Eats and Drinks -St Asaph Street, Stranges Lane, Little High Eatery, High Street/Tuam Cnr, Dux Central, Carlton Corner, Victoria Street

Among the new places to eat and drink, some particularly worthy of mention have clustered together in various spots – which we humans seem to like because that means plenty of choice and an easy wander if you want to move on to the next option (or your first pick is a little crowded).

To start with, one of the first streets in the CBD to have come alive post-quake is St Asaph Street. Formerly a one-way road to nowhere in particular, thanks to being outside the original CBD red zone, it’s now the home to a range of bars, cafes and restaurants including Engineers, Corianders (great Indian food), The Cuban, Bessie (for steak lovers with deep pockets), Baretta, Cafe Valentino for Italian food, Empire Bar and Isakaya nightclub, Mish Mash, Steampunk Laboratory for Korean food to go, St Germain (fine French cuisine), and Madame Woo (Malaysian and Chinese street food, kiwi style).

Head up to the corner of High Street and St Asaph and you can check out the Boxed Quarter – an innovative precinct developed in conjunction with Ara (formerly CPIT) where you can find creative businesses, food and art spaces. It’s also home to RDU – the student radio station formerly located at the University of Canterbury campus.

St Asaph Street is also just a block from the Bus Interchange, which makes it accessible if you don’t have your own transport or want to enjoy some bevvies without needing to catch a taxi home.

Through the carpark near the St Asaph and High Street corner, you can access Little High Eatery (plus Madame Woo and St Germain.) Little High contains 8 different places to eat and drink and has really taken off since opening mid-2017.

The atmosphere is warm, inviting and eclectic. From the inside you would have no idea you are in a brand new building – the designers have done an awesome job. This new spot is providing popular at all times of the week, so be prepared for a bit of a wait if you head in there at a normal meal time!

Then you have so many places to choose from – a block over on Lichfield Street – again intersecting with High, you can find Stranges Lane, which is now well established. If you’re familiar with “old Christchurch” it’s where Java Coffee used to be, and just over the road from the former SOL square in Lichfield.

Eatery and bar Strange and Co, chicken and waffles spot Orleans and the tiny but perfectly formed Lower 9th Diner make up the trio of businesses in this triangular space with a shared eating and drinking courtyard between them. Right next door is Vespa bar, so there are plenty of options right here. The tram even heads down this part of High Street, so you can hop on for a ride if you feel the urge.

And not to forget a couple of other great spots in this neck of the woods – the Dux Central building which includes various bars, Potsticker Dumpling Bar and more, plus Brick Farm/Smash Palace in High Street near the Manchester Street corner, and of course the famous C1 Espresso, home of the pneumatic slider and curly fries delivery (and all the rest).

This part of town is rapidly filling in with interesting places to eat and drink, so be prepared to have a wander around.

Over the other side of Cathedral Square, follow the diagonal pattern that started with High Street, by finding Victoria Street, close to the currently-under-restoration Christchurch Town Hall on Kilmore.

Along Victoria Street, again you’ll find an interesting mixture of bars, nightclubs, cafes, restaurants, Christchurch Casino and even a strip club if that takes your fancy!

Standouts are Black and White Coffee Cartel, Spice Paragon (Asian fusion), Mexicano’s, The Dirty Land cocktail bar, King of Snake (Southeast Asian and Thai inspired food) Saggio di Vino (fine dining with stunning wine cellar), The Bog (Irish bar), Boo Radley’s Bar, Little Neighbourhood Garden Bar, Rockstar Pizza for pizza and live entertainment, Vic’s Cafe and Bakery, Procope Cafe and Hachi Hachi (relaxed but great Japanese food), and one of the city’s oldest pizza establishments Spagalimis now in a new home in the former Harlequin Public House on the Salisbury St corner.

Keep heading north at the end of Victoria, across Bealey Ave to the cluster of food and beverage places that make up Carlton Corner, including the rebuilt Carlton Bar and Eatery, Gatherings (unique, locally sourced vegetarian meals), Sun Dog Diner, Vesuvio Jazz and Tapas Bar, Maison de Crepes, Keo Thai for classic Thai food.

3.    Places to Shop – The Tannery, The Colombo, Merivale, Northlands, Eastgate, Sumner, Riccarton, the CBD Retail Precinct, ReStart mall, New Regent Street

Shopping (or browsing) might be your idea of heaven – or the opposite, but there are definitely some new and different places to engage in retail therapy around the city. In the central city there’s the brand new ANZ Centre, filled with retailers and a very cool central courtyard area. It’s located on Colombo Street on the site of the old Triangle Centre, and just across Cashel Mall, The Crossing (pic below).

From there you can wander down Cashel Mall and check out the retail action, with the ReStart Container Mall still in operation at the far end of the block. From end of summer 2018 ReStart will be replaced with the construction underway for the new central city Farmer’s Market – set to rival Melbourne’s Victoria Markets by all accounts!

The Crossing Christchurch

Jump on the tram for a circuit or two and hop off on New Regent Street – one of the prettiest retail spots in the city for sure. You can get back on the tram again any time you like to venture further. There are plenty of cafes and bars along this small stretch, plus a range of interesting shops of all kinds.

New Regent St Christchurch

If you’ve got transport and are keen to explore a little further afield – perhaps on an outing to Sumner beach, there’s the Tannery – a restored former Tannery (surprise) on the banks of the Heathcote River, that includes a wide range of retail spaces, cafes, movie theatres and the Blue Smoke live performance venue. This is definitely a cool place to browse at your leisure, and again has been designed to look as if it has been there since Victorian times. Nice to see some character being retained (or created) around the place.

The seaside suburb of Sumner also has plenty of shops to browse, cafes and restaurants to relax in – and of course the beach to enjoy.

The city also has malls located through the suburbs, from Merivale Mall to Northlands (along Papanui Road), Westfield (Riccarton Road), and Eastgate Mall – on Linwood Avenue en route to Ferrymead and Sumner.

4.    Places for the kids to have fun – Margaret Mahy Playground, Roxx Clip n Climb, Imagination Station, Inflatable World, Garden City Bowl, Mini-golf, Mega Air Trampoline Arena, Gapfiller’s Street Arcade live video game

The city is full of fun things for kids (big and small) to enjoy. The list above is just a start!

The Margaret Mahy Family Playground is pretty special and has proved to be popular at all hours of the day – there will always be people there enjoying the park – and there are coffee and ice cream trucks on hand to keep everyone refreshed. New Regent Street and the tram track is also just a block or so’s walk away.

More recent additions for the young and young at heart are indoor trampolining venues like Mega Air in Carmen Road and Flip Out Trampoline Arena in Maces Road – bouncing is so much fun!

Perhaps one of the coolest and most unique places to play is the Street Arcade live video game. The controller is as large as you are, and located on the corner of High Street and Tuam, while the screen is on the opposite side of the street on the wall of the Vodafone building. It’s free to play and this is definitely a game for two people at a time. Get your name on the high score board and you’ve left your mark on new Christchurch for sure.

5.    The Great Outdoors – Beaches, Mountains, Parks and Gardens, Cycleways, Walkways, Christchurch Adventure Park, Golf courses

Christchurch is perfectly located at the centre of the South Island’s east coast to enjoy the beach in the morning and the mountains in the afternoon if the urge takes you.

Using the city as a base to head to the mountains for winter skiing, or Porters Pass to let the kids toboggan for free, make snowmen and through snowballs right there on the side of the road makes for a great holiday right there.

If you’re an outdoors action freak, there are so many options, from surfing and windsurfing to rock climbing, mountain biking, and walking.

Or if you prefer your outdoors activity to be a little more sedate, the city has more golf courses that you can shake a putter at, and gardens galore for horticulture lovers.

6.    The Great Indoors – Horncastle Arena, Isaac Theatre Royal, The Piano, the Court Theatre, Christchurch Arts Centre and soon the restored Town Hall

Being entertained with world class music, drama, and shows of all kinds is definitely a great reason to come to the city, and we are rapidly getting up to speed with wonderful venues that truly enhance the experience. Horncastle Arena is the covered venue for the majority of international musos who come to town, while the Isaac Theatre Royal is the choice for a range of performances, from ballet to travelling musicals, orchestral events and much more. Just check their website to see what is coming up and get those tickets booked.

Isaac Theatre Royal Christchurch

Christchurch’s Court Theatre in Barnard Street, Addington, continues to deliver world class theatre experiences, with the occasional rumble of a train going past to keep you on your toes! (It’s perfectly safe of course.)

The Piano in Armagh Street (backing onto the Isaac Theatre Royal in the Performing Arts Precinct) is the latest addition to venues in the city, opening in 2016 and so far having hosted the Christchurch Writers Festival and a plethora of other performance events.

And in 2018, our wonderful Town Hall will be fully restored again and providing the custom built acoustics of the auditorium for more memorable performances.

7.    Places to look at things – Canterbury Museum, Christchurch Art Gallery, Wigram Airforce Museum, Ferrymead Heritage Park, Willowbank Wildlife Reserve, Orana Park, The Antarctic Centre, Christchurch Arts Centre

Apparently when people visit places they don’t live, going to look at things is a popular recreational activity. If that’s your thing, Christchurch definitely has you covered.

There are plenty of options – from historic and sciencey things at the Canterbury Museum; to arty (and also some historic) things at the Art Gallery; flying things at Wigram Airforce Museum; more old things out at Ferrymead – including some you can ride on and interact with; live furry, feathery and fuzzy things at Willowbank and Orana Park, and plenty of cold things at the Antarctic Centre.

See – all options covered.

8.    Sporting Events – AMI Stadium, Christchurch Adventure Park – re-opening for Summer 2017, Addington and Riccarton Racecourses, Hagley Cricket Oval, Christchurch Marathon

Despite the fact that the former Lancaster Park/Jade/AMI Stadium is no more, Christchurch is still the venue for plenty of sporting activity – and of course home to the fabulous Crusaders rugby team. They play throughout the winter months in the Super Rugby competition, from their interim home at former Rugby Park in Addington – now renamed AMI Stadium.

Canterbury’s Tactix netball team plays from Pioneer Stadium, while international standard cricket has a new home in the lovely Hagley Oval in the heart of the city.

Christchurch attracts perhaps the biggest numbers each year to Cup and Show Week – featuring the Canterbury A and P Show, and of course a week of racing at both Riccarton Racecourse and Addington Race Course.

9.    Arts and Cultural Events – the International Busking Festival, the Christchurch Arts Festival , Kidsfest (July school holidays), Summertimes programme

Christchurch City Council’s Events team have built the city an enviable reputation for year round events that are really worth getting here to attend. Across the summer months, the Summertimes programme offers a diverse range of concerts, shows and activities for the whole community to get involved in – most of them absolutely free of charge.

The International Buskers Festival overlaps in the summer months, bringing performers from around the world to indoor and outdoor locations around the city each year.

Kidsfest happens in the July school holidays each year, and provides an excellent range of activities to keep kids entertained over the most challenging set of school holidays.

And the Christchurch Arts Festival delivers more world class entertainment of a wide range of types to audiences of all sizes.

10. Markets Galore – Christchurch, Lyttelton, North Canterbury

Christchurch and the surrounding areas have plenty of thriving markets on different days of the week and the weekends. Some of the most popular are the Farmer’s Market on each Saturday at Riccarton House in Christchurch – a great place to pick up delicious eats and drinks from a range of local growers and manufacturers.

Deans Bush farmers market

Make sure you also check out the Sunday Rotary market at Riccarton Race Course – which is a large and diverse market catering for everyone. Stalls range from plants to bric a brac, gifts, food and much more; Lyttelton Market on a Saturday morning is also another popular one (and gives you a chance to queue up for one of those amazing doughnuts from Glamour Cakes if that is your thing); the Opawa Farmers Market is also on a Saturday morning and all products sold at this market are organic. Out of town, head to Amberley for the weekly Farmers Market on a Saturday morning from 9 – 12. Lke all of the above markets, it pays to get there early for the best selection of all the goodies on sale.

11. (Bonus Reason) Things that move – The Christchurch Tram, Punting on the Avon, Double Decker Bus rides, Christchurch Gondola

If you enjoy moving while doing your touristing in the city, make the most of the various modes of transport to get around Christchurch. The Christchurch Tram gives you a taste of “old Christchurch” and runs on a circuit around the inner city. Great way to get a first hand look at all the changes. You can hop on and off the tram at any stops on the circuit, re-using your ticket to continue with the ride. You can even book a table in the Tram’s Restaurant car and have a lovely meal while you travel. For another classical Christchurch experience, you can book a tranquil ride on a Punt along the Avon River which has been renewed and revitalised post earthquake. This is a lovely romantic thing to do – you can even take a picnic hamper with you. For a ride that gives you a higher vantage point, hop onboard one of the Double Decker bus rides around the city and beyond. And then to get right above it all with a view of the whole of the city and the Canterbury Plains, you can take a ride on the Port Hills Gondola (cable car) and check out the Plains as well as a view over Banks Peninsula and Lyttelton Harbour.


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