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Christchurch Things to Do

With a population of over 340,000 people, Christchurch is the largest city in the South Island of New Zealand. The city sprawls over flat land, bordered by the Port Hills to the South and the ocean to the East. Lots of businesses offer a fun range of things to do, from boat cruises in the beautiful Akaroa Harbour to see dolphins, to hot air ballooning over the Canterbury Plains, to jumping your heart out at the trampoline world of Mega Air.

Punting on the Avon River in Christchurch, New Zealand. Copyright: Hiroshi Nameda

Parks and Gardens

Known as the Garden City, Christchurch has lots of gardens, parks and reserves to explore.

Christchurch Botanic Gardens - The Christchurch Botanic Gardens are one of the most popular parks in the City. Winding paths meander through bush, around giant trees and through featured gardens.

Halswell Quarry Park - Based around an old abandoned quarry, this unique park is a great place to explore, go for a walk, throw a frisbie or enjoy a picnic.

Hagley Park - Located in the City Centre, this park is popular for joggers, walking your dog, and social sports.

Victoria Park - A short drive up the Port Hills, this scenic park looks out over the city. Walk your dog, have a picnic, walk the trails or jump on your mountain bike for some extreme mountain biking.

Lyttelton

Scenic Lyttelton Harbour is located right beside the city of Christchurch. It offers spectacular scenery with fascinating Maori and European history.

Driving a short distance through the Lyttelton Road Tunnel or over the Port Hills to get to Lyttelton from Christchurch.

Lyttelton, still a main port, was once the port of entry for English settlers coming to the new settlement of Canterbury.

Akaroa and Banks Peninsula

Banks Peninsula is a one-and-a-half-hour drive south-east of Christchurch.

The peninsula is the result of violent eruptions from three ancient volcanoes. The spectacular coastline of Akaroa Harbour and the surroundings bays are the legacy of Earth's fury.

Captain Cook sighted Akaroa Harbour in the 1770s. Akaroa is the site of the only attempted settlement by the French in New Zealand.

A privately guided tour of Akaroa is a great way to see all the highlights, both on and off the beaten track. Explore the beautiful harbour, the historic French village, visit the Barry's Bay Cheese Factory, or take an eco cruise and see dolphins, penguins and seals.

Orana Wildlife Park

Giraffes at Orana Wildlife Park in Christchurch, New Zealand. Copyright: Hayes Photography

Orana Wildlife Park is a popular attraction for all ages. Wander around the large zoological park, viewing all sorts of birds, reptiles, fish and other animals in a simulated natural environment. View over 400 animals from 70 different species.

The park is set on 80 hectares of park-like grounds, and is New Zealand's only open range zoo. Watch feeding displays, hand feed a Giraffe, pat a llama and much more!

Orana Wildlife Park is located within ten minutes drive of Christchurch International Airport and 25 minutes drive from the City Centre.

Activities

There's plenty to keep you busy in Christchurch! Ride a hagland at the International Antartic Centre, dine at a restaurant, punt the Avon River or take a scenic flight over Christchurch City.

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