Top 12 Things To See & Do In Christchurch On A Budget
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21st Mar | 5 min read

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    Brimming with architecture, scenic natural surroundings, art, and adventure, Christchurch is every vacationer’s paradise. It is one of the largest and most touristy cities in New Zealand and there are plenty of things to do and see here. To make planning for your trip a little easier, we have curated a list of some of the best places to visit and things to do in Christchurch in this article. 

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    Christchurch Botanic Gardens


    The Christchurch Botanic Garden has been one of the main attractions of the city since 1863. Spread across 21 hectares of land, it is home to ten gardens consisting of rare and exotic plant species from all over the world and over 250 different kinds of roses.

    Not only that, but you can also watch different kinds of birds here during the spring or shop at the gift shop and or just hang out at the cafe. The best part of it all? Free admission!

    New Regent Street


    New Regent Street, opened in 1032, is a historic pedestrian mall and is known to be one of the most beautiful streets in New Zealand. It is Christchurch’s only complete heritage streetscape. Famous for its pastel themed Spanish Mission architecture, it is a popular tourist attraction. You will find cute cafes, pretty boutique shops where you can buy souvenirs, jewelry, or even indulge in some “you” time and get a manicure or pedicure, all of which add to the livelihood of Christchurch’s tourism. 

    The Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial


    On February 22, 2011, Christchurch experienced a disastrous earthquake that took the lives of 185 people and left many others injured, and stripped thousands of people of their homes. 

    The Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial was opened in honor of the people who were deeply affected by it. The memorial has a wall where the names of everyone who lost their lives or were affected by it are written, and people go here to pay their respects and honor their memories. There are also 185 white empty chairs placed here as a symbol of those who are no longer here due to the earthquake.

    Bridge of Remembrance


    The Bridge of Remembrance, opened on 11 November 1924, is one of two main war memorials in Christchurch. It is dedicated to those who died in World War I. It connects Oxford and Cambridge Terraces to Cashel Street over the Avon River and the location on which the bridge was built is also significant since this is where all the Canterbury soldiers passed as they marched off to war. You can learn more about this heritage here

    Avon River

    PRICE: River Punting starts from $30 per person for adults.

    Also known by the Māori name Ōtākaro, The Avon River flows through the heart of Christchurch and into the Pacific Ocean through the Avon Heathcote Estuary. You can float along the river in canoes, kayaks, and rowboats. River Punting is one of the most famous attractions of the Avon River. As you relax in your punt, your friendly punter will educate you all about Avon's wildlife, history, and fun facts. 

    Port Hills


    The Port Hills, a portion of the Banks Peninsula, is a range of hills in Canterbury, New Zealand, which is home to various mountain bike tracks, walkways, public parks, and reserves. They were named because of their location between the city of Christchurch and its port at Lyttelton. Approximately a 20-minute drive from Christchurch's city center, it’s a must-visit for every adventure lover looking for scenic views.

    Godley Head


    The Godley Head WWII coastal defense battery was built during World War Two and is located on top of 120 meter-high cliffs and provides spectacular views across the harbor to the Banks Peninsula and the coastline. It is one of the top ten New Zealand coastal defense heritage sites. You can go mountain biking, camping, walking and tramping here. Park at Taylors Mistake beach for a great 3-hour return hike to the top and back.

    Hagley Park


    Hagley Park provides a significant contribution to Christchurch’s tourism. Known to be the largest urban open space in Christchurch with 165 hectares of parkland, it is located next to the Christchurch Botanic Gardens. You can stroll or walk through the gardens, or take advantage of the many facilities it provides such as free barbeques, cycling, and playing sports such as golf, netball, petanque, croquet, model yachts, and tennis. There are 17 exercise stations in this park. 

    Sumner Beach


    Sumner beach is a popular destination for Christchurch locals, who want to sunbathe while taking in the views of the beach. It is family-friendly and is great for recreation and swimming. You will find surf lifesavers around the beach. You can walk, cycle, explore the caves and viewpoints, and hang out at the pretty cafes and restaurants around the town. 

    Christchurch Tramway

    Ticket Price: NZ $25.00 for adults

    Hop on Christchurch’s heritage trams for a guided tour of the city’s most popular landmarks and attractions. The tramway route has 17 stops and the friendly driver of the trams will educate you on the history and facts of the landmarks as you journey across the city. You can hop on and off as you like if you buy a full-day ticket. Some of the sights the route covers are the Canterbury Museum, Botanic Gardens, Margaret Mahy Playground, and New Regent Street.

    Travis Wetland Nature Heritage Park


    The Travis Wetland Nature Heritage Park, spread across 56.5 hectares of land, hosts several easy walkways and viewing areas. With over 800 species of insects and numerous beautiful species of plants and birds, it is a must-visit for nature lovers. What adds to its specialty is the fact that it is located in an urban area and is the largest wetland in the city. 

    Quail Island

    Ferry Ticket: NZ $30.00 per person for adults

    Quail Island, also known as Ōtamahua, is an uninhabited island located within Lyttelton Harbour in the South Island of New Zealand. This island is home to a number of swimming beaches and has necessary facilities like toilets. A ferry service is available to the island from Lyttelton and only takes around 15 minutes to get there. Even though it is considered Canterbury’s largest island, it is not impossible to be explored in a day. It is also home to a variety of wildlife such as white-flippered penguins and other wild birds such as fantail, kingfisher, and silvereye. 

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