Things to do in
Christchurch

New Zealand’s largest South Island city is a melting pot of stunning nature and modern city landscapes.

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Our most recommended things to do in Christchurch

Christchurch: Tramway Restaurant 4-Course Dinner Tour

1. Christchurch: Tramway Restaurant 4-Course Dinner Tour

Climb aboard a vintage tram for a unique dinner tour of Christchurch. Admire the city’s sights illuminated for the night as you dine on a 4-course, chef prepared menu. The colonial-style Christchurch Tram has been fully refurbished inside and out to create a cozy, intimate experience. It’s fully air-conditioned for comfortable dining at any time of year. Enjoy a complimentary drink on arrival. Glide past city highlights, such as the Avon River and Botanic Gardens on a 2.5-hour journey through the city center. See how the city has been rebuilt since the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011. Popular with locals and out-of-towners, the dinner tour features chef-prepared menus in a dining car for up to 36 people. Enjoy seasonal fare served from the tram’s tiny kitchen, including a first course, main course and dessert. As well as a creative selection of innovative meals, the chefs can also cater to specific dietary requirements with prior notice.

Christchurch Gondola and Tram City Tour Combo

2. Christchurch Gondola and Tram City Tour Combo

Climb aboard the Christchurch Gondola cable car and enjoy spectacular 360-degree views across the Canterbury Plains and Southern Alps as you glide across the slopes of Mount Cavendish in the Port Hills. See as far as the city and harbor as you ride up to the summit 445 meters above sea level. Make use of the facilities at the top, such as the Time Tunnel ride, a dramatic reconstruction of the history of the region. Revive your spirits at the Red Rock Café before or after going for a walk or bike ride along the many nature trails. Take a unique sightseeing tour of the inner city aboard an antique tram as the driver provides a live and entertaining commentary. A full circuit takes 50 minutes and includes 17 stops, where you can hop on and off as often as you wish. Visit the Christchurch Botanic Gardens, Cathedral Junction, Canterbury Museum, and much more.  

Christchurch: Vintage Tram, Punt and Gondola Ride Combo

3. Christchurch: Vintage Tram, Punt and Gondola Ride Combo

Experience Christchurch from different perspectives with a combined city tour by vintage tram, punt along the River Avon and cable car ride aboard the Christchurch Gondola. Climb aboard a classic, flat-bottomed boat for a delightful punt along the River Avon. Venture through the city center propelled by a boatman dressed in Edwardian costume. Set off from Worcester Street Bridge and listen to the live commentary about how the city was rebuilt after the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes and remains fast-growing. See the beautiful alpine scenery surrounding Christchurch and its suburbs on board the Christchurch Gondola cable car. Explore the history of the region in the unique Time Tunnel experience, and pause for refreshments at the Red Rock Café. Marvel at the Southern Alps and Kaikoura Mountains, and get 360-degree views of the plains, mountains, city and harbor from the glass-enclosed cabin. Once at the summit, purchase souvenirs in the "Shop at the Top" or go for a hike on one of the many walking trails, such as the trek to Crater Rim, formed by the volcanic activity that created Port Hills. Journey by vintage tram and see the “Garden City” at your own pace with a full-day hop-on and hop-off ticket. Explore the regenerated city center to see innovative architecture, such as a shopping complex made out of shipping containers. Listen to a fascinating commentary from your driver as you take a full circuit in just 50 minutes, or jump on and off at leisure at 17 strategic stops. Discover the vast urban space of Hagley Park, explore the boutique stores of New Regent Street and much more!

Christchurch Gondola Ride

4. Christchurch Gondola Ride

Take a ride on the Christchurch Gondola to see the beautiful Alpine scenery surrounding Christchurch city and suburbs. The gondola ride is 10-minutes each way at normal speed and each cable car stops to allow you to board and disembark safely.  Marvel at the Southern Alps to the west, and the Kaikoura Mountains to the north. To the south lies the beautiful harbor of Christchurch, and to the east is the Pacific Ocean. Enjoy 360-degree views of the plains, mountains, city, and harbor from the glass-enclosed gondola. At the summit, you can browse the souvenir shop or visit the cafe. Experience authentic Kiwi flavors as you take in the spectacular views. If you are feeling more energetic, explore one of the many walking trails like the hike to the Crater Rim. Travel back in time at the Time Tunnel experience to learn about the development of the region. The automated ride is a definite highlight with children and adults alike!

Christchurch: Orana Wildlife Park Admission

5. Christchurch: Orana Wildlife Park Admission

Experience the ultimate animal adventure at Orana Wildlife Park. Set in 80 hectares, within 15 minutes drive of Christchurch airport, Orana is New Zealand’s only open-range zoo. Discover over 400 animals, representing more than 70 species. Arrive at the park from 10 AM in the morning. Regular animal feed presentations occur daily, commencing at 10:45 AM, and are accompanied by a presentation from a wildlife guide. It is recommended to arrive at the park early and follow the presentation schedule which will lead you around the entire zoo. As you explore the grounds, enjoy a range of amazing wildlife experiences including hand-feeding the giraffes and meeting rhino up close. Stroll through the aviaries to observe kiwi, and other stunning native birds including kakariki, whio, tui, and mischievous kea. See a range of native reptiles and meet friendly domestic animals in the Farmyard area. Also, enjoy the antics of gorillas, tigers, cheetah, Tasmanian devils, monkeys, meerkats, and more. Either ride through the park on the complimentary Safari Shuttle, join a guided walkabout tour, and/or meander around the park at your own leisure. The park contains a children’s adventure playground, 2 large picnic areas, a café, and a wildlife-themed gift shop for you to explore at your own pace.

Christchurch International Antarctic Center Entry Tickets

6. Christchurch International Antarctic Center Entry Tickets

Embark on a journey through Antarctica without leaving Christchurch. Visit one of New Zealand's best tourist attractions, the International Antarctic Center. Visitors of all ages will enjoy an interactive, fun and exciting experience of Antarctica. Experience snow and ice, an Antarctic storm, take the polar plunge ice water challenge, learn about life in modern modern-day Antarctica and Scott Base, and hang out with Little Blue Penguins. Try the famously exciting Hagglund ride and an awesome simulated 4D cruise Ice Voyage. The entry ticket is the closest way to experience Antarctica, without mounting your own expedition. You can also enjoy a personalized commentary on your journey to Antarctica with an audio guide tour available in English, Mandarin, Japanese, Korean, Thai, German, French, and Spanish.

Mount Cook & Lake Tekapo Day Tour from Christchurch

7. Mount Cook & Lake Tekapo Day Tour from Christchurch

Experience dramatic glacier lakes, snow-capped mountains, and beautiful alpine walks on a small-group day trip from Christchurch. After pick-up from your hotel, journey to Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park, located a 4 hours' drive through spectacular and breathtaking landscapes. Visit the historic town of Geraldine. Then discover the heart of Mackenzie Country, the captivatingly turquoise Lake Tekapo, the iconic Church of Good Shepherd, and the well-recognized statue of Sheepdog. Travel through Lake Pukaki and admire stunning views of Mt. Cook from a distance. Enjoy a short scenic hike in the National Park to view the 23.5kms long Tasman Glacier which is the longest glacier in New Zealand. On your return journey, visit the Alpine Lavender Farm and capture some beautiful moments in the pristine environment.

Christchurch Tram City Tour & Punting Combo

8. Christchurch Tram City Tour & Punting Combo

Climb aboard a classic flat-bottomed boat for a delightful punt along the River Avon in Christchurch. Choose from two departure points - the Antigua Boat Sheds or Worcester Street Bridge - for a punt through the park or city center. A punter dressed in Edwardian costume will guide you down the river, providing a live commentary along the way. From the Worcester Street Bridge landing site, discover how the city is fast-growing and how it rebuilt itself after the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes. Take off from the Antigua Boat Sheds to journey through Hagley Park. Punt alongside the Botanic Gardens, and admire some of the native flora of New Zealand. Blankets and hot water bottles are provided on cold days, so don't let the weather put you off! Climb aboard a vintage tram for a unique tour of Christchurch, and see the “Garden City” at your own pace with a full-day hop-on and hop-off tram ticket. Travel through the regenerated city center to see innovative architecture, such as shopping complex made out of shipping containers. See how the city center has been rebuilt after the devastating earthquakes of 2010 and 2011. Listen to a fascinating commentary from your driver as you take a full circuit in just 50 minutes, or jump on and off at leisure at 17 strategic stops. The tram currently starts at Cathedral Junction and travels through Cathedral Square, before passing the River Avon. Jump off at the Terraces and Riverside Market, or Canterbury Museum, just a short stroll from the Botanic Garden and Arts Center. Discover the city’s largest urban space at Hagley Park, or explore the boutique stores of New Regent Street, New Zealand’s “Most Beautiful Street.”

Christchurch Gondola and Punt on the Avon River

9. Christchurch Gondola and Punt on the Avon River

See Christchurch from different perspectives with a combined punt along the Avon River aboard a classic flat-bottomed boat, and a ticket for the Christchurch Gondola cable car.  Travel with a guide dressed in Edwardian costume, who will provide a live commentary as they punt you along the river. Depart from the Worcester Street Bridge landing site and discover how the city is fast-growing and rebuilding after the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes. Blankets are provided on cold days, so don't let the weather put you off. Take a ride on the Christchurch Gondola cable car, and see the beautiful Alpine scenery surrounding Christchurch city center and its suburbs. Explore the history of the region in the unique Time Tunnel experience, and pause for reflection at the Red Rock Café. Marvel at the Southern Alps to the west, and the Kaikoura Mountains to the north. To the south lie the beautiful harbor of Christchurch, and to the east is the Pacific Ocean. Enjoy 360-degree views of the plains, mountains, city and harbor from the glass-enclosed cabin. Purchase souvenirs in the "Shop at the Top" once you reach the summit, or go to the Red Rock Café for some refreshments. If you are feeling more energetic, take one of the many walking trails, such as the hike to Crater Rim, formed by the volcanic activity that created Port Hills. Travel back in time at the unique Time Tunnel experience, and learn about the development of the region.

Arthur's Pass: TranzAlpine Train and Castle Hill Day Tour

10. Arthur's Pass: TranzAlpine Train and Castle Hill Day Tour

Experience the South Island's remarkable natural landscapes by taking a journey on a train from Christchurch to Arthur's Pass, which is considered one of the world's greatest train journeys for the scenery it passes. Enjoy breathtaking views of Canterbury Plains, Southern Alps, ice-fed Waimakariri River, lush beech forests, and stunning landscapes. Explore walking tracks in Arthur's Pass National Park with spectacular mountain views & pristine waterfalls. Capture mirror images at Lake Pearson & wander through the majestic limestone boulders at Castle Hill. A perfect day trip for nature lovers, hikers, and adventure seekers.

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What people are saying about Christchurch

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 694 reviews

We turned up to the boathouse to a very warm welcome, the service was excellent and so friendly, our guide shared very interesting information and the punt skill was smooth we thoroughly enjoyed it and will be back again. The Tram ride was so enjoyable, the guide was so nice and pleasant. Really enjoyed it and so did our teenagers

Really enjoyed with family. Cooked bbq on site very conveniently and kids was overwhelmed with play ground and mini bus ride. Very interesting and educational watching all the animals.

Excellent experience would recommend it to anyone who is looking at a casual outing and just wanting to spend some time with someone special.

Totally loved it …interactive lots of animals we hadn’t seen before like kea… we had an awesome time and would definitely recommend.

Great food great service and a very pleasant, relaxing experience. Highly recommended.