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21 top activities in Christchurch in 2019



Christchurch-based and traveling writer Martina Grossi reports on the best activities in Christchurch. Since the earthquakes of 2011 a long way has been covered.

Top activities in Christchurch

Last week, I asked Phil the Builder about his thoughts Christchurch's reconstruction, "Finally the time has come," he said with a cantabrian smile on his face.

It seems like we all feel the same. This has been my home for 4.5 years, but the people passing by are still wondering why I chose a ruined city as an expat.

To be honest, Christchurch has come a long way since the early days after the war massively destructive earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 We got the chance to create something new, innovative, modern and funky!

Christchurch 2019

If you're not sure whether it's worth spending 1 or 2 days exploring Christchurch, Take a look at my 21 favorite pastimes in 2019 and see for yourself!

Even if you visited 2 years ago, the city has changed so much that you may not recognize many parts of the CBD. In this article, Luke shares his experiences in Christchurch in 2016. Now it looks very different!

Sit back and enjoy the new activities in Christchurch and visit some of the old favorites.

1. Turanga, the brand new city library

Attractions in Christchurch | City Library

Street view of Turanga Library, right in front of Cathedral Square

The latest and most innovative development in the CBD of Christchurch. Since its opening in 2018, the Turanga Library is an absolute must for the people of the city.

Drop in for a cup of coffee, climb the Harry Potter stairs, enjoy the panoramic view of the city, relax with a book and participate in many workshops!

worth seeing places in christchurch | Foundation Café

The Foundation Café in the library is one of the few cafés in the city open until 8pm

Turanga is open Mondays to Fridays from 9am to 8pm and Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to 5pm. Free 45-minute guided tours are available on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 11.00.

worth seeing in christchurch new zealand | Free library tour

Explore the library with a 45-minute free tour

2nd cathedral square

worth seeing places in christchurch | Cathedral Square

Not much has changed on the cathedral square. The city is still debating projects and funding

I do not want to disappoint you, but the cathedral is still in ruins as the city keeps thinking about what to do with it. An innovative project was officially launched last year, but the data and funding are still uncertain.

It is still worth a visit to learn more about the earthquakes, and it's not as if you could skip it, as this is the heart of Central Christchurch!

3rd Art Center of Christchurch

unusual activities in the church | Art center

One of the 23 buildings of the Christchurch Art Center

The earthquakes caused significant damage to the buildings that make up the Arts Center of Christchurch.

Things to do and see in christchurch | Art center

A hub for art, innovation and history

It took until June 2016 until some areas, shops and galleries in the district were opened!

activities in christchurch | Indoor Arts Center

As soon as you enter the main building of the Arts Center, you will find the Great Hall on the right

Now visitors can participate in many free events, Book craft workshopsget tattooed, listen to a concert, drink a coffee or just stroll through the innovative shops.

what to do in christchurch nz | Workshop of rekindle

A look into the workshop of ReKindle.

Open every day of the week from 10am to 5pm. Take 1 hour for your visit! Free admission.

4. Botanical Garden and Hagley Park

The Botanic Gardens of Christchurch are an absolute classic in the city! They are connected to Hagley Park, the city's main and largest park.

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Take at least an hour to explore the many areas and gardens of the Botanicals

Explore the rose garden, New Zealand's bushland, and relax on one of the many secret benches around the lakes.

Admission is free. During the winter months the gate is closed at 18.30. Otherwise it is 20.30 or 21.00 clock.

Monument to the attacks on the Christchurch Mosque

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"They Are Us", another love message from the resilient community of Christchurch

Take a moment to commemorate the victims of the attacks on the Christchurch Mosque before heading to the next stop of your visit. After the massacre of the 15thth Since March 2019, people bring flowers and messages of love, compassion and kindness. Today, two months after the massacre, offerings are still visible next to the main gate of the Botanical Garden.

These can be relocated soon, not yet confirmed when and where.

5. Canterbury Museum

activities christchurch | Canterbury Museum

The Canterbury Museum is adjacent to Hereford Street Botanic Gardens

Another classic of the city, the museum, was one of the few places that were at least partially visited after the earthquake. It was completely reopened in 2013.

Admission is free but donations are welcome! The museum is open daily from 9am to 5 or 5.30pm.

6. Christchurch Art Gallery

must do in christchurch | art gallery

The entrance to the Christchurch Art Gallery

For nearly 5 years, the Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhet was closed to the public. Until its reopening in 2015 after intensive building repairs, it served as an emergency shelter and emergency accommodation for the City Council of Christchurch.

It seems hard to imagine how early today one walks in such a peaceful environment through the spacious halls filled with contemporary exhibits.

Free guided tours of 45-60 minutes start daily at 11:00 and 14:00 at the reception on the ground floor. The gallery is open daily from 10am to 5pm and offers weekly events.

7. Exploring the street art of the city

christchurch activities | Browse the Street Art

In 2015, French artist Tilt painted the Teeth Mural for the Spectrum Street Art Festival. Opposite the casino, on Victoria Street 50

The hunt for world-class street art in Christchurch has become one of the coolest things to do in the city.

After the earthquake, various initiatives from New Zealand and overseas gathered to revive the city through funky street art! Christchurch is now one of the 39 street art capitals in the world selected by Lonely Planet.

cool places in Christchurch | 109 Worcester Street

Australian street artist Rone painted this mural at Worcester Street 109 directly behind Cathedral Square in Central City

Visitors can also use a free interactive map to guide the hunt for street art in the city.

8. Bridge of Memory

unusual activities in christchurch | Meeting point at the Bridge of Remembrance

The Bridge of Remembrance is a meeting place in Central City

The bridge was built in 1923 to commemorate the soldiers fought abroad during the First World War and reopened in April 2016 after the earthquake repairs. This is one of the most famous photo spots in the city!

Just a few meters from the Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial, the brand new Promenadenweg begins. Rest assured that you will not miss it!

9. Avon Riverside Promenade in the center of Christchurch

activities in christchurch nz | Pubs at the Memorial Bridge

New pubs and restaurants on the Riverside Promenade right in front of the Remembrance Bridge

The new waterfront starts at Oxfords Terrace and stretches 2 km along the Avon River to the Margaret Mahy Playground.

Lawns, sidewalks, bridges, art, restaurants, pubs and bike lanes make up this project, which took five years to build and was officially opened on November 2018.

This area is fast becoming a bustling center for night owls looking for dance, live music, craft beer and author cocktails.

10th Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial

has to do christchurch | Cambridge Terrace Fountain

The monument is located on Cambridge Terrace in the center of Christchurch

In February 2017, the Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial was opened to the public as part of the 6th anniversary commemoration events. The monument commemorates the 185 people who lost their lives and the survivors of the devastating earthquakes that rocked the city to the core.

11. New shopping centers and galleries

do you have to see in christchurch | New shopping centers on Cashel Street

The intersection at 166 Cashel Street

Cashel St. has become the shopping center of Central Christchurch. Every few months, new markets, shopping centers and international clothing stores open up.

The BNZ Center and The Crossing are the newest and brightest places to have lunch, a coffee with friends and shopping.

However, these new developments were not controversial! People still miss the famous Subject: Start Container Mall that was torn apart not so long ago.

things in christchurch | new developments emerge

New development that used to be the Re: Start Mall

12. Regent Street

must see christchurch | New Regent Street

Tourists and locals love New Regent Street!

If you've ever seen photos of Christchurch, you'll surely know about this sweet little pedestrian passage just one block from Cathedral Square! Visitors love to sit and watch the tram pass by while they drink in front of one of the many cafes and wine bars.

13. The O.G.B. at the Heritage Hotel

worth seeing in christchurch | Heritage Hotel

This place was once a secret in the city, as he hid in the reconstruction of meter-long scaffolding

If you fancy a drink and a plate after a long day in the city, head to the Heritage Hotel, where O.G.B. Bar lounge. The building, known as one of the best bars in the city, is worth a visit. It has a great ambience, 1930s décor and live music. It is my personal favorite!

14. Isaac Royal Theater

Things to Do Today in Christchurch | ITR

The ITR was renovated and reopened in November 2014. Most international shows take place in Christchurch

The French Renaissance-style building, opened in February 1908, has hosted large shows for over 100 years! It is usually closed during the day, but since it is only a few meters from the Cathedral Square, it is worth stopping by and taking a moment to admire the facade!

15. Little High Eatery

fun activities in christchurch new zealand | Small, high restaurant

During rush hours for lunch and dinner you will have to wait between 5 and 20 minutes

Opened in May 2017, Little High Eatery has become the city's hottest munching spot with a range of international street food.

From the South American grill to bespoke burgers and Thai food – go there if you want to experience one of the best places in the area! The place itself is worth a visit as it is located in an area of ​​the central business district that still has a lot of remodeling to do! That makes it more interesting in my opinion.

The Little High is located at 255 St Asaph Street, 4 blocks from the Dome Square. Open on weekends from 8 am to 11 pm (weekdays 10 pm).

It is a good option if you are late for dinner. Most places in the city say it stops around 9am!

16. Joint projects

activities in christchurch for free | Slacklining Park South Island

The Christchurch Slackline Crew and GapFiller are committed to creating the new and first dedicated Slacklining Park on the South Island

In the center of Christchurch, there are still many streets and districts that have not been rebuilt. Various projects in the city are far from being intimidated or frustrated, and aim to share these areas with the community.

Places near christchurch | Slacklining Park

New sports park, just a few meters from Slacklining Park

Many interesting things happen thanks to the work of creative social enterprises like Lückenfüller

If you visit one of these places, you will get a good impression of the creative breeze that spreads throughout the city!

17. Victoria Street

activities in the environment of christchurch | Junction on Salisbury Street

Victoria Street and Salisbury Street Junction

Upscale and modern kitchen, a secret cocktail bar, the casino and a bell tower. So that's Victoria Street! The chosen place for those who want to spend a great night!

18th Margaret Mahy playground

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Only 10 minutes walk from the cathedral square

Opened in December 2015, this is the largest playground in the Southern Hemisphere. The best part is that you do not have to have the kids in tow to enjoy it! Everyone is welcome here!

19th Riccarton Bush Saturday farmers market

Farmers market in Christchurch New Zealand

The Saturday Farmers Market is a classic weekend schedule for residents and visitors of Christchurch

Every Saturday from 9am to 1pm, the weekend begins with a compulsory visit to the farmers market. If you're away from town on the weekends, visit the Riccarton Bush, the site where the market takes place. Visit the Victorian Riccarton House, Rose Garden and Deans Cottage. Although this is not in Central Christchurch, it is only 3 km away!

20. Poke the Avon

family-friendly activities christchurch | Poke the Avon Tour

The Punting The Avon Tour is a rather original way to do sightseeing

Hands to heart, I've never done that! However, I include it because it is a cult visit to Christchurch! Visitors love to sit back and relax in one of the many gondolas that navigate the Avon River.

Tours start daily from 9am to 6pm at 2 Cambridge Terrace, Christchurch Central. It costs 30 NZD for adults and 15 NZD for children.

20. Victoria Park and the Port Hills

Places near Chirstchurch | Peninsula Banks

View of the Peninsula Banks from Victoria Park

If you have time and energy after a busy day, head to Victoria Park in the Port Hills. Just 15 minutes drive from the center of Christchurch, this stunning sunset and hiking area.

About Christchurch

over Christchurch street signs

When should you visit Christchurch?

Christchurch is a year-round destination for visitors to New Zealand.

Note, however, that there is "island weather" here, which means you can experience many different types of weather on the same day.

Bring clothes for your visit, whatever the season!

Move in Christchurch

Most of the places I've shared in this guide are within walking distance.

Nevertheless, I would like to point out the 2 most popular ways to get around Central Christchurch!

The Christchurch tram

how to move in christchurch

Caption: Iconic Christchurch Tramway

The famous historic tram costs $ 30 for adults and holds in most of the city's main attractions.

Get a Lime Scooter!

Affordable and fast, everything you need to download the app, enter your information and scan the QR code!

Since the lime scooters were introduced to the city just over six months ago, they have become the next big thing. Now you can see people riding the streets every minute – and falling! They are everywhere!

Stay overnight in Christchurch

The city center offers a variety of accommodation options, from Airbnb apartments to motel apartments and full-service hostels.

You will also find good accommodation in the Hagley Park area.

My personal favorite in Christchurch is Riccarton, the district you head west from Central Christchurch.

Search for Booking.com hotel deals in Christchurch


Come and visit us!

If you liked this guide, come and spend 1 or 2 nights in the city. You will surely discover that this is a bustling city that has a lot to offer.

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Aotearoa is New Zealand's name in Maori. It means the land of the long white cloud.

My last piece of advice and perhaps the most important one is: Talk to the locals! This is a very diverse and open-minded community that has been through a lot in recent years.

About the author:

Martina Grossi is an Argentine travel and expat blogger based in Christchurch, New Zealand. Your blog, The Global Curious, inspired people to their first overseas trip and is driven by curiosity!

You can watch her Youtube channelFollow her Facebook . Instagram onnd LinkedIn,

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