Christchurch is the largest city in the south island of New Zealand and was the first stop on my trip to the country. Feeling incredibly jet-lagged after 30-or-so hours of travelling from the UK, we had a few days in the city to adjust and explore. Christchurch isn’t massive, so I would say that a few days is more than sufficient to see a lot of what it has to offer – here are 7 of my recommendations!
1. New Regent Street. Described as New Zealand’s most beautiful street, no trip to the city would be complete without a visit. New Regent Street is postcard-perfect with quaint Spanish Mission architecture, along with interesting boutique shops and alfresco restaurants.
2. Tūranga Library. Not only is the centrally located Tūranga library well worth a visit for its impressive architectural design, but also because of the great views from its top floor balcony. From it is a great vantage point of the city on high, with views of the Christchurch Cathedral, damaged in the earthquakes. It has since been deconsecrated and is currently undergoing reconstruction, and so the temporary Transitional Cathedral is also well worth a visit too.
3. Christchurch Art Gallery. One of my favourite parts of my trip to Christchurch was visiting the galleries and museums, especially the Christchurch Art Gallery, which had a fantastic range of exhibitions. I also really enjoyed the Canterbury Museum and hear that Quake City is well worth a visit too.
4. Spot and Antony Gormley work. Keep your eyes peeled, there are two in the city.
5. Grab something to eat and drink. Christchurch has a fantastic selection of cafes and restaurants, so you’re spoilt for choice. Some of the places I liked were Westend Stories, Unusual Cafe, Cafe Valentino and 5th Street.
6. Christchurch Botanic Gardens. One of my favourite parts of the city was by far the beautiful botanic gardens. I especially loved the rose garden and the Victorian greenhouse.
7. Punting. Finally, if you are lucky enough to have better weather than we did during our visit, punting is a great way to see the city from the Avon River.