Things to do in Christchurch New Zealand - Tours Activities
Set on the coastal edge of lush plains interlaced with braided rivers beneath the majestic backdrop of the Southern Alps, Christchurch is located in one of the more beautiful settings you could imagine. Tragically the South Island’s largest city has been devastated by a series of earthquakes from 2010-2012, with 185 lives lost on the 22nd February 2011. Christchurch was damaged almost beyond recognition from this disaster and the other quakes, with heritage architecture through the city damaged or lost and entire streets and neighbourhoods now being essentially abandoned. However the close-knit community of residents here and throughout New Zealand are continuing to rally together to deal with their grief and in their efforts to rebuild their city and their lives.
With the rebuilding and revitalizing of Christchurch now well under way the city is at the forefront of some of the most innovative and creative projects in the world. Focusing on sustainable and environmental issues, Christchurch is embracing it's future of modern buildings and bright urban events. Take the opportunity to visit the city as it is re-established with world class technology and innovation alongside history and heritage. There is still plenty to see and do!
If you are interested in how the city is rebounding back, you must visit a shop called "Quake City" in Cashel Mall. Here you can talk to locals, grab a city walking map which will direct you to key points of interest and or pay $10 and expereince an interpretive/interactive expereince where you can view iconic objects that fell during the earthquakes. Hear personal earthquake stories. Expereince the Ruaumoko Maori Legend. Marvel at the work achieved by the Emergency Services. See the events through large-scle sensitive imagery. Learn about the science of Canterbury's earthquakes, plus much more. The city CBD which is slowly opening back up is dotted with shipping containers which people are using for bars, retial shops and even ATM machines. It's a very unique time in history and once which if you have the chance you shouldn't miss out.
Known as the Garden City with good reason, one of the best ways to experience Christchurch has always been, and still is, to go punting down the Avon River through Hagley Park. Locals have long been picnicking, hiking and mountain biking through the Port Hills on the southern edge of town, however many of the trails were closed due to instability after the quakes, so it’s vital to check online at www.ccc.govt.nz for the latest updates. To the south is the volcanically formed, spectacularly beautiful Banks Peninsula and the French influenced Akaroa. On your way here Lyttleton is worth a visit despite being heavily damaged in the quakes, with the local boho community creating a lively scene.
And there’s plenty to do around Christchurch too. If you liked Port Hills, step it up a notch with a visit to Arthur’s Pass. There’s no better way of getting there than by train on the scenic TranzAlpine as you climb up into the Southern Alps. There’s jetboating and rafting on nearby rivers, plenty of ski fields within a few hours, and to the north you can soak your cares away in hot springs near Hanmer. To the south you can view some ancient Maori rock paintings near Timaru. And if you want to take in all this natural beauty around Christchurch from above, there’s no better way than cruising in a hot air balloon.
So there’s no reason to stay away, in fact just the opposite, come and help Christchurch gets back on its feet and have an amazing time doing it!
Horse Riding - Rubicon Valley Horse Treks
Join Rubicon Valley Horse treks for the ride of a life time. Experience NZ's beauty as you trek through farmland bordered by the Southern Alps.
Jet 4WD Train - Alpine Safari Combo
Join the spectacular Alpine Safari into the breathtaking Southern Alps of New Zealand. Combine a jetboat 4WD tour & Tranz Alpine train to see it all.
4WD & Jet Combo
Looking for some fun, thrills & excitement? Experience the Canterbury high country with a scenic tour over the Canterbury Plains, jetboating & 4WD.
Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise
Take a cruise on the extinct volcanic crater that is the harbour of the historic French Village, Akaroa. Enjoy majestic scenery & stunning wildlife.
Bike Tours - Christchurch City
Join Christchurch City Bike Tours for an informative & personalised bike tour of the stunning garden city & see the development of the rebuild unfold.
Christchurch Botanic Gardens Tour
Explore the Christchurch's spectacular Botanic Gardens on board a fully guided and electric shuttle. Tours depart daily every hour.
Christchurch City Sights
Experience all that Christchurch has to offer with a fully guided Grand Tour including punting on the avon, Botanic Gardens, Sumner, Container Village
Dolphin Swim - Akaroa Harbour
Swim with some of the world's smallest, friendliest and rarest dolphins, Hector's Dolphins in Akaroa Harbour. Cruises departing Akaroa wharf daily.
Jet boat - Jet Thrills
30 or 60 minutes of jet boating on one of New Zealand's most challenging & exciting rivers - the Waimakariri. Experience the thrills & amazing scenery
Ko Tane Maori Cultural Experience
Experience Ko Tane Maori Cultural show at Willowbank Wildlife Reserve. Learn the haka, poi dance & enjoy a 4 course hangi meal. Optional kiwi tour.