Exploring Christchurch

Every holiday has to begin somewhere but knowing where to start isn't always easy. Explore Christchurch with our easy guide to the best food & drink scene, exploration spots, or simply relax in style.

Christchurch is a city that's open for business, and it's better than ever. New buildings are popping up all over the place - bars, restaurants, culture and art is going up quicker than anywhere else in New Zealand. With all this development, and the influx of people required to make it happen, the city's hospitality and arts scenes have really taken off. 

Fresh new cafés and restaurants have made their mark on the central city, including several that focus on locally-sourced and organic ingredients. Take your pick and find food to suit your mood.

Exploring Christchurch's food and drink scene

C1 Espresso is a must-do for every visitor. It's a coffee shop with a twist, these guys like to innovate - you even get your curly fries delivered by tube! The Christchurch Farmers Market is on each Saturday and showcases the best of Canterbury's local food producers. The stalls are diverse and plentiful, with cured meats, organic produce, artisan breads and much more. For something slicker, head to The Terrace for all the food, all the drinks and all the party - alongside the Avon River. Stunning.

There are good bars in every section of the city. Darkroom is a bar and music venue with a rotating choice of ales on hand pump taps. At Smash Palace you'll sip in a restored bus. The Last Word is a whisky and cocktail lounge in a gorgeous Spanish-mission style building. And Harlequin Public House is so historically charming, you'll want to stay for dinner. Immerse yourself in the real Christchurch at O.G.B with waistcoats, cheesecutter hats and cocktails - the locals' preferred hangout.

Top spots to play and explore

Get your Christchurch journey off to a flying start with a visit to the Christchurch Adventure Park. All your zipline and mountain-biking thrills are here at the world's only all-season adventure park, with massive views across the city. For something more low-key, visit the Margaret Mahy Playground. Just for kids? Think again. This playground caters to all who have a youthful imagination, and a playful exuberance. If you're after winning beach vibes, explore Sumner for surf, sun, coffee, pizza, ice cream and more - it's the city's favourite seaside suburb.

Christchurch, the surrounding Canterbury plains, Banks Peninsula and the Southern Alps look incredible from the air. A helicopter flight will help you to get your bearings and work out where your adventure is headed next. You can explore the Port Hills by foot, bike or sight-seeing drive for breath-taking views across Lyttelton Harbour and the Canterbury Plains. Next stop, New Zealand's most beautiful street - New Regent Street - stacked with speakeasy bars and fine dining restaurants. Yes please.

Relax in style

Cruise past the renowned Christchurch street-art. Christchurch is a global street art capital, attracting artists from all over the globe. Wander or take a guided tour through this unique urban scene. With the company Chill, their vintage bikes and dreamy urban scenes on offer, this unique tour is complete with guide and route ideas. Or you can leisurely wander through Christchurch Art Gallery - the best and biggest city gallery in town, boasting nationally significant works, gift shop and a top-notch cafe.

Keep exploring Christchurch