Christchurch Pocket Guide

Images Of Christchurch

Smaller, quainter, and a lot more English than other cities around New Zealand, Christchurch is the undisputed capital of New Zealand's South Island. This city is home to one of the country's most charming city centre parks, an imposing cathedral that dominates the city's skyline, and a river that is occupied by punters in the most traditional of English clothing for the most part of the day. Traditions aside, the gateway to the South Island is also extremely lively after dark making it well worth pencilling in an extra day on your itinerary to enjoy its nocturnal activities.

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In The Guide

  • Cheap Eats Find out what restaurants are best value for money and what are the local specialties.
  • Don't Miss A list of the best local attractions and places worth visiting whilst in Christchurch.
  • Budget Tips Insider tips on how to save money or what to do when you don't have any!
  • A day in Christchurch... Only have one day to spare? We give you our ultimate day in Christchurch.

Christchurch City Reviews

  • 60%



    Having visited Christchurch after the earthquake it was interesting to see what is happening to redevelop it. It's not the most happening of cities but worthwhile to see.

    Insider Tip:Check out the C Express Cafe. Amazing.

  • 40%


    The least Kiwi part of NZ

    Christchurch has always been, in my opinion, a poor example to show visitors what New Zealand is like. It is staunchly British colonial in nature, with few outward signs of embracing NZ's Maori heritage or multiculturalism in general. The rebuild has been infuriatingly slow, with ChristChurch Cathedral left to rot with no will from the owners to repair it. Christchurch definitely has good points, but not worth going out of the way for on a limited schedule.

    Insider Tip:The transitional cathedral and re:Start are both terrific examples of Kiwi ingenuity and recovery, however their existence years later (despite their own worth) is somewhat testament to the mishandling of the rebuild. The Antarctic Centre is also worth a visit.

  • 20%


    Nothing to do in this city

    Sadly due to the earthquake this city is nonexistent! Nothing to do, re-start mall was cool but tiny. A day in the city centre is about half a day too long!

    Insider Tip:Go to the cookie place near the tram station- best thing in christchurch!

  • 50%



    After the quake, it's pretty sad. Still lovely, but eerie- like a ghost-town. No one is out after 5pm and it's just dead with nowhere to eat or anywhere to go. You might see 10 people if you walk the entire city. The destruction is heartbreaking- I can only imagine how beautiful it would've been if you could go inside any of the buildings or churches. The gardens are nice and the container "mall" is pretty and unique. But I can't imagine being here for more than 2 days.

    Insider Tip:Take the bus to hit up swimming with dolphins or the train west so you can get pictures of the views! This is really a one-day stop (maybe only for a morning).

  • 80%


    Giant construction zone

    City is still being built after the earthquake. It's a big job and there's lots left to do. The containership mall was cooler than I expected! We went to Quake City, an overpriced museum displaying the earthquake history in the city. It had really decent information in it but not enough to make it worth going, unfortunately. Lonely Planet said it was $10, so that was the only reason we went there but when we got there it turned out to be $20. $40 for 2 ppl for this 45min museum is a bit steep!

    Insider Tip:Go to Smash Palace (downtown on Victoria Street) if you want to have the best burger of your life!

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